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Guest Blog – Setting up a craft business Part 2

Flamingo Fabric

Hello again! Carrying on from my blog yesterday, something that I’ve found quite challenging in setting up my craft business is how to price my products. Looking at similar items that are on the market is all very well but if they’re mass produced it’s doubtful you’ll be able to match the price if you want to cover your costs and pay yourself a decent wage. Because I want as many aspects as possible with my products to be handmade they can be quite time intensive but a good balance has to be reached between charging a fair amount for my time and materials and what the customer is prepared to pay.

I try to keep my expenses down wherever possible. I already own a sewing machine and an overlocker as well as all of the haberdashery and assorted bits and pieces I’ve inherited from my Grandmother (which I’ll be posting about soon on my own blog). I think my biggest expense will be fabric. I can’t buy large rolls wholesale because I don’t have the storage space for them but there are some great places to pick up fabric locally and occasionally I find a gem on Ebay, like this pink flamingo cotton I picked up a while ago.

I love being able to recycle bits and pieces wherever possible and I have a drawer full of handbag handles in my studio just waiting for the right project. There’s a lot of bamboo, some new and some vintage, some vintage deadstock lucite and some wood. Some have been cannibalised from other bags found in charity shops and some I’ve made myself from wooden dowelling decorated with pyrography. I’d love to take a wood working class at some point in the future so I can start carving more unusual ones and have already looked into the possibility of working with resin. I’ve got plenty to be getting on with in the meantime though!

So once the products are made you need to advertise and sell them. All of the advice I’ve seen from other designer/makers, blogs and forums says to get the highest quality photos possible and again I’m very lucky in that one of my very good friends Emma Neale (Miss Rain Photography) has offered to take studio shots for me. Not only that but a couple of friends from the burlesque world Anna Fur Laxis and Diva Hollywood have offered to model some of my items too. I’m incredibly grateful to all of them for their help and will certainly be sending some goodies their way as payment in trade!

As well as my Folksy shop I’m planning on selling at as many craft fairs as possible this year with Charlotte. Our styles complement each other well and we’re already thinking about how to display our wares and what to wear! Sharing a stall keeps the costs down as we can split the fee, there’s someone to watch the stall if you need to pee want to have a wander and the company is always a plus!

So there you go. My two week guest stint is at an end. Thanks for reading my ramblings, I hope you found them vaguely interesting. Please keep checking back to see what’s happening on my blog or the Facebook page. I’ll be updating the Folksy store very soon with some goodies and remember I’ll be making things to order too so if you’re after something specific that you haven’t been able to find anywhere else send me an email! Maybe I’ll see you at one of those craft fairs, come and say hello!

red.anchor.emp@hotmail.co.uk

A big thank you to Ellie for sharing an insight into setting up a new textile and crafts based business, if you’re interested in joining us as a guest blogger check out how on our Contact Us page.