The Money-Making Power of Mixed Media

Posted 19/10/2023 in Tips for Crafters

In these times of financial squeezing, is it still possible for small craft businesses to flourish? To that question, we reply with a resounding “Yes!”. One of the great advantages of owning your own business is the freedom you have. You can mull over and research a new direction or opportunity, and if it looks viable and beneficial, you can follow your rainbow. This is true also for for your creativity; as you allow your imagination to run riot and come up with new designs and concepts you are free to develop them through to their fruition in a new product. You also have the opportunity to seek out the best place to sell handmade items UK to ensure your quality products can reach a wide customer base.  

This is all good, but in the equation, there is also the reality of producing a profit margin. In these financially challenging and uncertain times, we need to think out of the box to find ways to add value to our products. This, arguably, may be easier for a small company than a large one. To use a nautical analogy; it is easier to change the direction of a small sailing dinghy than a great ocean liner. So, as small craft business owners, this may well give you a competitive edge.

One of the ways in which you could add a twist to your work and thus add value can be to mix the media with which you work.  For example, have you ever considered how your beautiful watercolours would look on a cushion? Or how block printing might work on napkins or floral prints on tablecloths. If this is something you’ve not tried before, it is well worth doing some research. Maybe you might be able to team up with a fellow crafter who works primarily with textiles and the fusion of your products could be a real winner for you both.

As we approach the season of gift-giving in a time of financial constraints, consumers will be looking for gifts which are both original and good value. As any entrepreneur will tell us, circumstances which are generally perceived as a threat to most can, with some out-of-the-box thinking, be an opportunity for a few. Thus, harking back to the small dinghy analogy, this could be an opportune moment for some creative thinking and novel ideas.

This blending of media can be used to bring elegance and warmth into any home.  For example, quality table linen decorated with stunning watercolour motifs will add an effortless charm to the dinner table. Table cloths, runners and napkins all provide gifts across the budget range, and combined with a unique watercolour print or motif will produce a thoughtful gift which can be treasured down the years.

As a pet-loving nation, pet portraits are popular and most certainly unique. Transferring a painting of a family’s much-loved pup onto a cushion could provide the perfect present and the recipient is guaranteed not to receive a duplicate! A similar concept could be applied to a family; a simple line drawing of the family group, transferred onto a cushion would be sure to melt a mother’s heart.

Another good outlet you might consider is the wedding gift market. Most wedding lists contain a selection of tableware. Family and friends who are seeking out a memorable gift will be willing to pay a little more for such a special occasion. This could also be an opportunity for a bespoke service, creating artwork reflecting the bride and groom’s unique story.

If you work with acrylics, have you ever considered what your designs might look like on a T-shirt? Clothing makes a popular gift, and in times of financial constraint, it is a particularly good choice as it is useful as well as fun. And, why limit yourself to T-shirts? You could create a whole range of child and baby wear, including baby all-in-one vests, bibs, bunting for the nursery and bags for mum to carry the multitude of essentials needed by babies and toddlers.

Once you have produced your range of high-quality and beautiful products, you need to market and sell them. So, where is the best place to sell handmade items UK? Online is certainly a good option and one many crafters will use. You can explore sites such as Etsy and Folksy, and it may well be worth building your website and selling directly from there. Then, there are the in-person options. These include craft fairs, markets and local fundraising events, e.g. school fetes or charity fundraising open days. For all of these, you will need the correct insurance; probably public and product liability.  As a family business ourselves we know the importance of offering a good service to our customers. So, drop us a line or pick up the phone and we can talk you through the best package for your individual craft-selling needs.

In a competitive market, another way in which your hand-crafted products can be ahead of mass-produced items is in the area of sustainability. As you use ethically produced or local raw products and employ staff from within your community, your businesses will have an authenticity which can be seen. Be sure to promote this well on your website, which might become the best place to sell handmade items UK, and any other locations where you see, all your products.

In our current climate, there is so much in favour of small handcrafting businesses. Your products are not only unique and of good quality, but they will often have a longevity which their mass-produced counterparts do not. So, be confident; be bold in your fusion of techniques as well as your mixing of media, and make sure you get your products out to a customer base who will love them!