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How to Create Multiple Streams of Income as a Crafter

How to Create Multiple Streams of Income as a Crafter main article image
Posted on April 21, 2023 by Jennifer Carroll
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I am a working artist and I work full-time at it. There’s a sentence I didn’t see myself saying before two years ago. Back then I would have said, I work in the healthcare field, and I dabble in art.

Thanks to world events and events much closer to home I have experienced a career change that I could not be happier about.

We started with nothing really. I created a few pieces of artwork that I had scanned at my local print shop and spontaneously decided to do a craft show. We borrowed a tent and tables because we weren’t sure how committed we would become.

As it turned out, we are very committed. I was able to quit my full-time plus job to pursue a career doing what I love. However, my husband still has a day job that requires a five-day workweek. Logistically we could go to a show every weekend and during the month of October – we do.

My poor husband doesn’t get a break that month. It turns into a seven-day-a-week grind for the longest month of the year. He’s a trooper but I try not to schedule back-to-back shows for the rest of the show season. It’s just not realistic.

It didn’t take us very long to figure out that I couldn’t make a consistent income only doing shows. We live in a seasonal part of the country which means we have a huge population that vacates at the end of every season. While we do appreciate the way that the traffic thins out when they are gone, this little corner of the world relies heavily on the tourism industry. It’s the price we pay for year-round sunshine!

So, to make up for seasonal shows and inconsistent income I have searched for alternative ways to make money as a crafter. And I hope you find some useful information here.

Writing

If you’re good at putting your thoughts and processes into words, then consider writing content for a blog or website. There are many out there that hire experts in the crafting field to supply relevant information. Do a simple Google search and you might be surprised by what comes up.

Video Instruction

If writing isn’t your thing and you find that you have the time to share your crafting experiences on social media, set up a ring light and record your crafting sessions from start to finish. Don’t worry about explaining your process as you go because you can always come back and do a voice-over. I have ambitions to start a YouTube channel but I’m not there yet. I am at the research stage. So far, my research mostly consists of about 100 subscriptions to all my favorite crafters’ channels. I’m only half joking. There’s a lot you can learn just by following the path that other creators
are laying.

In-Person Craft Instruction

Have you noticed crafting classes popping up in your community? I sure have in mine. Maybe they were always there, and I just became more aware. Craft classes are often available at your local public libraries, art centers, and at churches. Some are also privately owned storefronts that have retail space with an attached workshop. All great options if you have the desire to teach. I had no such desire until last year when a friend from church asked me to do a workshop at her church for a few ladies. I got my feet wet there then I approached my local public library about the possibility of holding a workshop there. The librarian was extremely enthusiastic and we were able to make it happen the very next month and every month since then. The class started with ten people, and we currently have plans to expand the class to accommodate 50 crafters in back-to-back sessions.

Don’t be afraid to inquire at your local library. There is a need for outlets such as this in so many communities. I have found that students who want to take art classes as an elective at school are often not able to. The classes fill up too fast and spots are limited.

The senior crowd that attends my classes are looking for companionship and an outlet to make new friends. All great reasons to get together and make a fun project.

Online Sales of Your Craft Items

I don’t concentrate a lot of my efforts on online sales because I try to build up and reserve my inventory for shows. As my following grows, I do find that more and more people message me for items they might not have purchased the last time they saw us at a show. I also offer custom work when time allows. My favorite way to generate online sales is to make several of one piece and then let my followers know that I have said amount available. DM for details. Invariably the items are sold within just a few hours. I offer to ship and I also make deliveries to my local community at least once a month.

Retail Stores and Antique Booths

Antique and vendor booths rely on individuals to rent a room or a set space to treat as their own retail space. You are responsible for stocking your space with items that adhere to the guidelines and theme of the owner and you may even be required to work a few hours a week.

Other retail options include small businesses that are willing to dedicate small spaces so that local artisans may display things such as racks of jewelry or stationery. I have discovered that several small businesses in my town are working together with crafters to promote other small or micro businesses.

I hope you are encouraged and are finding ways to promote your crafting business. Until next time – happy crafting.

Please follow me here to see my latest creations.


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