A few weeks ago, Ramit Sethi challenged me to test an assumption that was holding me back. It was easy for me to pick one; I've held it for years and it's caused me to scoff every time someone urges me to sell the stuff I make. It's this: "I can't make any money from crafts. People won't pay for the time it takes. I could never even make minimum wage."
Maybe my assumption is true. But then, maybe it's not. Ramit's challenge was to test the assumption.
So I did two things. I asked my neighbour, who had been the recipient of some of my burp cloths, and who wanted more, how much she thought they were worth. She named a price that was about twice what I had in mind. Okay .... sure, I will sell you more!
Next, I emailed my entire workplace (about 1000 people) and asked for expressions on interest on my custom chair covers, at a price I thought was worth my time. The response was encouraging. Several people placed orders immediately, a dozen more said they would certainly be interested, so I was off and running.
Why chair covers? Well, many of our office chairs are kind of gross. We don't really want to know what made the stains we sit on each day. Plus, it's a simple pattern so not terribly time consuming to make. And, I have a LOT of suitable fabric already. High value to the recipient + low costs to the supplier = sweet spot.
So far, I've delivered and installed five sets, and I have seven orders to fill this weekend. It's kind of nice to have people come up to me, saying "I LOVE IT! THANK YOU!" and thrusting money into my hand.
I have to say, the buzz is building. I'm making [a good deal] more than minimum wage, and feeling good about it! Next step ... an Etsy store??