Help A Reader: Turning A Hobby Into An Income

Reader Georgie left the following comment on my post about turning your hobby into a source of income:

I would love some helpful suggestion in how to turn my hobby into an income. I make craft kits for girls between the age of 4-12yrs old. I can make them for 1 girl or for a whole lot of girls, e.g. for a party. I have a number of products such as handbags, necklaces and jewellery boxes etc. As this is a scary time for the country any help would be greatfully appreciated. Thank you.

This is an interesting question – Georgie obviously has quite an interesting little hobby that has some potential for generating money, but is unsure what step to take next.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Talk to local shopkeepers – I think a good place to start would be to speak to local shopkeepers stocking similar or related products to see if there’s any chance of getting a trial to see if the kits will sell in their shop. Try to get feedback on who is buying the items – whether the pricing seems to be right, etc. If you offer the items on a sale-or-return basis then there should be little risk for the shop owner.
  • School / craft fayres – it might not sound like a route to riches, but I think initially you should look to get as much information on who to market the product to and how to do it before committing any money to the project. There are plenty of Christmas fayres going on at the moment, so see if you can get a stall and once again, see who’s buying, ask them what they’re buying it for and keep a note of any feedback – we’re trying to find out marketing insight here rather than piles of cash (which will hopefully come later).
  • Setup an online shop – from the sounds of it, this could be a good product to try selling on Etsy, which is a website dedicated for selling anything handmade. It might also be worth setting up an eBay shop and targeting certain categories, such as party items or kids toys (there might well be better categories than this – have a think about the target audience and what they might be searching for). Obviously, this will be more worthwhile if you’ve had some good feedback as mentioned above. It’s worthless having an online store if you won’t be getting any traffic to it, and knowing who the likely buyers are and how they’ll find your product is essential.

These are just a couple of initial thoughts, but I’d like to open this up to my other readers.

Do you have any thoughts on how Georgie could get her business off the ground? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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