Beading Projects For Fun and Profit – Part I
It is fairly simple to sell your bead crafts for profit on a small scale, as you will likely give some of your creations away, have others on display around your home, or (in the case of jewelry) be wearing some of your favorite pieces out and about. As word gets out, it’s altogether possible that someone will ask you to undertake one or more beading projects for them. This kind of organic growth will produce occasional profits and leave you hungering for more, and while gleaning occasional profits for your hobby is relatively easy, it is significantly more difficult to take it to the next level and turn your hobby into a cottage industry.
I say this not to dissuade you from trying, but only to make clear that selling your bead work for profit on a regular basis is harder than you might think. As with anything worth doing, putting your hobby on a paying basis takes persistence and work. Having said that, if it’s something you’re interested in, I’ll walk you through some of the things you need to be thinking about in order do just that.
If you’re serious about making money with your hobby, the first, best thing you can do is not spread yourself too thin. Settle on 3-4 beading projects you can execute well and feel reasonably sure you can make a respectable profit at. Below, we’ll examine some of the more popular beading projects, and their suitability for your purposes.
Necklaces: Probably the most popular of the beading projects people attempt for profit, and also one of the most difficult to succeed at. If this is where your primary interest lies, then you should know that in order to succeed, you’ll really need to work at carving out a niche for yourself. Try to keep some common, underlying theme to your work. Stay consistent so that your portfolio has a similar “look and feel.” If simple elegance is what you do best, don’t stray far from that in your “for profit” beading projects. On the other hand, if your preference runs to zany, over the top designs, stick with that. Bear in mind that you’ll want to be able to produce your designs in quantity, so keep your patterns simple but unique. A tall order, but by studying the market, you should be able to find a niche.
Bracelets: A smaller market than necklaces, but these beading projects can still be a challenge to break into. One popular niche in the bracelet market is the “mother’s bracelet” A crowded market now, but if you have an innovative approach, that particular line of beading projects can be profitable indeed!
Earrings: Another fabulous line of beading projects, and this one lends itself nicely to profitability. Once you’ve perfected your designs, you can typically produce several pairs of earrings a day, and some capacity for mass production is essential to profitability. Again, however, earrings are a crowded market, so your beading projects will have to have some unique aspect to them in order for you to find profits.
Chris Hartpence and his wife, Christina, live in a small seaside town in South Carolina. Both are lifelong artists and die-hard do-it-yourselfers.
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