Many people of all ages are looking to make extra money. You may want to supplement your current income or perhaps you want to leave your job and be your own boss with a stay at home business. Whichever it is you may consider monetizing a hobby you already have. Could you make money with embroidery for instance?
Definitely. No matter whether it is embroidery, knitting, crochet, felting or any other craft it is possible to start a craft business selling your creations. If you are skilled in any craft you could make money selling home-made items.
There has been a resurgence in interest in home made goods over recent years. Many people are now rejecting mass produced goods and searching for something original. We have looked at other unique ideas for creative types to make money online in a previous post.
Embroidery is in my mind as an example because I have a friend who enjoys it and has started selling to others. Embroidered items are popular with all sorts of people. The first advantage of this sort of home based craft business is that you can start it with minimal costs.
If you are working at home your overheads will be very low. Secondly, you already know the skills needed and that it is something you will enjoy.
Bear in mind that once you start any hobby as a business things change. You may have enjoyed making items for friends but you need to think about what’s involved once you scale it up.
When you decide to start a business based on selling embroidered products, you need to start with the fundamentals. Where are you going to buy the base materials and do you plan on doing all the work yourself. Do you have a reliable source of materials? How do you plan on doing the work?
If you plan to embroider the products by hand you need to be honest about what your turnaround times will be. You may decide to invest in an embroidery machine. That will increase your start up costs if you don’t already have one. But depending how many products you expect to make you may decide a machine is essential to increase your productivity.
Make money with embroidery as a business
So first you need to decide what you want to make and sell. Once you turn your hobby into a stream of income it will become a different beast entirely. As with any new business you need to make a business plan. When and where you will work, what items you will offer at what price and where you will sell them are all important.
You may have already managed to make money with embroidery that you have sold to friends and neighbours. If you are going to grow it into a business you need to expand your reach. There may be local craft shows or school fetes where you can begin. This is a good way to start. You will get to learn what items are popular and get feedback from the general public as to what they like.
If you want to take the traditional route and sell your items on the high street consider local markets first. It will need a lot of resources to open your own shop. Also footfall to local shops has fallen in recent months. This would be very risky and not recommended when you start out.
However you could look for local stores who sell complimentary items and ask the owners if they would stock your items. They may offer to do this on a commission basis. Alternatively they may give you an area of the store to open a counter of your own.
Selling homemade items online
But perhaps you have bigger plans. If you want to sell to a bigger market, sooner or later you will want to sell online. There are several options for selling crafts online. You could sell in an auction format where you set a starting price but could get much more, or you can sell at a fixed price. Another option would be to take orders for bespoke products and make them to order.
Selling on eBay
If you decide to try auctions the obvious choice is eBay. This will give you access to eBay customers without needing to advertise independently. You can sell items individually or create a store.
Opening an eBay store is an affordable way to have a shopfront without needing to rent, buy, or run a traditional store on the high street.
Sell craft products on Etsy
Another great place to sell home made goods is Etsy. All the goods on Etsy are originals and it attracts customers who want something a bit different from the norm. Using Etsy you will have the same benefit of having an audience to market to.
Many people are looking for personalized goods and it will allow you to sell at a higher price if you offer this as an option. Bear in mind the extra time it will take to add a name when deciding on a price.
In order to make money with embroidery items you need to list them using keywords that will attract people looking for what you offer. I would suggest going on the site and seeing what items are selling well and then look at the listings to see what keywords they are using. You want to model what is already working.
Build your own site to make money with your embroidery
Your final choice would be to have your own site online that stocks only your own goods. You could do this on a platform which is designed as a selling platform. The market leader in this has, for many years, been Shopify. This will cost you $29 monthly even before you have sold anything.
To sell individual items you could choose a platform like Clickfunnels which is more geared to selling one off items and offering related items in a funnel with upsells built in. Clickfunnels will cost you $99 a month for the starter plan. This is obviously a lot for any new business.
Alternative to Shopify and Clickfunnels
There is a new kid on the block as a replacement for Shopify and Clickfunnels. GrooveSell is available for free at present. When you start a business you want to keep your costs as low as possible. You get both GrooveSell as a shopping cart and GroovePages to build a website complete with funnel for free.
The GrooveSell platform has a team of experienced marketers behind it and is my preferred choice for selling online now.
When you first start out you could even sell from a blog using WordPress and a plugin like WooCommerce. You need to take security in to account as you will not have the advantage of inbuilt security from using an established platform on secure servers.
The major disadvantage of building your own platform is that you don’t have built in traffic. So whichever option you choose to sell your items as an individual, you will be responsible for getting your items seen.
You can’t make money with embroidery if nobody knows about it! Therefore your next mission will be to attract traffic to your site. For that I recommend you read this article on attracting traffic.