If you’re thinking of starting your own business making handmade gifts but don’t know what to make, this is the article for you! During the different lockdowns we’ve had over the past few years people have started to get creative at home and make their own crafty projects, which has helped reintroduce the idea of buying handmade gifts!
If you’ve got a sewing machine or can free-hand sew, you’ve got a business! Handmade sewing projects are in high demand recently and you can easily market your products to your own skills and interests. Almost anything can be a sewn project including: bags, clothes, cushion covers, soft toys, sleeping masks, bookmarks. Even better, face masks are wanted now more than ever and are super easy to make! I did an interview earlier in the year with my friend who owns her own business selling hand-sewn products, check it out! – MadeByLotti.
Although a little messy, clay making is a super easy and fairly cheap project to get started in! Clay making is perfect for beginner businesses as it doesn’t require years of learning, only some basic knowledge of how clay works and how you plan to make your own creations. Some simple ideas are: plant pots, jewellery trays, mugs, plates, keyrings, jewellery (rings, earrings). One of my favourite shops that specialise in handmade clay products is CurioCatStudio.
Card making is making a comeback! Similarly to digital prints, card making doesn’t require years of experience, only some materials and imagination! You can be pretty creative with card making which is why it’s become so popular again in recent years, all the designs, materials, sizes, and colours are all up to the creator. A lot of card makers also receive custom orders from customers, where they’ll ask the creator to make something specific for just them, which is a great way to show your adaptability whilst also keeping it original to your own business’s style. A few card design ideas are: 3D elements, your own art printed on the card, lights, and sound recordings. A great card making business on Etsy is DustyandCoCards.
All this one requires is some editing software and some creative ideas! A lot of people think creating digital art takes years of experience and training but that’s only an extra helping hand if you really want to sell your craft. Digital art can mean so many different things to different people and with the ever changing trends it’s best to stick to the style you like and love to create. Apps like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Affinity Designer are great for starting your craft and perfecting it in the future. Some art ideas are: portraits, concept art, fan art (people, games, shows), phone wallpapers, landscapes. A really interesting digital art business is StudioInception, who do posters of cities around the world.
Jewellery making is the most flexible business to get into as there’s so many options and routes to take! It really gives the creator free reign to make any jewellery they want, with any type of materials, and in any kind of style, for example: crystal necklaces, clay earrings, beaded bracelets, or stand-alone charms added to any existing jewellery. Handmade jewellery has exploded in the market since lockdown and will probably continue growing in popularity so there’s always space to start your own business! My favourite handmade jewellery shop is ReesinCrafts, who do real flowers set in resin.
Although a little trickier to get started in, creating your own makeup business sells incredibly well and is a great chance for learning new things! The reason make-up is a little harder to get into is because of the risks that come with making it homemade. Certain ingredients in makeup can be harmful to the user and new businesses are especially susceptible to this issue as there’s likely not a lot of money in the business so far. That being said, it’s very unlikely a customer has any bad reaction to a product and they will understand that you’re a new business, so be as creative as you like on your makeup making journey! Some easy make-up ideas could be: blusher, lip gloss, eyeshadow, lip balm, and accessories (glitter, stickers). My favourite handmade lip balm business is BRITBOTANICS and is zero waste!
Small businesses tend to start making money by the first year and get a consistent flow in around 3 years, however, there’s never an exact time scale for small businesses to start making good money and a lot of the success depends on marketing and visibility. There’s a big space in the market for handmade products recently and is a perfect time to start your own business making your own art that reflects you, so go out and get started!