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Author Topic: How to get started  (Read 317 times)

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Offline Crowning_Glory13

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How to get started
« on: June 24, 2019, 03:18:00 PM »
I really want to be my own boss. I do knit, crafts, pony items, toys, pageant coaching and more I am sure. I really want to just be my own boss and work for myself.

I know time will be a factor. I really need to create a plan for myself. I know what I need to consistently make a week/month/day to be my own boss. It is a matter on how to get there.

Anyone here, their own boss? Make a living off the things you make and do?

Online presence is a huge start, but what to start with. I will currently look into a facebook page to start. I have my work email set up too. Business cards too. I cant do paid sites yet as I dont make the income to warrant that step.

Let me know your thoughts and struggles. I do hope to do craft fairs and such. I just need to have an inventory to star with.

Thanks for your help. I know being my own boss will just make me happier in the long run.
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Offline banditpony

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 03:55:07 PM »
I'd consider looking into resources -- either local or online that can help you out on how to incubate your own business. Find local maker spaces, network. Find local places you want to sell, network. You gotta do the leg work to find what's available around you. I could give you advice for Ohio, but you aren't here. :)

Right now is a good time to figure out what sort of Christmas bazaars / fleas / maker markets ETC ETC. are in your area.. figure out when do they take applications so you don't miss it. Try one. Why wait?

My suggestion is to focus on the craft shows if that's what you want out of this.  When you get that off the ground, then you can just open up an etsy shop.

I feel like it's easier to compete in a local market where you just have to convince someone to do that spur of the moment purchase.. rather then online where competition is brutal (because people will under cut each other, and other people being so established). My two cents.
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Offline Crowning_Glory13

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2019, 07:35:42 PM »
Bandit pony your 2 cents is always amazing. That gives me some direction and planning. Now I can start building goals off of this:)

Wish I was in Ohio. Meeting you would be super cool:)
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Offline banditpony

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2019, 08:50:42 PM »
oh!!

I just thought of something.

I've probably said this in the past, but I do think you should start an instagram. Not necessarily to sell-- but to take pictures of your progress, and your work. It would be a good thing to just build it early. Keep it strictly for your business.

When you have your booth, set up a lil sign with your info. Let them take a picture, or let them add you on the spot. :) Can be more helpful then just a business card imo. I've gotten more dms about customs rather then someone emailing me.

But it's good to have a bunch on your account rather then not so much. So start now, at add to it. (My downfall: Since it's just a side thing for me, I'm not heavy into it based on time constraints. But I'm gonna say it's super critical if you are serious about it. )

Also start curating a portfolio. Where you apply to is going to want to see some variance of work. ^ The instagram can help with that sometimes.. since some places will accept that as good enough. Others might want to see a simple webpage with samples. I just say focus right now on getting some stuff together so it doesn't catch you off guard.
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Offline Crowning_Glory13

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2019, 11:55:22 PM »
Thank you thank you thank you !!!!!!

I will have to learn Instagram, technology is a bit slow for me. I try to learn a bit before I dive into it.

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Offline Kiwi

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 11:57:50 PM »
I'm not an expert by any means, but just some things I've picked up from my groups:
- start with whichever social media platform you are most familiar/comfortable with, you can always expand out later
- there are some free website builders/hosts out there (wix.com is a popular one), but again don't delve into more than you are comfortable with at the moment
- craft shows = start small, some table fees can be crazy ($100s+), so try starting with church bazaars, school fundraisers, etc. Also bigger events (like fairs and conventions) often expect vendors [sellers] to carry business/liability insurance, so that is an extra cost.
- sometimes there are local shops that will rent out shelf space, but make sure to check them out carefully (I've heard some horror stories) - some want a commission of the sale price, others charge a monthly rate
- join Facebook groups in your area... I found a couple for Ontario that are specifically for vendor events/fairs/etc - one for reviews of events and another for vendor calls
- look into local business resources like banditpony suggested (I have yet to do this myself), they can help you through lots, including if there's any licenses or insurance you need to have, taxes, etc
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Offline Crowning_Glory13

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2019, 12:14:22 AM »
Thank you!!!! I have started a notebook with all this insight! I want to be able to check back! Thank you all so much

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Offline banditpony

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 01:03:58 AM »
Thank you thank you thank you !!!!!!

I will have to learn Instagram, technology is a bit slow for me. I try to learn a bit before I dive into it.



It's really easy... It's an app where you add pictures.

Open app.

Choose the + (add) button.

Either take a picture. Or select one that you already took.

And while it's not necessary, write a brief description. And maybe add a #tag.
#scarf #knit 

post. That's all you would need to do for now.

And then there's private messaging as well.

It's going to look better for those who consider your application, and it's an easy way for them to see your stuff.

I guess I need to clarify. When I said incubate a business I meant something that goes beyond financials.
Like this : https://www.theclevelandflea.com/stories/five-facts-about-our-incubator-program
http://craftymart.org/the-maker-sessions

That's why I mentioned finding maker markets, and all that jazz. If you want this to be your main business, it would benefit you to be a part of a community or network.

I wouldn't necessarily shy away from a $100 table (unless that was per day). Your goal should be to get a decent paycheck for all of your work. But I get how your first show would be intimidating. I got to buddy up on my first one, but my costs were still $400+ (travel/hotel/badge/table)-- I somehow turned a bit of profit even though I made tons of mistakes.

Also. I mean every state and show might have their own rules. I've sold in like 5 states now and haven't heard of business insurance. o_o; Reading about it, maybe that's very venue specific.


eta more thoughts

If you have a library account you might be able to get access to lynda.com there might be useful tutorials for you there.  I used it mostly for Adobe things but I know there was more.

Also useful - skillshare.com I believe there is a free trial.. and it's a bit easier to digest then lynda.com .. and there are people who share there experiences on how they started their own business be it an illustration artist, hand lettering artist etcetcetc.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 01:16:04 PM by banditpony »
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Offline Crowning_Glory13

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Re: How to get started
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 01:51:41 PM »
Thank you!!!! So much to do and plan. I needed some direction. Thank you.
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