Shop Etsy

Shop Makeover Series: Craft-onomics 101

Jan 6, 2009

by inhope

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

After wrapping up a very busy and sometimes lackluster holiday craft show season, I have come to a few grand conclusions about the economy at the moment, and – no surprise – it sucks! Though the jury is still out on how the craft community will be impacted by our nation’s (and world’s!) crashing markets, it’s always good to prepare for tough times when in the midst of uncertain ones. As independent artists and crafters with scarcely a safety net in sight, we are vulnerable in many ways, and I sometimes worry that we may be hit the hardest. Sadly, many customers are now opting for the lower quality, cheaper priced, large chain store gifts over our handmade masterpieces. While sitting there for hours at my booth at various craft shows contemplating this fact, I dwelt on what I could do better next time in order to combat the holiday season of lookie-loos…

  1. Be flexible: It might be time to think outside the box with special promotions, painstakingly hunt for a cheaper supplier, or work on a fresh new idea that you may have been stewing over. The more items you carry and the more price points you have, the wider audience you can appeal to and the more sales you will make.
  2. Learn to tighten your own belt: Do not under estimate the smaller, more local craft shows, such as the ones run by craft mafias or Etsy Teams. Since many of these shows are well-run and attract a specific audience, they are some of the best and cheapest ways for you to get your items out there. The simple fact is that the more money you spend traveling and paying for tabling, the more money you need to make in order to break even.
  3. Network, network, network: Get to know other crafters, and listen to the wisdom they have to share about specific craft shows, cities, and markets. Why waste your time sewing purses for craft show in a city that is really into housewares and already flooded with handbags? You are just wasting your time and supplies. I know it takes time and can be tedious, but check out the Etsy forums, Craftster.org forums and the switchboards for some real talk about the business end of things. It does not cost anything to be friendly!
  4. Promote intelligently: I think I find this the hardest part of this business, because I tend to just sit around and think the customers are going to come to me. However, in these tough times, we all know that is not the case. Stop just giving everyone a plain boring business card or an elaborate promotional item that costs way more to make than you have to comfortably spend. This year I started giving people buttons, magnets, and pencils with cute images of items in my shop. Not only do the customers love to get free gifts, but when I got home, I had tons of new hearts and orders from people who got my promo items at a show. These promo items were cheap and easy to get and got me a much better response than a plan business card. Also, get creative and friendly with your local print shop – you will save money doing the printing yourself.
  5. Be realistic: Although some of us (like myself) really depend on the money made from crafting to live, it’s time to get realistic about potential changes that you may need to undertake in order to stay afloat during these lean times. If buyers are thinking twice about their purchases, then you need to think twice about the best, most cost effective way to run your business. Be smart and in the true spirit of D.I.Y., do it your damn self…it is cheaper anyway ; )
  6. Don’t underestimate the quality of your own work: Many people might not understand the time-consuming process or expensive materials that go into producing your items. However, once made aware of the time, effort, and love you put in, buyers will be more apt to fork out the cash. I noticed this a lot at craft shows. A person would pick up a yarn from me and admire it, but when I told them about the almost 6 hour process that goes into making every one, I think they felt more comfortable paying almost triple what they would for it at a large chain store. Don’t be afraid to market your process. Describe it in your Etsy listing and profile; include it on the back of your price tag, or chronicle it on your blog.

Further Resources:

Etsy Teams

I Shop Indie

The Economist

 

Seller Handbook | Shop Makeover Series

The DOLLAR'S IN THE SHlTTER. (Sale)
The DOLLAR'S IN THE SHlTTER. (Sale)
Sold
Shaking the Money Tree - Bookshelf
Shaking the Money Tree - Bookshelf
Sold
BANANASTAND Batts - 5.45 oz.
BANANASTAND Batts - 5.45 oz.
Sold
Ivory Number 4  Dollar Sign Vintage Typewriter Adjustable Ring
Ivory Number 4 Dollar Sign Vintage Typewriter Adjustable Ring
Sold
All-Seeing Eye, new world order screenprinted necktie
All-Seeing Eye, new world order screenprinted necktie
Sold
Money Monsters wallet - Andrew Bargeron for Tinymeat
Money Monsters wallet - Andrew Bargeron for Tinymeat
Sold
Keep Calm and Carry On (dark flax) - 13 x 19 Archival Print
Keep Calm and Carry On (dark flax) - 13 x 19 Archival Print
Sold
Calming Nature Loofah Exfoliating Glycerin Soap (VEGAN friendly)
Calming Nature Loofah Exfoliating Glycerin Soap (VEGAN friendly)
Sold
NEW ITEM - Clip Buddy for PHONES, IPODS, CAMERAS, MONEY in green
NEW ITEM - Clip Buddy for PHONES, IPODS, CAMERAS, MONEY in green
Sold
Prosperity Votives Set of 6
Prosperity Votives Set of 6
Sold
Reserved for crushthestone24 - money clip for guys in hammered copper
Reserved for crushthestone24 - money clip for guys in hammered copper
Sold
Keep Clam And Carry On - Scrabble Tile Pendant - Free Ship
Keep Clam And Carry On - Scrabble Tile Pendant - Free Ship
Sold

152 comments

  • feralgirl

    feralgirl said 8 years ago

    Good suggestions!! I always get a positive response from buyers once they realize that I do every part of my bags/wallets by hand..no machines--though they usually look at me like I am insane !! I have also been contemplating my past stance on consignment--I think this is a great time for small producers and small B&M shops to join together! I am gonna go get my feet wet locally and see how it goes!! good luck to everyone!!

  • AlloverArt

    AlloverArt said 8 years ago

    All great tips! Chin up! ;)

  • Faeriedtreasures

    Faeriedtreasures said 8 years ago

    I totally agree with how important it is to have a variety of price points in your shop! I read this advice in the forums in early November, and searched for an inexpensive item that I could sell for a lower price in my shop. I bought the supplies in super-mega bulk for a low low price, and I created an item that I could sell for less, that still fit with the overall "feel" of my shop! Low and behold, my lower priced items tend to bring people in, and oddly enough, most times customers end up buying more (and spending more) in my shop because of it.

  • nosideup

    nosideup said 8 years ago

    great slection, thanks!

  • Sinta

    Sinta said 8 years ago

    Very good suggestions. I don't know what it's like over there in the USA, but in the UK people are losing their jobs left, right and centre. But I try to keep a positive outlook on things. Some situations people see only challenges, whereas others see opportunities! And all my artistic scribbling and doodling has to go somewhere anyway :)

  • GoldtoneDesigns

    GoldtoneDesigns said 8 years ago

    Wonderful Article!!!!!

  • SASessories

    SASessories said 8 years ago

    this is a good article, and the picture caught my attention right away, i have been so desperate this year, i HAVE actually considered standing out on the street w/ a cardboard sign to sell my goods!!!

  • filigreelamps

    filigreelamps said 8 years ago

    True true true! very good advice. Like you said with researching the market and doing some digging, I plan to check out craftster.org. Thanks for the tip!

  • AliBaliJewellery

    AliBaliJewellery said 8 years ago

    Brilliant article, with lots of hometruths we could all be following!!

  • yarncoture

    yarncoture said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tips! I can definitely relate to all of the suggestions and will definitely use this time to promote my shop!

  • LaveMeSoapCo

    LaveMeSoapCo said 8 years ago

    yea! esp for #6!

  • mudpuppy

    mudpuppy said 8 years ago

    LOL. I LOVE your photo. I am totally going to add it to my blog today...

  • paperelle

    paperelle said 8 years ago

    Great tips- and the button featuring the yarn is droolworthy! Mmmm...handspun...

  • KnitStorm

    KnitStorm said 8 years ago

    I really like #6. Great write up overall!

  • iheartnorwegianwood

    iheartnorwegianwood said 8 years ago

    Great article! After one REALLY bad show we did this year I can confirm that all your tips are soooo right on, we made a few mistakes this year, but we definitely learned from them!

  • chakrapennywhistle

    chakrapennywhistle said 8 years ago

    I agree! Wonderful article. Thank you for the info and featuring my money bag pillow ;)

  • beckynot

    beckynot said 8 years ago

    Nice article! I've received invites to local craft shows since joining Etsy, maybe I should actually GO. :)

  • BnJCreations

    BnJCreations said 8 years ago

    I really enjoyed your article and suggestions.

  • CarryTheWord

    CarryTheWord said 8 years ago

    Great advice and so true, small local craft shows can be very profitable!

  • laralewis

    laralewis said 8 years ago

    very helpful! i took notes!

  • juliepeach

    juliepeach said 8 years ago

    Great article... these are tough times, but at least we have each other right? :)

  • threepeats

    threepeats said 8 years ago

    I think everyone, no matter what they do for food, has to get realistic about the economy.

  • alfalfalovesme

    alfalfalovesme said 8 years ago

    It's amazing how the little things you can do really add up...Boo to the Economy, Yay to Etsy!

  • BabbidgePatch

    BabbidgePatch said 8 years ago

    Such good advice, love the article! I would add that as well as diverse price points, diversify your product line. Branch out with complimentary items - almost like a 'one stop shop' for your craft category. If you have seasonal items, diversifying may help to pull you through to more prosperous times!

  • TheSeed

    TheSeed said 8 years ago

    I'm really trying to brainstorm about what kind of stuff people just have to have even if they're really low on money...if only I could just invent something that everyone needs!!!

  • InuInspirations

    InuInspirations said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great article. I was contemplating doing another craft show in a couple months, and you've given me some things to think about

  • WideEyedMusings

    WideEyedMusings said 8 years ago

    Great thoughts. For those of us in the children's market there is an additional hurdle right now. The new consumer lead protection legislation that might wipe us all out balances precariously on top of the economic situation in general. I am quickly looking at loopholes and traversing down new artistic paths in hopes of finding another niche. I like to think though that people throughout this community will be the individuals who find a way to prevail in this new and unknown economic situation. Realistically, we are the ones with the creativity and gumption to try new things, to fight through obstacles and keep look forward.

  • GlassElements

    GlassElements said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great article, and also for all these wonderful comments.

  • KnitzAndFeltz

    KnitzAndFeltz said 8 years ago

    Great Thoughts... Great Article!

  • DesignsbyShellie

    DesignsbyShellie said 8 years ago

    I like the tip about crafters.org. I haven't checked that place out yet!

  • voleurdebijoux

    voleurdebijoux said 8 years ago

    Great article!! Thanks for keeping things in perspective and sharing some good advice!! :)

  • CricketsCreations

    CricketsCreations said 8 years ago

    Great and I couldn't agree more! Way to keep the energy up, craftista! I'm actually selling my scarves like hotcakes (over 400 on Etsy alone in just over a year) and feelin' pretty darn grateful that this is now my fulltime livelihood and I'm making as much as when I worked a "real" job! :) Thanks again & Happy New Year! Celeste (Crickets)

  • adeliamarie

    adeliamarie said 8 years ago

    An excellent article...I have had to recently do a personal inventory (as well as store inventory) and have had to find alternative suppliers for everything including the t-shirt supplier that I usually use...and it has paid off! I've been able to lower my prices a bit, while not feeling like I'm taking that big of a hit! It really does pay to shop around

  • tremundo

    tremundo said 8 years ago

    Great insight and good to hear from someone who sees the importance in self promo. Interacting with potential buyers is so important as well as evaluating process and product. Thank you again for sharing this article! Best to a positive & prosperous New Year to all crafters and artists!

  • tanisalexis

    tanisalexis said 8 years ago

    more self sustainability and knowledge gleaned creates for a more stable future. let's all use our gifts of creativity to find a way to be more independent and more abundant. thanks for writing this inhope. I dig your perspective! :)

  • swallownest

    swallownest said 8 years ago

    I love etsy because of seller like you who so freely share their knowledge about how to succeed. You don't have to do, but you do, and we all benefit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  • KabiDesigns

    KabiDesigns said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the article ^_^

  • desertrabbitdesign

    desertrabbitdesign said 8 years ago

    Excellent article with great points. I'm in a searching for what can I do better conundrum myself after having finished 4 weekends of shows.

  • olsolneo

    olsolneo said 8 years ago

    The don't underestimate the quality of your work thing is so true!! Once I explain that all my earrings are one of a kind, and how long it takes to make a pair, people look it at them more as art than string and metal. Amen sister!!

  • shellieartist

    shellieartist said 8 years ago

    nice article...thank you :)

  • StimplesandStrummels

    StimplesandStrummels said 8 years ago

    "Keep CLAM and carry on"...maybe Lemonroad oughta do a version that actually says THAT! btw--featuring two different shops selling the same slogan & graphic (albeit in different forms)...was that really necessary? Couldn't you have given one of those slots to somebody else?

  • MartaWeaverJewelry

    MartaWeaverJewelry said 8 years ago

    Thanks, I found your article very helpful. If there are any jewelry artisans that use Vintaj Natural Brass and would like to get together on orders we could save some $. Convo me if interested.

  • jewelryinfusions

    jewelryinfusions said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great article and Amen. This was my first year of making a go of the craft thing....and I've been alternately cursing and praising my efforts. The craft shows are definitely a lesson in patience. I'm definitely not going to give up, but wish I had had better timing. I'm definitely more committed to buying handmade myself.

  • nfall2rt

    nfall2rt said 8 years ago

    great points!

  • gpdesignsart

    gpdesignsart said 8 years ago

    Great tips! I think the hardest part of being in business is setting prices. I was amazed to see that scarves elsewhere in the crafting world go fo such a low price point, than the silk scarves I sell in my shop. Each of my scarves took days and hours for each step of the process. I really put them online to diversify and bring in other buyers-- let's face it, there is tons of jewelry! I have learned so much from being on etsy and checking out other artists. But until I have some other source of steady income, I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon!

  • SoapRevolution

    SoapRevolution said 8 years ago

    Wonderful and helpful article! I am thinking of trying my hand at more stuff and see how it blends in with my B&B stuff :) It is hard now, because people would rather buy a cheap bar of "soap" at a dollar store now than buy one that is a bit more but so much better for you. Getting the info out as to WHY your items are better in the long run is key! When my customers know that my stuff is natural, not tested on animals, has no chemicals or detergents versus commercial soaps, then they realize the $3.00 difference is well worth it :)

  • Jamilary

    Jamilary said 8 years ago

    Such a timely article. I completely agree with the notion of doing smaller shows. It's a great way to network and to stay busy during the slow times.

  • teamzvonik

    teamzvonik said 8 years ago

    Thank you! I appreciate the wisdom in your article. I especially appreciate the reminder to detail/market my process in my listings.

  • bijougirldesigns

    bijougirldesigns said 8 years ago

    This is a really good article with great tips that will benefit us during these tough economic times. I'm going to think about how to implement some of your ideas into my business this year. Thanks!

  • podds

    podds said 8 years ago

    Thank you! Thank you! Very Helpful. Honest and Frank, with good practical advice.

  • oldworldprimitives

    oldworldprimitives said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the great advice! Especially #6.. that is something I hadn't thought about yet.

  • SolidArtCollective

    SolidArtCollective said 8 years ago

    fab info, wonderfully put!

  • Kimmi

    Kimmi said 8 years ago

    Great article! Lots of good advice and things to think about! Give good incentive for us to do more local organizing of our own shows.

  • inhope

    inhope said 8 years ago

    hey guys ! thanks so much for all of your positive feedback about this article. I also love all of your extra advice. I love the idea of organizing a craft show your own city. Feel free to keep posting your tips that I might have left out.

  • mmmfiber

    mmmfiber said 8 years ago

    Great stuff. I love to promote, but am strangely lazy about it sometimes. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  • Pieceworks

    Pieceworks said 8 years ago

    I love all the tips. Thanks for reminding us that we need to be more creative in ways to get our product out there!

  • Mimiandlola

    Mimiandlola said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful advice!

  • sideoftheroad

    sideoftheroad said 8 years ago

    Wow! A great article that has some good advice! Thank You so much for the tips, they are much appreciated.

  • barbipoole

    barbipoole said 8 years ago

    Really great article, I haven't set up my store yet and I am taking in all this great advice to get started. Thank you

  • waxandwool

    waxandwool said 8 years ago

    Great no-nonsense advice - thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen said 8 years ago

    Great article!!! 10/10! succinctly put on many pertinent and important points! thanks inhope

  • luxe

    luxe said 8 years ago

    hey cute girl!!! and one of my poppies! squee! mwah.

  • raiycrafts

    raiycrafts said 8 years ago

    I really must have bad luck! It seems like I picked the WORST possible time to be super motivated about taking my jewelry seriously! Well.... Thanks for the reality check and the great tips, esp. the buttons/magnets!

  • laurabrownart

    laurabrownart said 8 years ago

    thanks for the great article! here is a link: http://www.twincities.com/lindgren although this article is about finding a job, i think a lot of the same principles ring true for us d.i.y.er's determined to do what we love for a living. i found it encouraging and thought i would pass it along. i especially love how she basically recommends ignoring the news about financial badness.

  • enfantjoli

    enfantjoli said 8 years ago

    Good advice to let the buyer know the many steps taken before the product is ready for sale. Unique one-of-a-kind items like those being sold on etsy take much more thought and effort then those that are mass produced.

  • tadpolecreations

    tadpolecreations said 8 years ago

    Good business sense balanced with a great sense of humor and a topping of reality.

  • SCJJewelryDesign

    SCJJewelryDesign said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this article. I'm new to etsy and to selling my work, so I'll keep these hints in mind as I develop my business.

  • ROKJEWELRY

    ROKJEWELRY said 8 years ago

    I love to get extra stuff when I order in the internet. I agree as you said it's great to give the person who orders stuff from your site an extra little piece of love even if it is a little sticker. I think stickers make a great self marketing if you write fun stuff on them.

  • stitchcrafter

    stitchcrafter said 8 years ago

    The button thing was brilliant! Just one of many good ideas, thanks.. Personally, I struggle with indecision.. shd I edit and streamline, choosing to focus on what I know best, or experiment and expand to try to draw more potential customers.. I hate to spread myself too thin, or become sort of ill-defined, but worry about being too exclusive, w/o broad enough appeal.. It's tricky..

  • beautifulbridget

    beautifulbridget said 8 years ago

    Wonderful tips, thanks so much!!

  • madeofjacinta

    madeofjacinta said 8 years ago

    Great article! Superb!

  • LazyTcrochet

    LazyTcrochet said 8 years ago

    Great ideas that hit home for many of us. Thanks for sharing.

  • TheCottageCheese

    TheCottageCheese said 8 years ago

    Great tips! I am lucky to have work lined up for a couple of months at my day job (home renovations), however during those months that I am without much work I hope to be able grow my Etsy shops, live simply and frugally (as I already do), and make it through. We will all get through this, and maybe the silver lining is that tough times produce more creative ideas and responsible consumption!

  • beefancee

    beefancee said 8 years ago

    This was my first craft show season in years! I was happy that I profited, but knew immediately at the end of the first show the economy has impacted this area as well. I did not see people walking by with armloads of goodies, and as you said, it was a season of looking. I appreciate your advice, and love to grasp onto whatever input I can get. I would like to offer a bit of my own, WORD OF MOUTH -- it is free, and in my experience, the most reliable. Also, good ol fashioned curteous behavior, whether it be sending an email and asking if it would be okay to send email updates on new items (which is another suggestion for free advertising), right down to, communicating with the customer throughout the process from purchase to them receiving the item. Always be appreciative, please and thank you's leave a huge impact.

  • cpaulos

    cpaulos said 8 years ago

    Great tips!

  • artsyfingers

    artsyfingers said 8 years ago

    Thanks for your great tips and ideas;it is true times has changed. Just remembering the days when I had so many orders I had to work day and night .Today being flexible is a key word and one has to adjust to a new market.

  • wallywarepottery

    wallywarepottery said 8 years ago

    Great article! The current economic situation is "inspiring" me to improve my business and look for new ways to market my work. I started a blog last fall and I just joined Etsy last week. My hottest selling mug last season was "My 401K went to hell and all I got was a coffee mug" I know, I know, it's kind of cheesy but it really struck a nerve with a lot of people. Thanks for the intelligent words! Tom http://wallywonderdog.blogspot.com

  • mereditharcari

    mereditharcari said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the informative information. I'm new to etsy and starting at this time in the economy is a bit stressful, but with these tips I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • yessysdesigns

    yessysdesigns said 8 years ago

    Very practical suggestions. Thanks for all that helpful useful information. I hope I can keep improving in my new Etsy shop. Thanks again and hope the best for your shop and for your love of crafting!!

  • ReThreads

    ReThreads said 8 years ago

    Good advice to do the smaller local shows. I did surprisingly well this season, despite the bleak local economy. I believe that people want to support local businesses and they're very aware of their impact on the environment now, so crafting recycled goods is a big selling point. Glad to see that "Crickets" is doing so well! :-)

  • daisylouise

    daisylouise said 8 years ago

    Great article- very encouraging!

  • christinenorton

    christinenorton said 8 years ago

    Thank you for a great article. I just set up my Etsy shop over the weekend...have been stewing in a depression for the past month because last year was so tough. 2009 is a new year - and these are GREAT tips! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! Now, on to your shop to check out some yarn...droooooooolllll!!!

  • smashgirl

    smashgirl said 8 years ago

    Wonderful tips-thanks!

  • SweetAngels5

    SweetAngels5 said 8 years ago

    New to Etsy, I haven't posted any items yet.I guess when you put so much time and detail into a item it's kinda tough putting your work out for others to examine. I thank you for the encouraging article,I will take your words to heart as I continue to work on my sight.Have Blessed Year.

  • tanyap

    tanyap said 8 years ago

    what a great article! I know everyone has already said that tons of times but thats all i got :)

  • nuyoricangreetings

    nuyoricangreetings said 8 years ago

    loved your article - thanks so much for the great tips!

  • thecaliforniachi

    thecaliforniachi said 8 years ago

    Great article. Fantastic tips.

  • BluCille

    BluCille said 8 years ago

    Cool typewriter ring.

  • simplylovlee

    simplylovlee said 8 years ago

    Thank you for the article! Great tips and the point about using creativity in my marketing. Hmmmm!!! What can I do to promote??? Love the advice. Very Timely! www.simplylovlee.blogspot.com www.wifeworkingmommyartist.blogspot.com

  • urbancottage1

    urbancottage1 said 8 years ago

    Great article! Thank you for your insights!

  • atomicblue

    atomicblue said 8 years ago

    Yay Crickets...Can't sell a scarf from my other (Hatdiva) shop if I tried ;) Though my *new* handspun yarn/fiber shop has really taken off! Here-here on #2 Hubby & I work from home. We downsized from a 1,200 sq ft home, 900 sq ft studio, and 1,800 sq ft shop to: a 650 sq ft home (NO MORTAGAGE!) a 220 sq ft studio a 900 sq ft shop (he's a machinist) Smaller is cheaper. I don't travel farther than 100+ miles to shows. No more Seattle, San Francisco, or Jackson Hole. I only do 4 shows a year, mostly local. I seriously live beneath my means. Our new place was a tar paper shack until we sided it with James Hardie! We don't live in a metropolitan area...we don't go out to restaurants, or movies. It's Netflix & homemade pizza. I drive a car that gets 50mpg ('03 VW Jetta) it might have a dent, and a few scratches...but it's paid for! We don't take vacations, we work all the time...we live in a breathtaking beautiful part if Idaho. We enjoy the small things. Really! P.s. I hear Oil City, PA wants artists, and they have cheap housing!

  • OffTheHooks

    OffTheHooks said 8 years ago

    great article and ideas! I really like the buttons, and the promotion of a local economy!

  • a4ds

    a4ds said 8 years ago

    wow, thanks for including our "tax the rich" button! It's from a series of work we did about the economic crisis, so it's cool to be included on this story! Speaking of tips for weathering the economic storm, I have two other shops, and one, celestechristie.etsy.com, I feel definitely benefits from the "taking the time to let your customer know what went into making the product," so people feel that the price is justified. I send out little cards that I made myself at the copy store, and they detail the process with drawings. The other shop, ccstar.etsy.com, got a HUGE jump in sales when I added a lower price point product, and it works great for me too because instead of my other items, it's not one-of-a-kind, so I can relist when I sell something and get extra views that way.

  • TheVintageGypsies

    TheVintageGypsies said 8 years ago

    Great article!! specially for those of us who are new to Etsy and trying to develop our business in an economy like the current one. Thanks so much for the great tips.

  • ElizaHoneyShed

    ElizaHoneyShed said 8 years ago

    Great tips and thanks for the pointers. Sometimes its hard out there for a crafter!

  • timesandchimes

    timesandchimes said 8 years ago

    I really want to thank you for this timely, informative article.

  • Leelinau

    Leelinau said 8 years ago

    good tips, love the "will craft for food" pic ^__^

  • beadlove2211

    beadlove2211 said 8 years ago

    Love your tips! I like your pic even better! I just might do that! LOL

  • redyellowandblueink

    redyellowandblueink said 8 years ago

    Good article-great tips and insight on getting some perspective and looking at things differently. Especially about the smaller local craft shows-I haven't done the craft fair thing yet, the article gave me a different way to think about it, thanks.

  • 4TheSparrowsNest

    4TheSparrowsNest said 8 years ago

    A beautifully encouraging article, thank you...and thanks for everyone else's input as well!

  • hempandmore

    hempandmore said 8 years ago

    These are great ideas truly! As creative people, we all need to realize we also create our situations, and to be open to growth and change, as well as realize it is time to let go of what isn't working anymore hehe! Yes, the economy "sucks" but I have made a decision: NOT for me! And because of that, I attract more customers because there is an increasing awareness that they spend the same amount of money on an item shipped from China that is not custom (and often not made with positive uplifting energy). People WANT to know where their money is going. On the note of suppliers - great idea, as long as they still have the integrity you need. Don't underestimate opening your mind to recycling to get your supplies for virtually free :-) LOVE consignment, and I personally like it better than craft fairs. There are people out there that will not buy something on the internet unless they can TOUCH and see the item, and our local stores can help us with this and we in turn help them stay in business - it is worth the time investment for me that they take the time and space to sell it for me! THANKS again!

  • inhope

    inhope said 8 years ago

    I love the idea of recycling for supplies hempandmore. Once things started getting tight, I started looking at scraps in a whole new light. Now I used everything and if I cannot think of a way to use my scraps I just hold on to them for when I can.

  • mrsmaddenmakes

    mrsmaddenmakes said 8 years ago

    Like you I agree, what can we do ourselves to promote our businesses cost effectively? Word of mouth and networking with other crafters is a MUST and has paid off for me more than leaflets etc. Have a great year. If you can survive this climate economic you can survive anything!

  • fantasyair4u

    fantasyair4u said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom,I will apply what I learned here. All I need now is a miracle of Biblical proportions!....I think that is what we all need now.

  • sharonilg

    sharonilg said 8 years ago

    Everything they said^ and more. great advise

  • asking4u

    asking4u said 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, I think in time things might turn around.

  • TheEccentricLady

    TheEccentricLady said 8 years ago

    I really enjoyed the comments here. This takes me back to my childhood where we made all our drapries, pillows,christmas decorations and my mom saved EVERYTHING, just in case. I'm glad I have that background because it has helped me scale back without pain and actually brought me back to old crafting I haven't done in awhile. Soon i will be featuring pillows I have made with fabric I thought I'd quilt (someday). well someday is now and I need the extra cash so heres to Etsy and handmade! I haven't let my inner artest free for years and I am having the time of my life. Looking forward to a productive 2009.

  • beladonnajewels

    beladonnajewels said 8 years ago

    these are awesome tips. Thank you!

  • BellesBeadsNThings

    BellesBeadsNThings said 8 years ago

    Such great advice... thanks!!

  • TexasBeauties

    TexasBeauties said 8 years ago

    Awesome article. Thanks for your tips.

  • dnash

    dnash said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • FaithHats

    FaithHats said 8 years ago

    It certainly has been the case in my business of my expensive clothing line dropping off in sales, while the affordable hats are still doing well. The trouble I'm having now is how to keep my assistants well-paid, and not go under in the process. Fortunately, neither of them totally depend on my business for survival like I am. One suggestion though: make things yourself. Make a new bathing suit (they're really not that hard), learn to darn socks, alter that dress to fit right. Making it, and making do, is a great way to save money.

  • midnighttosix

    midnighttosix said 8 years ago

    Recessions like this though certainly makes you get a bit creative not only in your business but at home too. I am learning to knit!

  • misohappi

    misohappi said 8 years ago

    Great suggestions for survival in these challenging times. Thanks for sharing!

  • lovarevolutionary

    lovarevolutionary said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the awesome article!

  • LexieLane

    LexieLane said 8 years ago

    Good tips! Now to find some local craft shows. It doesn't seem like we have many in this part of the country at this time of year.

  • kingfishercrafts

    kingfishercrafts said 8 years ago

    Love these helpful tips. Let the process documenting begin.

  • llkdesigns

    llkdesigns said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the support!

  • shiplett

    shiplett said 8 years ago

    Great advice! You are so right people love to get free things! I know I do.

  • AnnaKayCreations

    AnnaKayCreations said 8 years ago

    Great article!

  • sheenajewellery

    sheenajewellery said 8 years ago

    very true and useful advice! Thanks for the tips.

  • ZoeFletcherGallery

    ZoeFletcherGallery said 8 years ago

    Lots of creative selling thoughts here. Thanks.

  • NatureGnome

    NatureGnome said 8 years ago

    I can relate...people gasp when I tell them about the process of creating my more intricate work. Underestimating the quality of our work and trying to compete with wallmart is not the way to go! Let's stay true to ourselves, continue to work and think creatively, and hope for the best. My favorite thing about etsy is the feeling that we are in this together (even though I'm a newbie).. :)

  • beaneandco

    beaneandco said 8 years ago

    I am always worried if my prices are right. People always tell me when they see my work in person that I don't charge enough...but nothing seems to sell on my sight until I lower the prices to the point that I'm not making any money. It is very frustrating! Thanks so much for the valuable info.

  • theballandskein

    theballandskein said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tips and I love the button Idea....

  • pumpkinbear

    pumpkinbear said 8 years ago

    I don't know, I have a really hard time with the local shows because my stuff can be pretty fangeek and otherwise pretty alternative--not quite as tempting to my local market! It's taken me a really long time to figure out ways to make some of my stuff still satisfying to me, but still mass-marketable AND still have enough personality to tempt people away from the real mass market, you know?

  • wearthou

    wearthou said 8 years ago

    Great advice here! I've put a several things on sale dropping them as much as $10 off - in some cases it worked. I think we all notice the drop in sales but nows the time to re-take photos, really check out all the stuff Etsy has to offer and don't forget Mother's Day is just around the corner. Should get some sales then, I hope!!!

  • spitfaced

    spitfaced said 8 years ago

    :)

  • ConchitaCreates

    ConchitaCreates said 8 years ago

    InHope--thanks for the great the tips & inspiration to expand our thinking beyond our comfort zone. I think many of us keep trying to lower our prices on our Art, but this reminds us that there are other ways to survive while still keeping a sense of self-worth!

  • BeadUSenseless

    BeadUSenseless said 8 years ago

    I love your article...has lots of great, common sense info. But most of all I LOVE your picture! We've got to keep our sense of humor when times are tough. I'm thinking of doing my own picture; decked out to the nines in my own jewelry...something like the flashy jewelry diva down on her luck!

  • WoodPigeon

    WoodPigeon said 8 years ago

    great advice! love the first picture (too cute)!

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 7 years ago

    I hate money!

  • joyelizabethceramics

    joyelizabethceramics said 7 years ago

    i've re4ad this a year later than it was published - lets hope that 2010 is a better year for all. Great tips and advice.

  • TimmerysBebeBling

    TimmerysBebeBling said 7 years ago

    Great article. Lots of good points.

  • NicheWomensClothing

    NicheWomensClothing said 7 years ago

    I'm just getting started and really appreciate the good business advice and information. The tips and comments from other sellers is also so helpful and encouraging.

  • QuiltFinger

    QuiltFinger said 7 years ago

    I'm having trouble with charging enough to cover, as the article says, the time-consuming processes and expensive materials, I agree it's important to educate your buyers to they know what they are paying for.

  • febejstudio

    febejstudio said 7 years ago

    Well I am glad I came across this article ...I usually just scan things but now I need to stop and start reading it will save all artians a great deal of time to just stop and take time to read;)

  • fabiusmaximus

    fabiusmaximus said 7 years ago

    Great, thought-provoking advice. Thanks for sharing your tips with us!

  • itsaten

    itsaten said 7 years ago

    Great advice and I think it is still relevant a year later. Lets hope things start turning around! Keep on crafting!

  • slpdesigns

    slpdesigns said 7 years ago

    Great ideas and advice for a Etsy newbie.....Thats really true about telling customers about the time and money spent....I do jewelry and most people think it just entails wire and beads. But to create a piece of jewelry you need that and much more little findings that the eye misses!!! But once you explain, "Oh wow". Thanks for the good advice.

  • slpdesigns

    slpdesigns said 7 years ago

    Just waiting for my first sale....But I think the tuff times are starting???? to come back. I SURE HOPE SO!!!

  • NaturalAmber

    NaturalAmber said 7 years ago

    This is a wonderful article, and that picture "will craft for food" love it. Very inspiring post!

  • AttentionDeficit

    AttentionDeficit said 7 years ago

    I cant make up my mind on what to make. It is hard because of my disability. I am trying to spread the word about an epidemic but am not really sure if I should refer to it in my store, I am right now, but considering removing it. What do you guys think? I would love some feedback on that. I cant seem to give anything away and don't know why? I guess I will be going to visit Craftster.org and see what I can learn there. It is very hard to be on the computer long because I have narcolepsy and fall asleep a lot when reading so I am trying, but cant think of how to get around some of my disabilities mostly with the computer part of the work.

  • Google said 1 year ago

    Google Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a couple of unrelated information, nonetheless really worth taking a search, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got more problerms as well.

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