This year, I made a real effort to do a number of handmade gifts, ranging from new baby, birthday, or Christmas gifts. And my gift making varies across a number of crafts such as sewing, Cricut makes or personalising, baking/cake decorating, and crochet (and then anything else I feel like having a dabble in). This doesn’t take into account all of my cards which I try to make by hand.
But one of the most common questions I get asked is “Why don’t I sell what I make?”. It is incredibly flattering that people feel the gifts they receive are good enough to buy, and would even pay for. The answer is, I don’t officially sell anything I make, I don’t have a retail outlet anywhere, or do markets/craft fairs. I know I might be on my own here, especially after an incredibly tough year, but right now, I don’t think a business selling handmade items is for me. I’m not going to say never though, because you just don’t know what might happen.
Here, I break down some of the key reasons why I’m not operating as a business.
- I love crafting and I love making gifts. If I turn my love into a business, will I lose my love of crafting fulfilling orders and be sad about not having the capacity to do so many handmade gifts? Will I have time to try new crafts? I fear trying to run a business take away from crafting time and this is something I seriously think about and would make me sad if I couldn’t do.
- I really want to develop this blog. My ultimate goal is to do some partnership, product testing, or brand ambassador work with some craft brands. I’m not in crafting for the money, but I would one day, love to be considered for a sneak preview or advance launch products for some of the amazing craft brands that exist. I was actually just reading a blog from The Crochet Crowd about designing crochet patterns, and never considered that these designers require pattern testers – this would be amazing!
- I have a lot of other hobbies than the craft things listed above, too many probably. I enjoy exercising regularly (up to six times per week is my usual), I love photography, but I also love to relax watching TV or reading. Again, if I am trying to run a business this will take away from those. Some may say prioritise, but to me, these are equally a priority.
- I have an incredibly busy, full-time job with a charity, which I love. And, I want to continue to give my best at this rather than not my best at both. I don’t want to be finishing my job to then have to spend my entire evening or weekend working on my own business.
- And finally, I don’t want the business side of things. The idea of having to deal with everything that comes with running a business such as insurance, product testing, regulations, tax implications – to me this all sounds like a nightmare, and again, I think would take away from the things I love and would rather spend my time doing. And now add Brexit issues into the mix – no thanks!
I’d love to hear from those who run a craft business, the pros and cons of it. Feel free to leave comments, open conversation with people like me and others.