Would you love to turn your hobby into an income-making activity? If one of your new year resulotions was to spend less on crafting, think laterally! As many people’s resolutions fall by the wayside, why not push your hobby to make some extra money too? According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA) direct selling is now the UK’s largest provider of part-time independent earning opportunities, with sales in excess of £2 billion each year.
A recent study finds that pursuing hobbies makes us happier and gives a sense of greater well-being.2 With more than 23,000 crafting businesses in the UK and many more enthusiastic individuals, there has never been a better time to try your hand at some creative paper craft. Paula Gorry, UK Business Development manager of Stampin’ Up! provides a few easy tips on how to turn your love of crafting into some extra income.
Throw a party
Events are not only great for socialising during the week but also serve as a way of promoting your business. Our Stampin’ Up! demonstrators organise parties, hold classes, and run events and clubs in order to get people excited about crafting. This hands-on approach can really sow the seed of creativity amongst people who’ve never even attempted crafting before, and that moment when the passion ignites can be really rewarding for teacher and pupil alike!
Get Social Media Savvy
Social media is a great tool to use to show off your crafting talents and attract others to the world of crafting. Set yourself up on social media so that a wider audience can find you and view your products and techniques. Remember to think visually when it comes to social media as photos gain more engagement than posts with just text.3
If you’re new to crafting then there are a number of tutorials on YouTube and Facebook offering inspiration and ideas for beginners. If you’re a long time crafter then why not utilise these same tools to your advantage by making your own tutorial video or creating a Facebook page for crafters in your local area?
Let crafting fit around you
Many new businesses require owners to commit a huge number of hours to get the company off the ground. But if your hobby is your business then it simply won’t feel like work. Many of our demonstrators run their businesses alongside other jobs, study or full-time parenthood. The key is letting the business fit around you, whether that means crafting at the weekend, in the evening or when the little one is napping.
Have a support network
Starting your own business can be somewhat daunting at first; however you don’t have to go it alone. Talk to those who have been there and done it, and take their advice on board. Certainly, having the support of an established team is key to the success of many of our demonstrators.
The new ‘artisan economy’ has opened many people’s eyes to the possibility of earning through making, baking and crafting. In many cases, successful businesses have developed on the back of a passion or hobby, and direct selling has emerged as a route to earning extra income.
If you have an interest or particular skill, why not investigate ways of making it pay? 2016 could be your year.
 Start Ups, ‘Direct selling parties growing at rate of 150% since 2009’, http://startups.co.uk/direct-selling-parties-growing-at-annual-rate-of-150/, 4th November 2014
2 The Guardian, ‘Hobbies make us happier- so avoid mockery and enjoy’ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/11/hobbies-happier-gardening-bird-watching-stroking-cat?CMP=fb_gu 11th January, 2016
- Hootsuite, ‘Fact or fiction: do images increase Facebook engagement’ http://blog.hootsuite.com/do-images-increase-facebook-engagement/ 11th December 2014