Hi, I would like to introduce to you a lady called Diane who I met recently, at a Craft Fair, she actually lives quite close to me and when she mentioned her name I recognised it straight away as somebody who is very supportive and comments quite a bit on the TCN Facebook and Blog page.
Although she has been making crafts for a number of years she has never taken the plunge to start selling what she makes. Her main problem being she is undecided which craft she would like to pursue as a business, as she likes many crafts, but feels she ought to focus on just one to start with.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to follow her on her journey of discovery and decisions, as I am sure many of you and I certainly have been uncertain sometimes which path to travel in this creative world of handmade crafts.
Right, to start off with, the title question is a waste of time. I know the answer. It’s no!
Just typing those words though is a revelation to me. I really enjoy making cards and I love the process of creating cards and making them relevant to each person I make for. People who receive them really appreciate the effort and personalisation involved. Making cards is what got me into crafting over three years ago now.
The story starts. It was October half-term. I was a single mum with a week off work to look after my daughter. I wasn’t motivated to go out, as I had an illness at the time and it just made me want to curl up inside and not go anywhere. One day I sat in the lounge and switched the TV on.
It was the “Same old rubbish” of daytime TV, so I continued to flick the remote; ….. “Oh, hold on a minute, what’s this? There were two ladies having a good giggle whilst making a card”. I’d found channel 36 on Freeview and I was watching Create and Craft using one of MyCraftStudio’scd-roms to help make a card. I don’t think I moved much that afternoon, as I was transfixed to the TV and the very amateurish ‘real-life’ way they were being filmed. It felt un-staged and live as indeed it was/still is. I loved the way they put the cards together,I loved the amount of fun they were having. I was hooked!
I’d always tried to get my daughter to do crafty things and I had a full cupboard of paints, glue, papers, stencils, collage stuff, beads and all sorts of crafty goodness for children. I used to be a teacher and I’d always enjoyed the times when I could let the children’s creativity find new means of expression. This was different though. This was for ME! A whole new ball game, a whole new way of life; whole new spending opportunities more like!
Since that day, I’ve made many different cards for various occasions and I blog about their creation. The blogging is important to me, as I have had such help and inspiration from other bloggers, that I thought I might one day be able to help even just one person with my offerings.
My Blog if you are interested: http://networkedblogs.com/vILaM
Going back to the title of this article, Will I sell Cards? And already knowing my answer is No, this is why…
Let’s imagine my sister’s birthday is coming up. This is the routine I tend to go through.
- Is it a special birthday? If not, is there something in particular she likes, such as cats?
- What papers do I have, either real or digital?
- What layout am I going to do? – This involves either internet searching or scrolling through my magazines for inspiration.
- Have I got all the things I need to create the card chosen e.g lace?; particular Cricut cartridge?; certain stamp? If not, I either have to change the card I’m making or wait until I can buy that item or think of a replacement item.
- Have I done the technique before? If not, I need to practise it.
- Complete card, with or without ‘hitches’, interruptions or people wanting to speak to me!! Honestly, I wish people wouldn’t call when I’m making a card – some even have the cheek to call round for a cuppa and want a natter- such outrageous rudeness!
- Create the envelope with embossing and/or seal closure
Phew! I’m out of breath just thinking about it.
Who wants to receive a fancy birthday card a week late? That’s right; nobody!
To be a success at selling cards, I would need to settle with about five designs to start with I think. Perhaps I would ask some friends to give votes for which styles they think are the most likely to be popular. It’s a very difficult market as there are so many places where you can buy cards. The majority of people tend to buy cards as and when they’re needed; not in advance. To be able to have the exact card somebody wants, at the exact time they want it, would make it very difficult for me to sell cards, considering the time it takes me to make them. I would imagine (I’m certainly open to card making business ladies to prove me wrong here) that it’s best to keep card designs simple yet effective. I’ve seen several blogs of card makers and that seems to be the best way forward. That way, you’re far more likely to appeal to a wider market. I have yet to master that technique or to speed up my process, hence my reason for saying that I doubt I could make a viable business out of making cards.
There’s more to this crafty business idea than we initially think! Next time I’m going to run through my ideas about possibly starting a scrapbooking service/business.
If you have been on a journey like this too, we would love to hear your comments and advice!