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So you want to start a crafty business....

Melissa Steedsman

I used to go shopping at craft shows and leave feeling so excited to MAKE ALL THE THINGS. It's so inspiring to see what other people pour their time, love, and effort into creating. I know many of you are interested in starting a crafty business or maybe see handmade products and think "Oh I could totally do that that!" Well guess what?

You could totally do it.  And you should.

I didn't grow up thinking that I would run a creative business.  I was always interested in owning my own boutique or being a visual merchandiser for a store. I went to college for Apparel and Textiles at NDSU, but never touched a sewing machine because I was too intimidated.  I remember sitting in a class listening to some girls talking and they had MADE THEIR OWN CLOTHES! I had never even considered the thought of 'making my own clothes.' 

One night in 2014, I was researching the steps I would need to take to start my own store, featuring home decor, gifts, & trendy apparel. And honestly, once I had figured out the financial side of things, I felt like there was no way I could dive into something like that -- even if I was able to get a giant bank loan. I ended up on Youtube instead and started watching DIY tutorials about sewing. (random, right?)

My sweet friend let me use her sewing machine and the rest is history. Okay, so there was also a lot of frustration, 100's of ripped out seams while learning how to sew, and then countless hours of trying to figure out how to actually start a legitimate business. (As in registering names, setting up bank accounts, figuring out logistics of shipping, setting up online accounts; the list can go on and on!)

My first craft show in 2014. Check out the full story about it on Instagram.

But here's the thing.  It was all so exciting that it didn't even feel like work.  I wasn't "wasting" my time on something. I just felt that this was something I should try to pursue.  If it didn't work out, I was only out my time & a few hundred dollars that I had spent on supplies. 

I was creating something that literally didn't exist before I made it. And that was thrilling.

I just want to remind you that no one is an overnight success. (And congrats if you are, but I have yet to meet someone who is!)  When I post about the 'hustle being real' I mean it. Running a business isn't for the faint of heart, but I want you to know that if you WANT to do it, you totally can.  You can do it while working full time, chasing kids, and keeping up with a social life. But yes, it is hard. Learning to manage your own expectations is the hardest part; it's awesome to have high expectations for yourself, but you also need to love yourself and be realistic. 

I love chatting with others about starting crafty businesses + connecting with other makers, creatives, & artists! If you have questions, or just want me to give you a little pep talk, always feel free to send a message my way!

email: melissa@521handmade.com

xoxo

Melissa

 

 


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