Tag Archives: marketing

Crafts online

I have been selling my handwoven items for some time now online. I have a website where I display some of my products and this continues to be an effective method of selling for me.

I realize that as crafters/weavers/handspinners, many of us are looking for alternate ways to sell our work, in addition to selling at craft fairs. The internet is a good way to do this and recently there have become more avenues to promote your work. Here are a few things that I have discovered.

Website

Firstly, start with a good website that is hosted on a reliable server. Purchase your own domain name. The cost of domain registration has come down in price so that it can be quite affordable.
Build a good quality website. Have a clear, easy to navigate menu system so that users can find their way around your website. Use good quality photos of your work.
Set up a Paypal account so that it is easy for the user to order your items and to pay you. Note that Paypal has a standard return policy so allow for this. I make it a rule not to spend my Paypal earnings until I am sure that the customer is satisfied and isn’t going to return the item.

hand spun yarn

In order for your website to be found, make the website search engine friendly. Use appropriate keywords on each page that describe what the page is about. If you are featuring knitted socks, then use keywords that describe the socks: knit socks, hand knit socks, knitted socks, wool socks, etc.
Also use text to describe the socks, what they are made of, what makes them special.
Use “alt” tags on all images so that search engines can understand what your image is. This will make the images more search engine friendly and will allow them to show up on Google image listings.

Also to help your website get noticed and show up in Google it is a good idea to also promote your work on other websites.

Facebook
Facebook now has an option to set up a Page for your business. You will first need to set up a personal Facebook account. Once you do this there will be an option to Create Page.
As an example, I have set up a Facebook Page for my Paivatar Yarn business. I use this to showcase my products and what I am making. I post photos of my work as I dye yarns, card, spin, felt and whatever I happen to be working on.
I also post links to the other website sales outlets that I use – Folksy and Etsy.
Once you have your Facebook Page set up there is an option to link it to your Twitter account, so that when you add a post to your FB Page, a Twitter is sent automatically to your Twitter followers.

Etsy

Etsy.com is an online marketplace where crafters can post their items for sale. Etsy charges a fee of $.20 per item and the item is listed for 4 months. If you have a successful sale Etsy charges an additional fee of 3.5% of the sale price.
If you join Etsy it is helpful to also become part of a team that can support you and help to promote your products. In return you are expected to also help other team members. Find out what the team rules are and follow them.
Paivatar Yarns on Etsy
I have some of my work listed on Etsy.

Folksy
Folksy.com is similar to Etsy but is the UK version. In order to take part you have to be a crafts person who is living in the UK.
Paivatar on Folksy
Since I now live in the UK I am concentrating more of my efforts on the UK version of Etsy – supporting local crafts.
Folksy fees are slightly higher – they charge £.20 to list an item and a 6% fee on a successful sale. However they have an annual payment option of £30 per year, for unlimited number of items. Depending on what type of crafts you produce, this could be a money saving option.
Folksy also has a member forum. I have found them to be very friendly and helpful in supporting each other. So be sure to get involved.

When you post your craft items on these or similar websites, be aware that there is a lot of competition as many crafters are actively involved. In order to be effective it is best to post a new item each day or every few days as new items are added on a continual basis.

The more exposure that you are able to get for your website, the more successful you will be. There are some other avenues to help you to achieve this.

Pinterest
Pinterest.com is an online bulletin board that allows you to ‘Pin’ anything that is of interest to you. It is much like a giant scrapbook or a pin board where you can add your pictures. When Pinterest first started you had to be invited to join. Recently they have opened it up so that anyone can now become a member and start pinning.
When you come across a photo or image online that you like, you can ‘Pin’ it to add to your own Pin Board. The image appears on your Board with a direct link back to the original website. Other Pinterest members can view your boards and if they also like the item they can ‘repin’ it to their own board. The photo link goes back to the original owner’s website.
Allfiberarts on Pinterest
I have a Pinterest account where I pin photos of things that I have liked and also use it to list some of my own work as well. I browse through other members listings and repin or Follow ones that I find interesting.

Twitter
I am sure that everyone has heard of Twitter. The idea is that you can send short Tweets to your friends – about your latest thoughts, ideas or cool things you have come across.
I must admit I haven’t quite mastered the art of tweeting and twittering so I let software tools do it for me. For example, when I post a new article to this All Fiber Arts website, the WordPress software that I use, automatically sends it to my Twitter account to forward it on to my Twitter subscribers.
My Facebook Page has the same feature turned on, so when I post to FB, it tweets it on for me.

Craftjuice
Craftjuice.com is an interesting website that I discovered recently. It is designed to promote handmade crafts. The Crafts are divided into several categories.
General crafts, Paper crafts, Beads, Pottery, Fabric, Knitting, Crochet, Metalwork.
You have to complete an application form with links to your website and products that you have for sale. It can take a few days to get accepted.
Once you have been accepted complete a short Profile page. To add a new craft item, Click on Submit a New Craft Item.
Provide a url link to your website, or to Etsy, Folksy or wherever you have this product listed for sale.
Add a photo and a short description of the item.
When you have submitted this, the item will appear in the Upcoming Crafts section of the website.
Craftjuice members are allowed to vote on the items. Once you have 5 votes, the item moves into the Popular Items section of the website.
The item then is also tweeted to Craftjuice Twitter subscribers. And Craftjuice sends out a monthly newsletter to its subscribers listing items with the top votes. Craftjuice currently has over 8000 followers so it’s a great promotional tool!

Please be sure to acknowledge others work and if you like it, Like it, Share it, Vote for it, Pin it. Pass the good karma on.
If you know of other good websites for selling or promoting crafts, please let us know by posting a Comment below.

Craft Business Books

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business: Bonus – 16 Starter Projects • How to Sell Locally & Online

Electric bobbin winder, weaving loom

$148.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-5-2019 19:58:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $148.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Gota 24 inch wide fold-able hand weaving loom imported from Sweden Free Shipping

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-10-2019 18:01:18 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Product Labelling: aa052298

An important and not to be overlooked part of getting your handwovens ready for sale is the labeling of your products. Hang tags can be used for some articles, others require that the information be securely sewn onto the product.

If you are needing small quantities of labels, blank business cards can be purchased from a stationery store and designed on your computer and printed on your printer. If you need larger quantities or wish a more professional look, have them done by a printer. While you are having your business cards printed, have the hang tags done as well. Do check the proof carefully, before approving the final printing.

I live in Canada, but export some products to the U.S. I contacted the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and obtained the Rules and Regulations for labeling of textile products. If you are exporting to other countries, you will have to contact the appropriate agency to determine specific labeling requirements. The label must include the name of the manufacturer, where the product was made, the fiber content, in % by weight, and full washing and care instructions.

For clothing, the label must be attached in the neck of the garment. For other textile products, the label has to be attached to a conspicuous place. If you have specific questions regarding how to label your product, contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumer protection and a competitive marketplace and has guidelines and information about textile, wool and fur matters.

Marketing your Crafts

Arts and Crafts Business Information

Pricing your Handwoven Products

Craft Business Books

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business: Bonus – 16 Starter Projects • How to Sell Locally & Online

Electric bobbin winder, weaving loom

$148.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-5-2019 19:58:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $148.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Gota 24 inch wide fold-able hand weaving loom imported from Sweden Free Shipping

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-10-2019 18:01:18 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Pricing Handwovens

Even though you may not be a weaver by profession at some point someone will ask if you are willing to sell your work. How much do you charge? How do you determine a reasonable price that will cover your costs and hopefully give you a bit of profit for your effort as well?

There are a number of points to consider:
supplies – the cost of your materials,
your time – both warping, weaving and finishing,
and the market price – what the customer is willing to pay.
Material cost:
There are a number of weave drafting software programs that will assist you in estimating your material costs. You enter the data: warp and weft cost per lb., sett, length and width of project, number of items, etc. and the total project cost is calculated for you.

Because so much of your time is spent warping the loom and materials lost to loom waste, it is more economical to make more than one item at a time. For this example, I will do the calculations for 3 mohair blanket throws.

  • Mohair cost per lb: $ 40.00
  • Yards per lb: 2240 y.p.p.
  • Sett: 6 e.p.i
  • P.P.I: 6 p.p.i.
  • Project width: 45 in.
  • Total length including loom waste: 12 yd.
  • Loom waste: 27 in.
  • Number of finished items: 3

For pricing purposes, in the material cost per lb. I have used the average Retail cost of the yarn. Even though I may be fortunate and have found material on sale or am able to purchase a large quantity at wholesale prices, for pricing products, it is wise to use the highest price I might have to pay for materials. Why? If I get a repeat order and have run out of the material I got on sale, and have to reorder at a higher price, I may not be able to meet the order.

Warp Cost:

  • Width x e.p.i. = 45 x 6 = 270 ends
  • No ends x Total length = 270 x 12 yds = 3240 yd.
  • Total yds/y.p.p. = 3240/2240 = 1.45 lb.
  • Total lb. x Cost per lb. = 1.45 x $ 40 = $ 58.00

Weft Cost:

  • Project width x p.p.i = 45 x 6 = 270 in.
  • Total length x 36 = 12 x 36 = 432 in.
  • Total length – loom waste = 432 – 27 = 405
  • (270 x 405)/36 = 109350 in./36 = 3038 yds.
  • Total yds/ ypp = 3038/2240 = 1.36 lb.
  • Total lb. x Cost per lb. = 1.36 x $40 = $ 55.00
  • Warp cost + Weft Cost = $ 58 + $ 55 = $ 113.00
  • Material Cost per Item:
    Total Cost/ No. of Items = $ 113/3 = $ 38.00

For your accounting records, you will have to recalculate this to obtain the actual cost of this project using the price you paid for your materials. The difference between the 2 “costs” is your profit on materials.
Labour cost:
Now that you know your material cost, you have to determine what your labour is worth. Is weaving your passion and you would happily work for free? Or do you want to make an income? When you calculate this, please remember that there are weavers who do this for a living. If you are willing to work for free, then others have to compete with lower prices and you may be doing them a disservice. Also, if you are successful and have to hire others, what will you have to pay someone else to weave for you? For illustration purposes, I will use a labour cost of $ 10.00 per hour.

Warping time:
Estimate how long it takes you to warp a loom and add this to your calculation.
Weaving time:
What is your average time to weave a certaing length of fabric? Time yourself over several projects. If you have put on a blanket warp as in this example, record your start and finish times as you are working on the project. Using these records will help you to determine what your average weaving speed is and also identify if your speed is improving. For this calculation, I will use an estimate of 1 ft. per hour.

Finishing:
It is important to not forget that it takes time to finish your projects. How long does it take to wash, full, brush and finish the ends of your blankets?

  • Warp time: 5 hr. x $ 10 = $ 50.00
  • Weave time: 10 yd = 30 ft.
  • 30 hr. x $ 10 = $ 300.00

3 blankets x 2 hr./blanket = 6 hr.
6 hr. x $ 10 = $ 60.00
Total Cost:

  • Material: $ 115.00
  • Warp time: $ 50.00
  • Weaving time: $ 300.00
  • Finishing: $ 60.00
  • Total: $ 525.00
  • Total Price per Blanket: $ 525/3 = $ 175.00

So now you have determined that you should charge at least $ 175.00 for your blankets. The other important factor to consider is what price your market will bear. Will your customers be willing to pay $ 175 for your blankets? Are you able to charge more because your blankets are of exceptional quality? Do you have a ready supply of materials that you can obtain at a very low cost and are able to drop your selling price?

If you sell wholesale to retail stores or on consignment, the stores will also mark-up your products, so the final selling price will almost double. If you are able to sell a larger quantity, will the increased sales make up your profit margin so that you are able to drop your wholesale prices?

There are a lot of factors to consider when pricing. If you have questions or comments, join us in the forum for an ongoing discussion on pricing and marketing of our products.

Craft Business Information

Product Labelling

Attending a Craft Show

Craft Business Books

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business: Bonus – 16 Starter Projects • How to Sell Locally & Online

Electric bobbin winder, weaving loom

$148.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-5-2019 19:58:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $148.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Gota 24 inch wide fold-able hand weaving loom imported from Sweden Free Shipping

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-10-2019 18:01:18 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Craft Business Information: craftbiz

Product Labelling
Links to information and resources for labelling your products for sale.

Craft Shows
Some things to know if you are planning to attend a craft show.

Product Labels
Info for labelling your products for sale.

Pricing
How do you determine the correct price to charge for your handwovens?

A Day in the Life of an Artisan
What’s it like to earn a living as a weaver/spinner?

Craft Business Books

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online

Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn’t born with a business mind. Learn how to find buyers, get paid … nicely, deal with copycats and sell more art.

Sewing to Sell – The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business: Bonus – 16 Starter Projects • How to Sell Locally & Online

Electric bobbin winder, weaving loom

$148.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-5-2019 19:58:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $148.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Antique Vintage Nilus Leclerc Loom Tension Box Warp Weaving Wood

$109.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 5:45:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $109.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Gota 24 inch wide fold-able hand weaving loom imported from Sweden Free Shipping

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-10-2019 18:01:18 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list