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For the last six months or so, I've been thinking of selling some of my handcrafted items. I've made all kinds of stuff; hemp jewlery, paintings, pottery, and lots of different baby items ( soothie keepers, dresses, stuffed animals, bows, and lollies). Everything I've made has been given to close friends and family or I'm currently using it in my home.

I know I have alot of work ahead of me but, I'm very excited to begin. So for the next few months I'm just going to try to get as much information from as many people who currently have a home business such as the one I am hoping to start. I want to learn as much as I can about running a small business and try to work of as many kinks before I dive in head first!

I would greatly appriciate any advise from you all. I know lots of you out there are currently running very successful businesses and really hope some of you may be able to take a moment and give me some much needed guidance.

I hope to participate in a locate craft show in May so I am going to get a some items ready for that and should have some business cards by then too.

I'm wondering should I make a website or create a new blog for advertising?

Do I really need business cards?

Should I make items available online or only sell locally?

Thanks again to anyone who reads this post!! Have a great day!

 

 

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Comment by Kerry Leuty on March 31, 2011 at 5:34pm

Hi Christin,

My husband and I started our online business last year and have watched it grow to become something we really enjoy.  We have a main website, two of my blogs are directly related to our business, we have a facebook fan page, I sell on ETSY, GLC Mall, and Yardsellrs through facebook.  I also am hoping to spread the word through MBC and advertise on some blogs.  My husband tweets when he can (I still have not gotten the hang of that yet.)  And we have a facebook ad running every day targeting sororities.

 

It is a lot of hard work!  I make all of our products, and we both are a part of the designing.  What we are selling now is completely different than what we started with a year ago.  We are licensed to sell to 5 sororities, and will be adding more in the near future.  I own an embroidery machine which I use to add sorority letters and names to our products.  Also, I personalize my items with a customer's name or initials, or a favorite saying or Bible verse, or even a picture.  We are designing a full line of Christian products now which I am super excited about!

 

I participated in two local craft shows last year and was not very successful.  I also have had items in a monthly craft show that my mother-in-law sells at, but again am not seeing very many sales.  To me these were not worth the hours spent getting ready and the time I spent sitting at my table.

 

I have had three business card designs.  I go through them quickly.  ETSY ran a promotion recently through I believe MOO and offered free cards.  I would suggest going through ZAZZLE for better looking cards. 

 

My husband runs the computer end.  He has become a master at photo-shopping our pictures.  We used a professional photographer and even a couple of models, but we found that we can take better pictures ourselves and just photo-shop them with a solid color background. 

 

They say that it takes a year to really get noticed and see real income.  We have just about passed the year mark now.  I am hoping we will see an increase in sales soon.  This is the reason I am able to stay at home with our boys.  I am not always able to get anything accomplished though.  But the trade-off of being with them makes the long hours at night or on the weekends worth it.

 

I hope this helps you.  Please feel free to check out our website at www.pizazz88.com and our blogs at http://pizazz88.blogspot.com/ and http://sewpizazzed.blogspot.com/

 

Let me know if I can help you further.

 

Kerry

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