Sell Arts and Crafts Online
She had taken the bookselling job after graduating in textile design from Nottingham, and began by selling cards and nail transfer stickers at fairs during her spare time. “Once I finished university, I had no idea what I wanted to do, ” she said.
“I’d only made the nail stickers the night before I set up the Etsy shop. As soon as I put them online, they went crazy, ” she said.
Miss Broughton said she now tailors her products to their popularity online and customers who write in with specific requests. “I had people writing to me all the time asking to do cocktail designs.”
“The next thing I know, I was making cocktails on everything – cards, nails, prints.”
Miss Broughton advises other would-be craftmakers to set up a website to find out which products sell. It costs her just £1 to set up the webpage and a few pence per listing.
Miss Broughton advised craftmakers to set up a website to find out which products sell
One year into selling online, she began getting offers from shops across the world to stock her home-made goods. “My first sale was to a shop in Canada who bought these animal brooches. I stopped making them when I realised they took too long to make.”
Miss Broughton moved into part-time work before quitting her job completely. “I used to work in the evenings, but I was really struggling to keep up with orders and realised I had not been able to think of new designs for a while.”
She moved back to her Yorkshire hometown three years ago. “When you leave university you think you have to go to London and get a job, ” she said.
“Then suddenly I was working for myself.”
Miss Broughton receives a handful of orders a day on average, but said that every work day is different. “If something does well on the Facebook or Twitter page, I often can’t predict it. It happened recently with badges so I asked some friends to help me out.”
Miss Broughton advised anyone with a penchant for crafts to set up a shop online. “It’s zero risk, it costs a few pence to list items, and if things don’t sell you try something different.”
She has no current plans to employ extra help. “I like how it is at the moment, and I like being in control – whether it’s the designs or the easy jobs like packing and posting, ” she said.
'Our shop cost us £1 and now we make £20, 000’
Karli and Jacques working on their dinosaur jewellery from home
Couple Jacques Keogh, 27, and Karli Dendy, 26, started selling dinosaur crafts through Etsy after struggling to find design jobs since graduating from Sussex University.
The pair, still based in Brighton, have made and sold thousands of dinosaur-themed bracelets, baubles, earrings and more through the shopping site.
“We’ve branched out a bit from our Triceratops designs, but find the dinosaur creations really popular, ” Miss Dendy said.
The shop, which turns over £20, 000 a year, now gets around 500 views a day and achieves 15 sales a week. “I’ve given up work but Jacques still works in a bar. We hope as the business grows that we can both go full time, ” Miss Dendy said.
Miss Dendy said the shop had bagged them invites to take part in pop-up shops, craft fairs and 30 stockists in Britain and worldwide. “We know that some people want to buy in real life, so we try to get our crafts into shops too.”
How to sell your home-made crafts online
You may be a genius at turning some glue and paper into a craft, but online sellers should be business-minded, too. Retail expert Clare Rayner, author of The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, said: “It’s vital to appreciate legalities like good regulation, if you should be a limited company, and if you need product liability insurance.
“If a customer clams they were injured by one of your products, you could lose everything you’ve built up.”
Get professional advice before investing your savings in the business, in order to find out the costs of accounting structures and insurance costs.
Another pitfall is undervaluing your products. Ms Rayner said: “Consider your time in making crafts, how many years it took to develop your skills, and the surplus of running a business.”
To work out pricing, find out what similar goods are selling for and ensure you are pocketing enough after costs to earn a fair wage.
Etsy: The Etsy Entrepreneur, Become an Etsy Entrepreneur Everything You Need to Know to Make a Living Selling on Etsy (Etsy, Etsy income, Online Business, Art)
Handmade for Profit!: Hundreds of Secrets to Success in Selling Arts & Crafts
Book (M. Evans & Company)