Monday, May 4, 2009

Craft Conference: Day 4

After STILL battling a headache from the Handmade Nation's handheld camera work...please bring it to DVD s I can watch all of it (see here) - I was sad to realise that this would be my final day in craftland. No workshops today - the one thing I was really looking forward to was 45 minutes of talking from Bianca Van Meeuwen who started her own fabric label - Hollabee - and joined forces with Lara Cameron and Tegan Rose to form Ink&Spindle...I reckon an indie film will be made about their story one day!

Homebased Craft Business notes...
Bianca gave a rundown of her experiences of starting up a craft business from home and what you should think about if you're wanting to do the same. Here are the top 4 important points:

1. Blogging - blogging was talked about a fair bit (and rightly so) and is considered one of the most important things for a home craft business as it's a free and worldwide way to put you and your product out there - plus you're part of a community that supports you...very important!

2. Marketing - and were mentioned as ways to get your handmade products into the marketplace and are great places to test how new things are received by the marketplace. You need to add new products regularly though to keep interest up. Approach retailers that you think fit well with your product. Retailers have a budget set in advance and my have used it up already so don't get discouraged if they don't take your stock this time...ask them when they are next buying and be ready.

3. Photos - In regards to points 1 and 2 - photos are hugely important! Avoid flash photography (try and use natural light to show off your wares). As your customers can't touch and feel your things, photos need to convey how great they are - using props are good too. For clothing, a live model or a dressmaker's model show the garments off best (rather than lying flat). Good free photo editing sites are: Picnik, Picasa, and The Big Huge Labs.

4. Pricing - this is an example of how you should price so it's fair for the seller (that's you) and the buyer. Handmade is more valued than something mass manufactured so don't sell yourself short!

Product cost (cost of supplies to make product) + labour cost (what you pay yourself/hour)
= Cost Price

Cost Price + 100%
= Wholesale price
(this is what you would sell to retailers at)

Wholesale price + 100%
= Retail price
(this is the price you would use on Etsy/Madeit)

**Important - Use a formula like the one above and pay yourself a fair price ($20/hr is a good estimate).

**Important - If you are selling to retailers - don't underprice them (for example on your website). Most retailers will add 100% markup on the wholesale price they paid for something - so it's a good equation to use for your own sales - otherwise if you outsell your retailers, they might not buy from you again...makes sense...of course, if they're going to add 200% markup on the wholesale price then it's their own fault for being greedy!

Blogcards given out: 2


  1. Great Post - i was interesting in going to this but had already overbooked myself :-) Thanks for the summary !

  2. Hey katy, no problem - I think those in the blog-world already have an idea about a lot of it but the 'pricing' was something everyone was very interested in getting information on. Interestingly Bianca still has a job 3 days a week, but the sale of their fabrics now covers the rent for the studio space they rent!

  3. I enjoyed catching up on your week! What are you going to do know that the craftacular over. Are the bunson burners bubbling? Is Contesa winding up for a go-around-the-park? Are you planning any fabulous crafternoons?

  4. Thanks for sharing all your craft fair goodess! I would have loved to have gone for another day or two, but money and baby made that hard! :)

  5. Hey Danielle, it was lovely to meet you at 'The Show' and chat. As an ex-science student myself, I'm liking the in jokes. Your blog is fun and I'm interested to hear how your journey goes. I'm back at real work this week, and its pretty dire! Lots of tunnel talk (or equivalent)!... Take care, K

  6. Thanks for the brillo summary. I really wanted to go to this talk but was sick so didn't hang around for it. The pricing tips are very interesting, I think I'd struggle to mark stuff up 200%, I guess it's different when you start out and are selling at markets right?
    I hope the handmade nation film comes out on DVD too coz I'd love to see it.