Last week our blog post spoke about the choices you need to make with regards to selling your products when you first launch your business – whether you want to concentrate purely on online selling (and where that should be) or whether to focus on craft fairs and exhibitions.
This week I wanted to explore other options of selling your work once you are a bit more established. Of course, you will always be selling through your chosen channels, but what about when you want to widen your audience and look at new avenues – what options do you have?
Selling wholesale, or looking at SOR (sale or return), pop-up shops to co-operatives and collaborations, there are quite a few other ways to promote and sell your work.
A recent emerging trend is that of subscription boxes. Historically mainly focusing on the food and drink market, they have started becoming a LOT more varied. Boxes full of craft supplies started appearing a few years ago (I received a brilliant crochet box from Little Box of Crochet last year) and a quick search on Pinterest for subscription boxes shows me that you can now get anything from wine, to beauty products, to stationery and books, to wellbeing and lifestyle, to DIY and pets! It seems as if the popularity of subscription boxes is huge, and one to take opportunity of.
So what if you are an artist or maker and you want to make the most of this trend?
Is a subscription box something that you can consider for your work?
Well, where does your product fit?
Do you produce multiples?
Can you sell them at an affordable (and realistic) monthly price?
Are they small enough to fit into a box?
Do you want to provide one purely on your own or can you collaborate with others?
What is the purpose of your box?
Can it be considered a gift?
Are the contents of the box useful or purely for decoration?
What will the box give the recipient?
There are lots of things to consider but I believe that looking into the option of a monthly box is something that would suit many of you. There are a number of blogs out there which help you understand how to set up your own subscription box, but Kate Pullen, of Make for Business is in the process of setting up a subscription website and service specifically for artists and makers. This will be a free service for makers, artisans, artists and designers, but also subscription box owners and others who buy in multiples. Kate can take the headache away from you of finding the right market or collaborators and place you where you fit best. To find out more you can take a look at her website ISOHandmade. You can also click like on the FB page if you are interested in getting involved.
Subscription boxes can offer a genuine additional stream to your current selling platforms, and within them you can build up connections with other makers and businesses within your industry, as well as reaching a wider audience with your products.
If you are part of a monthly treat to someone, whether it be a gift or something more practical, you are becoming part of that recipients life, and they will genuinely look forward to receiving whatever it is you are sending them. By adding lovely packaging and kind words they will be so grateful for what greets them through their letterbox.
In an age of declining personal post, and our daily deliveries consisting mainly of bills or sales flyers, we are becoming more and more in touch with what lifts us. And if that is a monthly Buddybox or crochet kit, or even better – some handmade beauties dropping onto your doormat, then our day is made!
So who’s in??!
The CBN Team xx
For more information on SOR check out Claire Yuille’s Indie Retail Academy.
For more information on setting up your own subscription box take a look at CrateJoy.
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01884 266045 / 07969 044006