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Will I be able to make a living from doing fairs/internet?

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  • Will I be able to make a living from doing fairs/internet?

    Hello, I am new to this and my question is as above. I am a single parent, and I have an idea of selling maybe biscuits/sweets, candles or soap (or something), either by selling direct to local-ish shops, over the internet (how will people know of me?) or through craft fairs or farmers markets (but only if I can get there and back within time to collect my children from the after-school club). Does this sound completely ridiculous, or perfectly possible? Are you all full-time crafters or is it a sideline? Hoping I get some replies!

  • #2
    Hi Twix,

    Welcome to the forum!

    Are you looking to live off the money made from this or would it be extra cash every month?

    I am a full-time crafter. I sell jewellery online and at craft fairs and I have just recently started organising craft fairs.

    Would you be making either the biscuits/sweets or candles/soap yourself from scratch?

    Fiona
    Silver Ruby - Colourful Contemporary Jewellery
    www.silverruby.com

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    • #3
      I personally wouldn't sell sweets/biscuits etc because I think (I'm not 100% sure though) that you would have to be checked out by health and safety as you would be selling food for public consumption. I'm hoping to start working seriously on my business this year but I'm lucky in that I stay at home with my children and can potter when I want too (within reason obviously!) Have you made crafty things before? Do you enjoy it as a hobby? I would also spend quite a lot of time researching the crafts you want to do and see what the competition is like etc etc.
      Hope this helps and good luck with what you want to do
      Lynsey
      Visit my Etsy store http://swirlyarts.etsy.com
      My daily thoughts! http://swirlyarts.blogspot.com
      My blog of cute stuff http://cuteable.com


      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies, I was hoping to make a living out of it.

        I live in a rented house, would that complicate the issue? As far as kitchen inspections go, I would not be able to modify my kitchen in any way.

        So, are candles and soaps a better idea? Is it possible to make, say, £15,000 p.a. from it or are you all now spluttering your tea out as you cringe at my ignorance?!

        Comment


        • #5
          I honestly don't know what is an acceptable amount to be earning as a crafter - it will take a long time to build up the business so I would start off with it as a hobby/sideline until you are sure that this is what you want to do/will make you a decent living.
          Visit my Etsy store http://swirlyarts.etsy.com
          My daily thoughts! http://swirlyarts.blogspot.com
          My blog of cute stuff http://cuteable.com


          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks. Not the answer that I really wanted. The best answer would have been, 'Yes, you will earn at least £20,000 p.a. and still be able to have a family life.'

            Thanks for the honesty though!!!

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            • #7
              TBH I think it is very difficult to make a living out of crafting. You may be able to make enough to survive (ie rent and food) but maybe not much else. I suppose if you are determined you may make it, I am really not sure.

              I run my crafts as a business, I sell online and attend craft fairs (approx 25 a year) it makes me enough to buy extras that we wouldn't otherwise have but it wouldn't pay my mortgage and keep my kids in shoes!

              If you are really driven you could probably achieve a lot, maybe starting part time and if it takes off then do it full time?

              I think it is a really difficult thing to predict. Good luck

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              • #8
                Buiscuits.... very short shelf life and need to be made constantly and delivered constantly!
                Soaps etc longer shelf life can be made well in advance!
                It would be worth talking to the inland revenue as they would advise you about the levels of working families tax credit etc. If you work 30 or more hours you are counted as working full time.
                You don't say how old your child/ children are, but WFTC also pays towards child care.
                full time mum and very very part time crafter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whatever you make, biscuits, cakes, soaps, will all need to be safety certified before you can sell them anywhere, Perosnally like most have said if you want to make that sort of money your not going to have much of a family life,
                  i started up in buisness last year, and yes so far so good it's going well, i have an internet site, ebay shop, I also sell at craft fairs, healthy living lectures and events, and i have people phoning me up and coming to my home for orders. This year i'm giving it a real shove to get my name out there.

                  But it's been hard work and on going hard work, when i have a show to prepare for my Partner hardly see's me, i'm to busy working in the kitchen for around 3 weeks before hand I put in the hard hours and i do mean hard hours, when busy i end up working from 10 in the morning to 3-4 at night, but then i am starting to get the benefits to. I'm constantly updating my site and shop as well just because i want to get it right, then it can run it self.

                  But then i've only been really able to sell with everything legally done since October, 06 so this year will be a testing year for me. But then i know it still has to build up and become a solid venture. But i don't expect to make 10-15k for a few years yet. but then most of what i make at moment goes straight back in to the business.

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                  • #10
                    I am a full time soap maker, and I completely agree with Mai. I think all self employment is hard work, but with soapmaking there are so many rules and regulations to comply with. I could not imagine trying to fit what I do around a family, I am child free and work all hours. If I am not making products then I am usually creating new ones, thinking of new marketing ideas or doing the dreadful paperwork!!

                    I love what I do and would not want to put you off starting your own business, it is the best thing that I have ever done, but it is a long and hard path before you start to see any money!
                    www.purethoughts.co.uk
                    Natural soaps and skincare, handmade from beginning to end...

                    Pure Thoughts Newsletter - Free samples for 50 new subscribers every month

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Twix View Post
                      Hello, I am new to this and my question is as above. I am a single parent, and I have an idea of selling maybe biscuits/sweets, candles or soap (or something), either by selling direct to local-ish shops, over the internet (how will people know of me?) or through craft fairs or farmers markets (but only if I can get there and back within time to collect my children from the after-school club). Does this sound completely ridiculous, or perfectly possible? Are you all full-time crafters or is it a sideline? Hoping I get some replies!

                      Hi there,
                      you seem really enthusiastic and that is a great foundation. Have you thought about approaching your local business advice centre like business link? They will be able to help with H&S, setting up and get you on the right tracks for making a living from your craft. You would have to decide before seeing them exactly what you were going to sell. They may be able to advise you about a start up grant from the arts council. It is long winded but worth it if you are serious. Good Luck and let us all know how you get on.
                      Jjay

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                      • #12
                        my friend mentioned that she had applied for a grantfrom our local authority to start a crafty business; is there a particular catergory you need to fall into for this? I think that advice is very good- I think the other thing is you need to make sure you have researched absolutely everything before you approach someone for help

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                        • #13
                          In my opinion,it is a big risk to do so.
                          Because if you do business through internet,it need times to do marketing jobs,to make ADs in different kinds of B2B websites.
                          Before that,you may not able to get orders.
                          But surely,you have to try it to make your life better.
                          http://www.syhandicrafts.com

                          major in producing antique wood/metal handicrafts.

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