The Business of Arts & Crafts
Thinking of starting your own arts and crafts business? From pottery to textiles, woodwork to jewellery, artisans across the world are turning their passions into successful businesses that reflect their individual artistic vision.
If you are thinking of starting your own arts and crafts business and want some more information on the business side of the arts and crafts industry, including pricing, marketing, and the law around the industry, look no further than this blog. Whether you are a seasoned artisan or just starting out, this blog will provide practical tips and strategies to help you build a successful arts and crafts business and thrive in today’s competitive market. Let’s get into it.
Choosing your market...
If you are reading this blog, chances are you are already very creative and potentially already have a business avenue you wish to pursue. If you are still searching for your craft, look for something you are passionate about that aligns with your interests and values.
However, when looking to turn your creative passions into a business it is equally important to consider the market value of such products. Some areas of the arts and crafts industry are very saturated, so one thing you can do to stand out is niche down. Niching down essentially means you specialise in a specific area of the market – it can be an extremely effective strategy to differentiate yourself and market yourself as a unique seller.
For instance, if you create handmade jewellery, consider specialising in creating eco-friendly and sustainable jewellery, or go even further and specialise in ocean-themed sustainable jewellery. By finding a unique angle and specialising in a niche market, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and attract a more dedicated and loyal customer base. Ultimately, choosing the right craft and niche requires careful consideration and research, but it can be a rewarding and profitable journey for those who are willing to put in the work.
Pricing your craft, marketing your arts and crafts business and legal considerations
Once you have defined your market, it is time to price your products. Different pricing strategies may work better for different businesses and niches, but it’s important to consider several factors when determining the right price for a product.
You need to factor in the costs of materials and your time, the market demand for your product and the perceived value to the customer. Let’s look at some pricing strategies arts and crafts businesses typically use:
Cost-plus pricing involves taking the cost of creating the product (as well as considering the time it has taken to create it!) and adding a markup to determine the sale price.
Value-based pricing sets the price based on the perceived value to the customer. For example, if you use high-quality leather and craftsmanship to create unique handbags, your bags may be perceived as high-value items. You could set your prices accordingly, taking into account factors such as the exclusivity of your designs, the durability of the materials used, and the level of skill and craftsmanship required to create each bag.
Pricing your products can be hard, particularly if you are just starting out. You may be tempted to price as low as possible to start with, but it is important to find the right balance, with pricing that is competitive and profitable, but also reflects the value of your product and the time it has taken you to create.
A great place to start is by researching your target market and competition to see where your product sits. It may take some trial and error, but over time you will find the sweet spot for your pricing, and as your craft improves, you can adjust your prices accordingly.
Marketing your arts and crafts business
Marketing is essential to the success of any artisan business. Luckily, there are so many avenues you can take to promote your business and build brand awareness.
The aim of all marketing activities should be to build a strong identity within the market by defining and promoting your unique selling point (USP), creating a compelling brand story and establishing a consistent visual identity across all your marketing.
In terms of the marketing channels to use, the arts and crafts industry is very visual, so sticking to visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest can be highly effective for reaching potential customers and building a loyal following.
Other effective marketing strategies include participating in local craft fairs and markets, collaborating with other artists and businesses, and creating engaging content such as tutorials or behind-the-scenes videos.
Like with any business, running an arts and crafts business does come with its own set of legal rules and regulations that cannot be overlooked.
The first thing to do is register your business with the appropriate authorities, such as Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs, and obtain any necessary licenses. If your business starts to turn over a certain amount, you will also need to register for VAT. Different regulations will apply to different businesses so it is important to conduct thorough research on the rules that apply to your business and seek help if you are unsure. Within the UK, you can contact the government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice so utilise this if you are unsure of where you stand legally.
Aside from the important, but boring legal stuff, as an artist, you should be aware of how to protect your original designs from copycats. This may involve obtaining copyright protection for your designs and branding, registering trademarks for your business name and logo, and enforcing your rights against any infringers. By addressing these legal considerations upfront, you can avoid potential legal issues down the line and protect your business from people stealing your work.
In conclusion, starting an arts and crafts business can be a fulfilling and rewarding venture, but it requires careful planning, hard work, and a willingness to adapt to changing market trends. In this post, we covered the key considerations that aspiring arts and crafts business owners should keep in mind, including choosing the right craft, pricing products effectively, developing a strong brand identity, and addressing the legal aspects of running a business. We also highlighted the importance of staying informed about current market trends and identifying opportunities to stand out from your competition.
Have a lovely day!
Love, Katy x