How I turned crafting into a small business. Have you ever thought of turning your hobby of crafting into a small business, being an Entrepreneur? I was that Mom who liked to personalize everything for my kids. I made the cool Halloween costumes, went all on their birthdays and then some! What started as a crafty hobby soon turned into a side hustle, later turned into a business.
I started selling my crafts to friends and family. Word got out that I could create custom designed t-shirts and gifts. I enjoyed creating beautiful custom designs. I honestly love personalized and unique gifts for myself and wanted to do it for others. Whenever I had a chance to put my own spin on something, or personalize it, I did.
After many years of crafting for fun, I decided to start my small business. Many friends encouraged me to start a small business. I previously had a small business creating custom wedding invitations, announcements and birthday invitations. I always had love for graphic design and doing papercrafts. Although during this venture, I did not have a cutting machine yet. Once I found out about a cutting machine, it made life so much better! I couldn’t believe how I cut hundreds of cardstock by hand with a single paper cutter or a guillotine.
Love loyal customers
I sell mainly via Instagram, Facebook and word of mouth. In 2016, I decided to open an Etsy shop. I did this for about 2 years. I started to find out that I was getting more sales locally and that kept me very busy. For 3 years my biggest customer and sales were for teachers and schools. I created designs for many of the local schools in my area, as well as out of state. What most customers liked about my designs is that it’s 100% customizable. I do not use templates that can’t be customized.
Customers have full range of personalization. One thing that separates me from other similar businesses is that I do not keep stock of products. I like to say “my products are made to order.” I do keep stock of blanks but do not keep stock of already made products. I showcase all my custom orders on my social media pages. You can email me or purchase straight from my shop.
My main products are tshirts, hoodies, tanks, hats and mugs. I even started dabbling in stickers, wood design items and cookie stencils. Every sale is different, every customer has their own unique design in mind. My favorite projects are the ones when a customer allows me to be fully creative, allowing me to create something for them. Their reaction to the final product is why I love doing what I do.
The struggle is real
As with everything in life, there are always struggle and challenges. During my journey starting my own small business, it was a struggle to keep my work/life balance. I always thought having a work from home business would still allow me to be a great stay at home Mom. This wasn’t (and still isn’t) the case. I have 2 boys (now teenagers) who have a busy schedule themselves. Being Mom, Taxi driver, cook and more to them makes balancing my business projects tough to handle on some days.
As I started out, it was easy to hideout in my craft room/office and just design or work on orders. An hour turned into 4 hours, without even realizing it. On the hand if I had a big order, I always felt the need to work on it day and night until it was complete. This ended up skipping dinner to get things done. Even years later, I still find myself hiding out in my craft room working on orders, neglecting my home chores sometimes. From taking orders, designing, cutting/pressing and shipping, I did it all by myself. With the few exceptions when my boys wanted to help me weed vinyl. This helped tremendously when I needed to do other business needs.
How Cricut has helped me
I currently use the Cricut Explore Air 2 for all my cutting needs. Though I didn’t always use a Cricut. I started using the Silhouette Portrait. It’s what I already had and knew. As I started to make money, I upgraded to the Silhouette Cameo 2, then to the Cricut Explore Air 2. I have to say both brands have a lot of offer when it comes to cutting. I worked with what I had in the beginning. You never want to dive in with all new machines and tools before your business takes off.
What cutting machine should I buy?
Cricut.com has a variety of machines to choose from. Depending on what your needs are, there is one for everything. The Cricut machines are perfect for paper crafts, vinyl (and heat transfer vinyl), leather and stencils. As mentioned, I use the Explore Air 2. The are great benefits of the Cricut Explore Air 2. I talk about my favorite things I love about my Cricut here. Comparing the Air 2 to the previous machines I’ve used I really like the ease of the machine. The automatic settings are probably the most important. No one wants to fiddle around with settings when trying to create projects. Using a Cricut machine for your business will help cut and make so many different designs. The projects are endless!
Although I don’t promote my small business on social media enough, I do have loyal customers that continue to order from me. These customers are what help make my business flourish. I love knowing these customers can come to me, ask for a design/product and I make it happen.
In all of the years I’ve been “open for business” I have only closed shop maybe 2-3 times due to a move and once during surgery. I am open and honest with my customers, giving them a turnaround time and estimate of how long it will take. Keeping an open communication with them always makes things run much more smooth.
If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur with your small business, turning your craft into a side hustle or business I say DO IT! You won’t know how it goes until you try. I know it can sound scary but if you love what you’re doing with your crafts, it won’t be much of a “job”. You will still be having fun, while creating a business for yourself. Take that leap. Take your side hustle or crafting hobby to another level.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.