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Ways to make Money with Crafts besides making Crafts

WAYS TO MAKE MONEY WITH CRAFTS BESIDES MAKING CRAFTS
Ideas for starting various types of craft businesses
By Sharon Heidingsfelder, Extension Crafts Specialist

There are many ways to make money with crafts besides actually making and selling items. If you think you would enjoy a job dealing with crafts but don't want to produce them, consider the following suggestions.

1. Open a craft shop and sell other people's crafts. Depending on whether you buy crafts wholesale or take items on consignment, you will get from 20 to 50 percent of the retail price.

2. Manage a craft shop or work as a salesperson in a shop. If you don't want to invest your own money in opening a shop, try someone else's or worry as a salesperson.

3. Become an agent who handles other people's crafts. Usually an agent will represent several craftsmen within a given marketing audience at one time. An agent will receive 15 to 50 percent of the wholesale price of the item. (If it is a production type item, 15 percent is normal. For one-of a-kind high-priced items, 50% is normal.) An agent calls on shops, galleries, and other outlets to sell the craftsmen's work. The advantage is that the agent is doing what he does best (selling) and the craftsman is doing what he does best (creating).

4. Sell supplies. Craftsmen, both amateurs and professionals, need supplies to produce their products and supplies are hard to find in Arkansas' rural towns.

5. Teach classes. Arkansas is second in the nation with the number of retired people and these people along with others who want to make good use of their leisure time enjoy learning new crafts. You can teach classes either through your home or through a craft shop. The amount you make will be based on where you teach and how many students you have.

6. Write magazine articles or books. If you have the ability to communicate through the written word, writing magazine articles and books may be for you. You can not only write on the how-tos of making a craft item but also interview craftsmen or compile a book of others' work, for example.

7. Start a newsletter. Often, craftsmen feel isolated if working by themselves all the time. A newsletter con- taining information about other craftsmen in the state might be welcomed.

8. Start a mail order pattern company. If you have been making items that others have liked, you may want to share the patterns with them. Patterns for crafts that are currently popular will sell best.

9. Develop patterns for publication in magazines and books.

10. Produce samples for supply shops and/or pattern companies. Many shops have a need for samples to use in their shops. Often they will give you the materials necessary to make the item, then give you the item after it's been displayed for a designated period of time. Pattern companies need people to test their patterns before publishing them and need finished items to photograph for promotional literature.

11. Develop kits. Many people do not want to take the time or do not have the talent to select materials to use in their crafts. These people will pay extra to have someone select and package these supplies for them.

12. Organize craft fairs. Usually organizers of craft fairs are volunteers of the sponsoring organization with the profits going to the organization. Craft fairs can be sponsored by individuals with the profits going to them. If you enjoy details and organizing, this may be for you.

13. Demonstrate crafts. Many museums and publicly owned facilities have craft exhibits which are enhanced by demonstrations. Also, many retail stores that carry craft supplies have people demonstrating at the facility.

14. Jobs that might require more formal training include:
a. museum curator
b. museum administrator
c. guild director
d. acquisition curator for a corporation

The list can go on as long as your imagination and ingenuity last. If you want to work in the craft field but just don't have the talent to produce items, the sky's the limit.


This article reprinted with the permission of Iowa Small Business Development Center. Visit them at http://www.iabusnet.org/.

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