The dream of running a handmade business can be very different from the reality. You may have envisioned yourself crocheting toys in your spare time only to realize that the profit you make from selling amigurumi trinkets isn’t enough to pay the rent.
Do You Need a Storage Space for Your Craft Business?
As Kari Chapin writes in her book “Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop and Sustain a Successful Creative Business,” you have to think a lot about what your ideal business will be like before you start it.
In an excerpt from the book published on CraftFoxes, Chapin explains that you have to answer a lot questions about your plan: How many hours you work at crafting, marketing and shipping? What would your ideal profit be? How much can in afford to invest in your business? Part of those considerations may also be: Do you need a storage facility for your craft business? That might seem excessive when you’re starting out, but there are reasons why you may.
While a lot has been written about how to store materials in your craft room, less digital ink is devoted to how to store materials and products for a handmade business. Here are some considerations.
Pexels / Cottonbro Studio
You may think customers will snap up any artisanal piece that tumbles from your fingertips, but as Valerie Freeman writes in her post “25 Things I’ve Learned from Owning an Etsy Shop,” your business often revolves around one or two flagship products. These are the products that customers come to you to buy.
There are many logical reasons that even versatile crafters wind up selling a lot of a flagship product. For starters, you may have found a product you can create relatively easily, you’re reliably good at making and your work an impressive profit margin baked in.
Another possibility: If you’re doing most of your sales online (and plenty of DIYers are), the Etsy and Google search algorithms may wind up taking a particular shine to one of your products that brings customers in from around the world for your curly toed baby booties. You may not have launched your business with planning to become the king or queen of curly toed baby booties, but if you’re getting hundreds of orders for them (and very few for your roller-skate booties), then it’s pretty that you’re going to need to stock up on materials.
Does that amount of materials warrant a storage space? That may depend on how much profit you’re earning from those curly toed baby booties and whether you want your studio apartment’s only closet to be wall-to-wall wool. Also keep in mind that when you start making a lot of one product, you’ll like want to buy materials in bulk to increase profits.
If you see a particular wool you know you’ll need on sale, you may wind up buying hundreds of even thousands of dollars of on a material that you never expected you’d need to find space for.
Consider that your product make be a lot larger than curly toed baby booties. What if you’re sculpting terra cotta pots or flipping credenzas? Even if you have a garage or basement to use as a workshop, the space may quickly fill up with rows of products.
As any crafter knows, there are often slow periods during the year and you probably don’t want to stop working, particularly if you expect many more orders to come in when that slow period ends. During those weaker sales months, you will likely want to stock on product and may need some place to put it.
So, do you need a storage space for your craft business? That’s something for you to consider with your budget.