The Be Independent Guide: Choose Your Craft

THE "BE INDEPENDENT" CREATIVE BUSINESS GUIDE Choose Your Craft Do one thing really well. Also known as: find your niche. ...

Choose Your Craft

THE "BE INDEPENDENT" CREATIVE BUSINESS GUIDE
Choose Your Craft


Do one thing really well. Also known as: find your niche.

Defining your niche is important for standing out in the crowd especially when the crowd is so vast. Defining what you do by developing a clear style, distinct brand, and making it obvious what you sell, helps anyone who encounters you and your business understand who you are and what you're about.

That doesn't mean you have to decide immediately on your craft and stick to it. You should spend some time, while you can, figuring out the balance between what you love making, what you are good at, and what people want to buy. Figure out what your talents are, what you're passion about, and any skills you possess.

It took me a while to figure out I was a jewellery designer. When I opened an Etsy shop in 2010, I didn't start making/selling anything until 2011. I went from zines to badges to notebooks to totes to jewellery, and even when I started making jewellery it didn't end there. I spent another year developing those products, figuring out what worked and what people wanted to buy, and improving my products and skills.

If you start out wanting to knit but you also want to create stationery from your illustrations, go for it. Use your start-up anonymity to your advantage. Try things out, experiment - make mistakes and learn from them. You might find the things you make are too time consuming to be profitable; you might learn people don't “get" your art or want to buy your products. You might discover you don't like making any of the things you thought you would and end up wanting to change direction completely.

Allow yourself time to explore your talents, improve your skills, and then choose your craft.
If something doesn’t work, change it. Use your time as an amateur to work things out.
It’s easier to play around with product ideas, aesthetic styles, and branding when starting out.

But once you do figure out what you really want to make and sell, it's important to commit. Find your market and capitalise on it before trying to do anything else. Do one thing really well.

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