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How to Start a Handmade Brand and Sell Crafts

25 min read

If you enjoy expressing your artistic DIY side by making crafts, you may want to consider opening your own online craft store. Not only is this a fantastic way to relax and keep your brain active, but it can also be a profitable, entrepreneurial endeavor—with the right attitude.

Globally, the crafts market is expected to reach a handsome value of $50.9 billion by 2024. As such, the industry represents a lucrative opportunity for anybody looking to turn a creative passion into an income.

When starting a craft business, you need to choose a product that you will make and sell. It is important not only to be able to do something with your own hands but also that your product is interesting to the client. Then you can make a business plan, look for suppliers of materials, stock up on goods and launch your own online store.

So, whether you’re looking to earn extra cash or quit your regular job and get crafting full time, the following article should give you all the information you need to get your homemade crafts brand off the ground.

Let’s go step by step.

How to sell online
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Step 1: Look for a Gap in the Market

Ask yourself how you can stand out from your competition. What slant can you put on a popular product that makes it completely your own? You can also use secondary market research from the likes of MarketResearch.com, NPD, and Nielsen, to see what products are trending at the moment. You can also use Google Trends to figure out what potential customers are talking about in your market.

You should also figure out where to sell crafts locally and identify the popular products at these establishments. In addition, if you want to sell crafts on Amazon, you’ll have to research how to get yourself onto the Amazon marketplace. There are many handy how-to guides on the website to help you get started.

Step 2: Define Your Products and Services

It’s time to focus and describe the items or services your craft business will provide. If you’re a new craft vendor, you might want to start off by selling smaller things like jewelry, mugs, or stickers, because you won’t have to worry about high shipping costs.

Consider answering the following questions to help you better identify the items you’re going to sell:

  • What types of craft products inspire you?
  • What crafts do you have experience making?
  • How do these crafts fit into your niche?
  • What’s the market demand for these products?
  • Where will be the best place to sell these crafts?
  • What will you charge?
  • Where will you purchase your supplies?
  • How much will supplies cost?
  • How much will production cost?
  • Do you still need to research or develop your product?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can map out a plan to turn your creative business dreams into reality.

Step 3: Understand Your Audience

Here’s the good news: the arts and craft industry is popular among various demographics. As such, you should target which group of people are more likely to buy your products. For example, if you’re selling blankets or other home essentials, you may want to appeal to an older demographic. Conversely, if you sell handmade, organic jewelry or bath bombs, you should probably shift your focus to a younger audience.

As such, you should consider the following factors about your potential customers:

  • Why do they want to purchase your products
  • Their general likes and dislikes
  • Gender, age, and location
  • Where they currently shop online

Step 4: Determine Sales Channels

You know what you want to sell, but where are you going to sell it? A local arts and crafts fair might be an inexpensive way to get a feel for the business around you. Alternatively, you may start by selling your items in a local boutique or consignment shop before opening your own store.

Of course, you can always create an ecommerce website or sell on a digital marketplace such as Amazon, eBay, or Etsy

Digital marketplaces offer a ton of benefits for both vendors and their consumers. However, keep in mind that digital markets often charge fees for utilizing their platforms, which can add up over time.

Finally, while these platforms have a lot of demand, they also have a lot of competition, so you’ll need to put in a significant amount of effort to stand out in the crowd. But no matter how you slice it, there are many fantastic ecommerce solutions out there; therefore, it’s important to do your homework and find out which platform is right for you before starting to develop your craft business’s website.

Step 5: Create a Business Plan

While you may be excited about all the goodies and products you’re going to sell to your target demographic, you also need to develop a comprehensive business plan that covers everything from your vision to how much money you expect to make during a specific timeframe. A business plan will help you stay on track and remind you of your overall goals for the endeavor. They are also handy if you want to fund from an investor or bank. Typically, your plan should involve:

  • An executive summary of your business idea
  • A short description of what your craft company will do
  • In-depth market analysis
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • Sales and marketing plan
  • An overview of your business management team
  • Financial projections for a specific timeframe

Step 6: Find a Supplier or Manufacturer

If you plan to scale your business (and want time for life outside of work), you’ll need help creating your designs. As such, you should look for an adept manufacturer who can make your crafts to a high enough quality. You’ll also need a supplier who can provide your materials at wholesale prices. We recommend looking for a manufacturer and supplier that:

  • deals in quality materials and craftsmanship;
  • can provide samples, so you know what you’re working with is adequate;
  • have a local head quarters to receive your goods quickly, and speak to the business directly if any issues arise.

Step 7: Take Care of Logistics and Legal Requirements

We also recommend ensuring your craft business meets all legal requirements. For example, you have to register your business with the relevant tax authorities before you get started. You also need to consider:

  • Business registration, licenses, and permits
  • SKUs for your product line
  • Shipping costs
  • Shipping restrictions for your goods
  • Any company overheads
  • Relevant sales and business taxes
  • Filing the correct copyright, patent, and trademark requests if needed

Step 8: Create Your Online Craft Store

As well as creating your amazing crafts, you also need to create your own online store. Without a doubt, this is the best way to sell your crafts online. Once you have your brand name, logo, design, colors, and products in order, you should focus on a professional-looking website. Any good entrepreneur needs a website to sell crafts to as many customers as possible. That’s where Ecwid can help.

Ecwid is an ecommerce platform that makes selling online easier. Build your own store from scratch to instantly sync and sell across your own website, social media, marketplaces, and more. Grow your business with automated marketing tools. And manage it all from your Ecwid control panel. In short, this is a great option to sell crafts online for free; you don’t even need much experience running an online store.

Step 9: Start Marketing Your Wares

After you’ve created a company name and brand, a professional business website, and determined the items your craft business will offer, it’s time to start promoting them so you can build up a steady base of repeat customers.

Consider how you could advertise your items in a novel and exciting way. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get your business registered on various social media platforms. Instagram and Facebook will be essential components of your company’s marketing plan.

Your goal here is simple: to explain what makes your goods stand out and unique. Make use of this as the foundation for your marketing strategy. Your promotional strategy should aim to bring your items in front of as many potential consumers as possible.

The Best Places to Sell Crafts Online: Global Marketplaces

No matter what you want to sell, there’s an online marketplace that’s tailor-made for you, your crafts, and your consumers. Finding the right marketplace is a matter of doing your research and not being afraid to try out something new.

Selling crafts on Etsy

Etsy is a popular online marketplace for handmade, vintage, and craft supply items that has been around since 2005. It’s changed a lot over the years, but it remains one of the most popular places to sell crafts on the internet. And it’s no wonder—when you sell goods on Etsy, you can reach a global audience of 30 million potential buyers! As such, Etsy really has earned its reputation as a marketplace with the potential to turn your handcrafted items into a lucrative home-based business.

Selling crafts on Amazon

When it comes to selling handmade crafts on the internet, the Amazon Handmade platform is a sort of new kid on the block. The premise is simple: they want to work with vendors who sell one-of-a-kind items, and put them on the world’s largest online retailer. Though they are still in an invite stage, it’s worth a try to check the platform out and see if Handmade at Amazon is the right fit for you.

Selling crafts on ArtFire

ArtFire is an excellent choice for individuals who want to sell handmade items online in the most straightforward way possible. With over 10,000 operational stores and 7 million yearly customers, ArtFire is a fantastic way to get your art out into the world.

Selling crafts on Handmade Artists

Handmade Artists started as a result of a forum group seeking a safe and secure location for artists to sell their handcrafted products. To join, you have to pay a monthly $5.00 fee (or $50 for a year). But that’s all there is to it. Otherwise, it’s a safe and straightforward platform, and might be a great choice for beginners with unique goods to sell.

Selling crafts on Cratejoy

Cratejoy’s Marketplace is designed for subscription box companies to locate subscribers in their niche. They work hard to find the right subscribers for individual items. The recurring revenue model is a promising one for makers and artisans looking to earn money on a more regular basis. Every month, Cratejoy’s marketplace works with over 500,000 members, making it the internet’s biggest marketplace dedicated to subscription boxes.

Selling crafts on Folksy

Folksy is a marketplace for artists and makers based in the United Kingdom. So, if you’re a craft seller from England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, Folksy may offer you a more focused market for your items.

The benefits of selling through online marketplaces

  • Marketplaces allow you to reach millions of people who may be interested in your product or service.
  • Buyers trust these sites. They feel comfortable purchasing from these marketplaces, more so than if they stumbled upon your website alone.
  • Selling here is easy. The marketplace has everything you need to sell in place and helps take care of the checkout procedure.

The downsides to selling on marketplaces

  • They charge fees. You have to share a percentage of each sale with the platform.
  • It’s highly competitive. There will likely be hundreds, if not thousands, of other craft businesses hoping to attract attention on the same marketplace site.
  • It’s not your brand. If the brand name and things like web design and a personalized user interface are important to you, you’re unlikely to find an ideal home on a third-party marketplace. People go there to discover products and find deals, not to interact with a brand’s personality.
  • You don’t know anything about your customers. The marketplaces keep this information to themselves which can make marketing more difficult.

The Benefits of Selling on Your Own Online Store

  • You have control over your branding and content. You can truly build your own unique brand—from the visual brand elements you incorporate into your website design to the customer engagement that comes from having an integrated blog, signup forms, and social media profiles, everything is yours.
  • You keep what you make from each sale—as opposed to paying a fee per transaction to Etsy or ArtFire.
  • You have access to your customers’ information. When someone makes a purchase on your online store, you receive all the information you need to start developing a longer-term relationship with that customer, including their name and email address.
  • You can develop targeted promotions and discounts. With your dedicated website as a lead-generating machine, you can then retarget your email list with special discounts and promotions, and track the effectiveness of each offer.

So, with so many options, what way of selling makes the most sense? It’s simple: ideally, you’d sell crafts online from your own dedicated store AND on one or more of the marketplaces where your target customers spend their time. Tease key products on marketplace sites, with links back to your dedicated site for in-depth product information and other items that will entice buyers. That way, all your bases are covered.

How To Start Your Own Online Craft Store

Your own website is perhaps the best place to sell handcrafted goods on the internet. This is because it allows you to interact with clients directly and avoid paying marketplace fees.

Choose the right platform

Choosing the appropriate ecommerce platform for your online business can be a difficult task. The ideal ecommerce solution for your company will be determined by the size of your operation, whether or not you have employees, and what features are accessible with free software. It’s critical to figure out exactly what you need so that you can figure out exactly the solution that’s right for you.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • How big is your business?
  • How many products do you need to sell?
  • How often will you manage/update your inventory?
  • How do your customers prefer to pay?
  • What sales channels do you use?
  • What marketing tools do you use?

Arrange shipping

If your company sells online, there’s another important factor you have to consider: shipping. The time it takes to deliver goods is critical, and significant delays can result in negative customer feedback. So stay on your customer’s good side by comparing costs and selecting a shipping service that you feel confident in, whether it’s USPS, UPS, or FedEx. Then purchase proper packing supplies to prevent breakage along the way.

Set up payments

There are a variety of payment solutions you can set up for your fledging craft business, from those which will enable you to accept credit card payments to more advanced alternative payment options to your customers: such as ApplePay, GooglePay, PayPal, etc.

Think about your branding

When it comes to selling your handmade products on the internet, establishing a brand is absolutely essential. This is your chance to display some of your personality and who you are as an artist. It also allows customers to connect more easily with your brand, your values, and what you have to say about the market you’re in. Customers should be able to infer what sets you apart after seeing your brand for a moment.

From business cards to your online craft store’s website and social media profiles, your brand identity should be used wherever possible. Having a unified voice, tone, and visual style will allow customers to better identify with your company faster—and help them develop consumer loyalty more quickly.

Some of the things to consider as you build your brand:

  • What sets your brand apart from others?
  • What is your target audience and what resonates with them?
  • What’s a brand name that’s catchy and memorable, but still related to what you have to sell?
  • What should your logo look like?
  • What’s your website’s ideal guiding style (site layout, graphics, typography, and more)
  • Do you have an interesting story for your About Us page?

Write captivating sales copy

When it comes to creating product descriptions to sell crafts online, you want to include specifics such as the dimensions and materials employed. But you also want your potential customers to pay attention. This is an opportunity to use a narrative: How did you figure out the idea for the item? How do you create it? What is its ultimate value?

Add compelling images

Without product pictures, you won’t be able to sell online effectively. The quality of your product images often determine how interested a customer is in buying it. To maximize your selling potential, place your items in front of a white backdrop, with natural light only.

Make every effort to take detailed high-resolution photographs from all angles, avoiding shadows and concentrating on capturing as many of your product’s unique qualities as you can through the images. If you’re in a hurry to get started, use your smartphone.

However, if you can manage to acquire a decent camera and a friend with a good eye for photography, the effort you put in here can only help you in the long run.

Add a blog to your online craft store

If you blog about things related to your hobbies, you’ll have a better chance of being discovered by potential customers. Because Google ranks websites in a certain way, blogging regularly might improve the position of your site in Google search results. A higher ranking indicates that your website contains relevant, high-quality information.

Blogging may also be a way to engage with interested potential customers by allowing them access to your life and creative process.

Some ideas for craft blog content:

  • Your favorite artists and crafters
  • Your favorite materials to work with, or brands you use to make your items
  • What inspires you to keep crafting
  • A crafter’s diary
  • Free craft ideas
  • Advice on crafting
  • Patterns, or lists of patterns from places you enjoy

What Customers Look For in an Online Craft Store

user-friendly interface

Assist customers in obtaining what they want by getting rid of any unnecessary clutter. Concentrate on uncomplicating your site’s user experience by providing shopping categories, filters, and the ability to compare products and prices.

Excellent videos and photographs that show off the best you have to offer

It’s a great idea to take some time and put some energy into taking pictures and writing descriptions of your products. Customers want to see what you sell from various angles before making a purchase decision.

Allow them to not simply zoom in on the photo, but also get an idea of what it’s like through words. Photos and videos for your crafts shop should be high-resolution with a short load time. Descriptions should be clear and include information on materials used, size, and other important details.

mobile-friendly user experience

In the last six months, 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their devices. To create an environment that encourages sales, make sure your store is mobile-friendly and adapts to whatever device it’s being shown on.

Return policy

Make sure your crafts store has a transparent return policy. This means that the policy is both clear and listed on your website in a place that is not difficult to find. This will help customers feel confident making a purchase, and help head off any customer service issues.

Ecwid: An Easy Ecommerce Shopping Cart to Sell Crafts Online

Ecwid’s ecommerce platform offers you the resources you need to help turn your talent or skill in the crafting world into a profitable business. How? Here are some special features of Ecwid’s ecommerce solution:

No coding

By removing the headache of manually setting up your own website and outfitting it with shopping cart functionality, Ecwid provides automation and an easy-to-navigate solution for helping you sell crafts online.

Secure payments

Ecwid’s ecommerce solution ensures that you will be provided with a secure system for your business transactions, as well as the ability to reach a large, international customer base.

Online and offline

With an extensive background in online technology, Ecwid is able to cater not only to businesses already selling crafts online but to those just getting into the game. We can also provide an easy-to-set-up model for those who are interested in selling crafts but are unsure how to get started.

Marketplaces

Ecwid doesn’t depend on one model of outreach to sell crafts online. Instead, we work with many. We make use of a comprehensive and efficient interface, along with high functionality that enables you to sell across every major ecommerce platform at the same time. This includes Google Shopping, Amazon, eBay, and more!

Social selling

If you’re interested in selling your crafts on social media, Ecwid will help you distribute your products across major social networks like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat. At the same time, you can still manage everything from one control panel, taking the confusion out of inventory management.

With Ecwid running under the hood, you’ll have a beautiful store and global reach, giving you the ability to sell your crafts everywhere.

 

DIY ideas
Greenhouses
Fire Pits
Desks
Headboards
Workbenches
Decorations
Face Masks
Cat Trees
Floating Shelves
Coffee Tables
Bookshelves
Wall Decor
Fidget Toys
Shoe Racks
Pull Up Bars
Room Dividers
Nightstands
Cat Toys
Garden Gnomes
Squat Racks
Table of contents

Sell online

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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