It truly is, isn’t it? I love handmade things and, when I have the time, I try to make and bake a lot of things with my own hands. They may not always come out catalogue-pretty or taste exquisite but they’re made by me, with love and care, for those I love and care about. As such, handmade can be effortful & time-consuming. Which is why it’s always tricky turning a handmade hobby into a business–even when people tell you how great an idea it would be.
In my quest to earn some shopping money over the years, I’ve attempted at several handmade homepreneur projects that didn’t quite make it. At best, I broke even.
- Shoe bags (they were easiest to sew but hardest to sell!).
- Christmas Cookies (a fine way to earn some $$$ from defenseless neighbors and relatives–but every other “homepreneur” thought the same way too!).
- And the award for the No-Sleep-Guaranteed business idea goes to: the tri-level pesto, sun-dried tomato, boursin dip with homemade focaccia (making orders kept me up till 2AM nightly for a month)!
So as you can tell, I haven’t been much of a success.
Recently, my entrepreneurial friend who has a children’s clothes business invited me to sell a few bags of my homemade granola at a Christmas bazaar. I hesitated. Feelings of financial failure resurfaced along with zombie-like images of myself.
“No thank you,” I quickly replied.
But she encouraged me give it a go as a homepreneurial experiment this holiday bazaar season. I relented and thought: why not? Granola’s not as labor-intensive, there’s practically zero wastage + I had a good product to offer.
Turns out, it was an experiment worth doing. She sold most of the bags so I earned my money back with extra for a cup of coffee or two. All without sacrificing precious sleep!
Now, if you are contemplating turning a homemade/handmade hobby into a business but aren’t naturally business-savvy like myself , here are a few links I found useful:
Not if you think you can buy that penthouse in downtown KL by selling cookies.
After all, handmade takes time and time is gold!
Etsy & other online marketplaces is a great option for Crafters, Bakers, Makers…but it’s as competitive as the real world so learn more.
It’s not as simple as having a table and setting up shop in a bazaar.
Written by Marite Irvine