Starting a Craft Business

Launching a New Craft Business? start here!

Starting a craft business can be as simple as setting up a small table at a local show, or as sophisticated as a developing a full-scale business plan with long term financial forecasting, marketing plans and growth strategies. Or it can fall somewhere in between.

I was lucky to be able to participate in a year-long small business training program when I started my company. I worked with mentors who guided me through the early stages, and I dove into my business well prepared with a business plan, good bookkeeping tools, an idea of how I would structure my time and access to mentors to help me along the way.

I know most people don't have access to that level of support and training. In fact, around the time I realized how fortunate I was to have all of that support was when I decided to share everything I could on this site so others could benefit.

Don't let the thought of lots of planning overwhelm you. You do not have to have all of the things I mentioned in place when starting a craft business.

In fact, that's what's great about this type of business - You can commit as much or as little time as you like depending on what you want from your business and how you plan to prioritize your business with your other commitments. You can be as casual or as formal as you like based on your priorities and expectations.

Of course, the more time and effort you put into planning your business, the more ready you'll be to recognize and grab great opportunities, avoid mistakes and grow in a direction that makes sense for you and works with your values, goals and priorities.

On This PAge

There'a a lot of information for new craft business owners here. You can take your time and read through it all, or, if you're in a hurry, click the links below to jump down to a specific section on this page.

What Type of Business is Right for You

Setting Up Your Craft Studio

Starting Your Business

What Type of Business is Right For You?

Be Smart And Start a Business That is Right For You

You can build a craft business in a lot of ways. In fact, the number of forms a craft business can take might be surprising. Gone are the days when you were limited to doing shows and selling to indie retailers. There are so many more ways you can build a creative business. Every decision from what craft media you work with, what style you adopt, and how you reach your customers will come together to form the unique structure of your business.

When starting a craft business, in order to develop the type of business that is satisfying to you, it is important to think through things like:

  • how you like to work
  • how you like to interact with customers
  • how your business will impact other aspects of your life
  • how much time you can or want to devote to your business
  • what you want to achieve with your business

How to Find the Right Craft Business for You

I've developed a 19 week course that shows you, step by step, how to find a craft business idea that's a great fit with your strengths and is in harmony with your business goals. Taking some time to really assess your ideas before you dive in can help you move forward faster, and ensure you're developing the type of business that really meets your needs.

19 Types of Craft Businesses 

Want to think beyond selling at craft shows and on Etsy? Here are 19 different types of craft businesses. Which one works best for you?

Do You Have the Skills You Need to Build a Craft Business?

Craft Business Goals

Do you have what it takes to build a craft business? A transferable skills analysis will uncover your strengths and find areas for improvement.

Grow the Business You Want 

Craft Business Goals

Without long term goals, your business is just floating from day to day. Your dreams are just vague, unexamined hopes without direction. Here's how you can look at the big picture and start turning your dreams into reality.

Goal Setting Guidance 

Goal Setting Tips for Craft Artists

If you know you need to set long term goals for your business, but you don't have the first clue where to start, this article is for you.

Setting SMART Goals

Goal Setting Tips for Craft Artists

SMART goals are awesome! These are not the useless little goals you write down one weekend only to forget about  them a week later. SMART goals are tools that help you to achieve your ambitions. Find out how to develop goals that actually propel your business forward.

Best Selling Crafts 

Examining the types of crafts that sell well and the types of crafts that are most profitable. You might be surprised to see, they are not always the same thing.

Jewelry Making Business

Wondering how I started my creative business? My business has gone through a lot of changes, but it all started with handmade jewelry, Here's how I got started selling jewelry many years ago.

Candle Making Business

Are you thinking about starting a candle making business? Here are some thoughts to consider before you get started.

Soap Making Business

 If you're looking at selling your handmade soaps, read on for some ideas for creating a soap making business.

The Lost Art of Clothespin Dolls 

Debbie Ritter shares her thoughts about selling on Etsy and describes how she started selling her clothespin dolls.

Setting UP yOur Craft Studio

You Must Have a Dedicated Work Space

If you're going to be truly productive and work as efficiently as possible, you really do need a dedicated work space. It doesn't have to be extravagant, but it should be functional.

This lesson is probably the first and most important lesson I learned when I started to work from home. It is very difficult to succeed at working from home if you don't have a dedicated place to work.

A dedicated home office / craft room allows you to:

  • Organize your tools and supplies in a way that fits with your workflow
  • Have a quiet space where you can go to think and create
  • Save time searching for things or moving things that you would otherwise have to pack away if you worked in a space that was not a designated work space
  • Signal to yourself and others that your are working
My craft roomMy Craft Room

I love working in my little office / craft room. It's not a huge space, but it is bright and pretty. It has an enormous amount of storage space for such a tiny room as well as a good-sized work surface. It's my favorite room in my house!

I have a combined home office / craft studio space. I do not have a large home, in fact my home is smaller than most (less space to clean!), but I've been able to carve out a home office in a small, bright spare bedroom.

You don't need a huge, fancy space, but you do need a dedicated spot where you can store your supplies, work undisturbed and leave your work spread out if necessary.

I don't always work in my office / craft room, especially when I'm doing computer work. I'm just as likely to have the laptop out on the kitchen counter, or be working in the living room. I have young children, so I often have to work whenever and wherever I can grab some time and space. But I do have a dedicated place where I can close the door and think, store all of my supplies, and spread out projects when I need to. It would be very difficult to run my business without that space.

Here are a Few Things I've LEarned About Creating a Craft Room

My Craft Room 

Here's a tour of my office / craft room - my favorite room in my house! I hope it give you some inspiration for planning your own studio.

Inside the Creative Studio

If you want advice and inspiration for creating a craft studio that is attractive and functional, check out this is great book with lots of photos of real working craft studios.

Craft Room Design 

Tips to help you design a craft room that goes beyond pretty and is extremely functional

Craft Storage 

Of course storage is always an issue. Here are several craft storage tips and ideas.

Starting Your Business

There are all kinds of practical things to take into account when starting a craft business. First, and foremost, you really need to make a commitment to do what it takes to build your business.

If you intend to grow your business beyond a table at the local school or church bazaar, you'll need to think about exactly what type of business best meets your needs and how you'll plan ahead to:

  • meet deadlines
  • create inventory
  • finance your business
  • forecast income and expenses
  • keep appropriate levels of raw materials on-hand

It's not rocket science, but there are several practicalities that can quickly become important when you start a home craft business. You'll find lots of information and resources for managing your business here.

Why "Follow Your Passion" is Terrible Advice 

I'm sure you've heard the advice that you should follow your passion, and success will follow. I cringe every time I hear someone say that. Here's why that advice is harmful and what you should do instead.

My Suggestions for Starting a Craft Business

A reader asked for some general tips about getting started with her craft business. Here is her question and my response to her.

List of Craft Forums 

Craft forums can be an excellent resource, particularly when you are expanding your skills with a specific type of craft, learning to work as efficiently as possible or looking for great sources of inexpensive supplies.

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