My own successful business is proof that it is possible to make an extra income (or even a full time one) with a Creative Business. The first thing you need to do though, is pick a creative niche.
Some people will find this part easy. You could be a talented artist who wants to take it to the next level. You could have your own pottery wheel in the shed in the back garden and have been practising for years.
Or, you could be like me, and have no current artistic hobby or interest.
I decided to learn how to make jewellery as I was attracted to the array of sparkles and colours when looking at different examples of beaded jewellery online. I also felt it wasn’t going to be a difficult craft to learn.
Here I’ve put together a guide to hopefully help you to choose what type of creative niche to have a go at.
The first thing to do is to have a look at my post 107 Different Types of Craft. You will find this helpful if you have no idea where to start.
So, What Things Do You Need To Consider?
Do you already have an interest or hobby?
Obviously, if you are already an avid knitter or love making cupcakes, you have a head start on the rest of us! If you don’t, what takes your fancy? Have you always wanted to learn how to use a sewing machine, or, are you obsessed with candles and would love to learn more about how to make them yourself? If you already have an interest in something, have a look at my list and see what type of creative niche can be linked to it.
How about something you would buy yourself?
I have saved a small fortune since I started making jewellery. If I want a bracelet or a necklace in a specific colour, I make it myself! If you have children, there could be something you spend a lot of money on, for example hair bows (if you have young daughters), that could be the focus of your creative niche. It also puts you at an advantage as you know what colours and styles will be popular, based on what you currently buy yourself.
From this point on, I’m going to refer to beaded jewellery as my creative niche, so as to walk you through what needs to be taken into consideration when choosing your own creative niche.
How much storage and work space do you have?
This is an important consideration as there is no point in upcycling wooden benches if you only have half a table’s worth of space to work at! When I first started making jewellery, I had the dining room table to work at, and an empty chest of drawers for my ‘stuff’. Even if you don’t think you have any storage space now, I’m sure a quick de-clutter and Ebay day will free some room up for you, as well as giving you a few pounds towards your start up costs.
Cost of materials.
Another important thing to consider. I would suggest an hour or two at your computer looking for wholesalers for what you need. I use Chinese wholesalers for my beads as they are cheap. It may take a few attempts before you find your ideal wholesaler. A good idea is to look at DHGate and Aliexpress which are Chinese market places.
I’m going to put the next sentence in big letters so it doesn’t get missed…
Don’t go to Ebay and buy materials straight from there!!!
It is a waste of money. The people who sell beads on Ebay have done exactly what I’ve just told you to do and have bought them from a Chinese wholesaler. Just do it yourself and pay the cheaper price. The only downside to ordering from abroad is the shipping times. They can be quite quick though. The average time I wait for my orders to arrive from China is 5 working days.
There are really good UK wholesale companies out there as well, although not for items such as beads, that are predominately made in China anyway. I use UK wholesalers for most of my fabrics, webbing, buttons etc, for my dog accessories business.
Don’t forget that you also need to factor in the cost of packaging into your pricing. There are many good wholesale packaging companies out there. You just need to work out what you will need to package your items and then shop around for the best deal.
YOU HAVE TO USE YOUR OWN IDEAS! Of course, you are free to look and around and take inspiration from many different things; trends, seasons, famous designers, celebrities etc, but it must be your own work and not a direct copy of someone else’s. I swear there is nothing more annoying than someone trying to copy what you do.
You also have to be careful when using things that are trademarked or licensed, for example, Hello Kitty, Disney, Taylor Swift, The Beatles etc etc. I know of people who have received really scary ‘Cease and Desist’ emails from big posh American Lawyers as they have used an image or logo that they shouldn’t have.
This is a must if making anything related to babies or children! It is down to you to make sure they have the correct age warnings, or that certain materials comply with fire regulations. There are also certain certificates that need to be gained when it comes to children’s toys. If in doubt, look at Trading Standards website for more advice.
If you are struggling to make your mind up as to what to do, go and visit some Craft Fairs in and around your area. Have a look at what people are selling, or even better, what people are not selling. There are always multiple stalls with jewellery. Is there a style of jewellery that people aren’t selling? Maybe you want to stay away from jewellery altogether and go for something that isn’t as popular amongst the Craft Community.
You could also look at Etsy and see what is on there, or find some Facebook Craft Groups and Pages and look there for inspiration.
What If You Still Can’t Decide?
If you really can’t decide what to do, or if you are adamant you aren’t ‘arty’ enough (I personally think everyone has an artistic streak, they just have to find it), or you just don’t have the time at the moment, why not become a supplier instead?
There are literally hundreds of things you can focus on here. Just looking at my list of 107 different types of Crafts will show you that there is a demand for suppliers. I have seen stalls at Craft Fairs and Markets selling supplies and they are always busy. You also have the online opportunities, in the same way as if you were making something yourself. It’s certainly worth thinking about.
If you are interested in hearing from me every so often (don’t worry, I don’t have the time to email you weekly), then please fill your details in below. I only keep your details for the purpose of send you an email if I’ve got anything exciting to tell you.
I will never Spam and I would never, ever give your details to anyone else.
I started my own Creative Business all because of this little fella.. Well, I don't think it was this exact mouse, but it was a mouse that started off a chain of events which ended up with me leaving my well paid, secure job to start up a creative business! It was...read more
The official definition of a craft is an activity involving skill in making things by hand. The Internet is a wonderful thing. It makes everything so much more accessible. It is possible to learn new crafts, and there are hundreds of different platforms on which you...read more