As a crafter, co-founder of Cincinnati’s Crafty Supermarket and the author of two books (Crafty Superstar and Crafty Superstar Ultimate Craft Business Guide), Grace Dobush is an expert on running a successful DIY business.
Whether you make beaded jewelry, beauty balms or bric-a-brac for brainiacs, Dobush’s top three tips apply to just about any successful DIY business:
1. Stand out from the pack.
The most successful crafty businesspeople are the ones who find a niche for themselves. So rather than following trends, you should always strive to find something that you do better or differently from anyone else, and make that your shtick. Refine it, redefine it, perfect it, and you’ll be ahead of 90% of the pack.
Here are some companies that stand out with their specialties on Etsy:
- Larken Design
- Nervous System: Modern Jewelry Inspired by Nature
- Kitty Baby Love: Eco Baby Crayons & Kitty-Themed Gifts
- Abbey Christine: Little felt wonders since 2005
- Visualingual: We make things about places.
- Miss Chief
2. Talk yourself up.
A lot of artistic and crafty people have trouble tooting their own horns, but in the business world, this is just called marketing. If you don’t talk yourself up, no one else will.
3. Learn to love the business side.
Lots of artsy people feel like the financial side is overwhelming and beyond their grasp. But it’s super essential to get familiar with how businesses run (even if you’re handing off your finances to an accountant) so that you can make good decisions about your business and help it grow.
I’ve become totally obsessed with Fast Company, because it features great examples of how creative people are running businesses and how businesses require creativity to thrive.
Question for you: What are your tips for making money with a handmade or Etsy business? Post your suggestions in Comments below.
Want more of Grace Dobush’s advice? Read “‘Crafty Superstar’ author shares 5 tips for getting a crafty book published”.