Top 10 Ways to Turn Handmade Talent into $$$

Top 10 Ways to Turn Handmade Talent into $$$
by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Top 10 Ways to Turn Handmade Talent into $$$ The value placed on handcrafted, one-of-a-kind goods is continually increasing. Consumers are much more aware of how they are spending their money and they take pride in knowing they have created something one-of-a-kind or have purchased a handmade item.

The status quo of going out to buy things has been replaced with the idea of staying home to make things. With a growing sense of peer pressure to not buy anything, more and more people are exploring their own talents and creativity to make their own things. And if they can't make it, they are interested in learning how or purchasing the handmade goods from an artist that can.

So how can you capitalize on this?
Here are the Top 10 Ways to Turn Handmade Talent into $$$:

1. Wear your creations! You are your best advertisement (and it's free!). Be ready when others ask about your designs--share the story behind the piece, the materials used and also be prepared to have someone buy it right off you! You can always offer to make a custom or similar piece as well. But it's always best if you can close the sale right when they see it. This means you should always have a price in mind in case you are asked. Here's some advice from Dr. David Weiman, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' expert on marketing and selling handmade jewelry, on pricing your handmade jewelry.

2. Teach your talent. Many artists offer classes through local organizations or bead stores, sharing their handmade talents with others. Income is generated through class fees, jewelry-making kits and supplies. You can also have pieces available for sale at your classes.

3. Share your skills. Submit instructions, projects or tips to magazines and local publications. This will get your name out and help you establish yourself as an expert within the jewelry-making (or other handmade) field. This in turn will help build future opportunities and sales.

4. Go online! Take advantage of reaching a larger market by selling your creations online. Many of our customers sell their creations online in marketplaces for all things handmade such as etsy.com, 1000Markets.com or Artfire.com.

5. Hit the pavement. Meet with local store owners about selling your handmade items in their shop. Let them know how your items will help bring people into their store. View the article, ''Wholesale or Consignment,'' by Jean Campbell, founding editor of Beadwork magazine, for more information on selling your finished jewelry.

6. Local markets. Research the local markets in your area, such as Saturday/Artisan Markets and look into selling your items there. These events are especially important during the fall season, when holiday bazaars and craft markets are in full swing. This is a great way to network locally and share your handmade talent.

Jesse Walker

www.realmjewelry.com

7. Team up with others. Go in with other artists to share booths at local markets and events. You'll be able to offer many more items, share in the cost and have more fun doing it with others!

8. Barter. Work with others in the handmade community and share your items through bartering. For example, instead of purchasing greeting cards, you may find an artist that is willing to trade their handmade card designs for your jewelry, etc.

9. Offer parties! Everyone likes parties--right? Offer at-home jewelry parties with family and friends where you offer your handmade items for sale. For more information, here's an article on In-Home Jewelry Shows, by author and noted jewelry-making expert, Tammy Honaman.

10. Gift your items. Similar to the idea of wearing your handmade items, gifting your handmade items gives others the opportunity to help share (and advertise) your talent. Not to mention the satisfaction you will receive by creating something one-of-a-kind for someone special.

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