Last night I received a message from an Etsy user asking me for advice. I was asked how hard it was to make what I make and how I started my business. I love these kinds of questions! I’m always open to questions from anyone- customers or not. I think it’s also a very great question. With the surge in popularity with the handmade market, now is one of the best times to delve into a previously indie, underground market. The popularity hasn’t made it much easier for anyone to jump into. I think the more introverted crafter will feel intimidated in todays saturated market of mustached themed items and pop culture wares.
For those looking to start crafting or maybe to learn a few more techniques: the internet is your friend! In the modern age where you can find pretty much anything online, crafting is no exception. Like myself, many crafters and business owners have blogs. Blogs are great places to learn new things and learn from the trials and errors of others. I frequent the Soap Queen blog myself! The Soap Queen blog and YouTube channel is what started my soap making adventures! You may find a hidden talent or new passion just from looking around.
Aside from blogs you can find a good number of forums for general crafting to a specific medium. I am part of a soap makers forum that I try to help others with. It’s a great place to learn and ask questions. I will let you know that some forum members may be business owners and might not be so quick to divulge their secrets. Try not to take it personally, they’re just protecting their work! I’ve found most people are still happy to help with troubleshooting, advice and just general human interaction. I’ve come to learn personal stories of forum members and we are a very open and honest bunch.
If you’re looking to start a business I strongly encourage thinking about it for a while. You may have to ask some tough questions: “Can I keep myself interested enough to make the same thing over and over?” “Is money going to be an issue?” “Will I still be able to balance life with my family and a business?”. These are questions you need to be able to answer before you start. Talk it over with friends and family. Understand their concerns, especially if you live with them! Try not to let any bad feedback shake you. I’ll be honest, I had some less than supportive family when I first started. They know businesses are hard to start and it take a lot of time and love to grow. Sometimes they just need to see it happen. I’m certainly on my way!
Finally, find your passion. I wouldn’t have started my business if I didn’t love having mica powder on my clothes and my hands wrists deep in wax and glycerin! A business will not succeed if you don’t have any passion for your craft. Find inspiration and you’ll be proud of what you make. Carry a notebook, sketchbook or a journal everywhere with you. Write or sketch what inspires you. The challenge is translating that thought into a reality. It’s a challenge I thoroughly enjoy and anyone with a real passion for their craft will enjoy as well.
Keep up with my shop & social media!:
Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBlackCurrant