February 22, 2011

Indecision May or May Not Be Your Problem

My husband says this to me a lot. I'm frickin' indecisive. It is a tragic flaw that has certainly impeded me in many situations. I've now got to overcome this crap and make some executive decisions, dammit!

Here are some of the decisions I'm facing as an aspiring craft entrepreneur.

Should I go high-end, low-end, or middle-of-the-road? Base metals, sterling, both? Glass, plastic and acrylic or gemstones, or both? Should I purchase findings that are already antiqued or do it myself? Should I buy from Chinese wholesalers to make a better profit margin? Should I purchase my supplies from my local bead store because I prefer contributing to my local economy even if it means I have to charge my customers more? Should I make every piece one of a kind or just create a few designs that I can make with a few minor variations? And this is just for the jewelry side of the house. What about when (yes, when) we expand our offerings to other items? Just thinking about that makes my head spin.

No, I'm not a booking agent for musical acts or burlesque shows - where am I going to sell my wares? Clearly, I will have an online store. But which one? Etsy is the original virtual craft bazaar, but it is no longer the only place where you can sell handmade items. There is also Artfire, 1000Markets and a bevvy of others to choose from. They each have their own quirks and advantages. Etsy is almost to the point of being "mainstream" in that many people know about it, but it is also flooded with tons of competition. Artfire lets you set up a store for free so you can test the waters, but it isn't as well known at this point.

I like the idea of creating Anthropologie inspired jewelry, but I know that is limiting. Plus, I dont' want people to think I am making knockoffs, because that is not my goal. In the end it will come down to what sells and where the demand lies, but first I'll need to make some inventory in a variety of styles before I can figure that out.

Once I get all that figured out, I still have to make myself "legal" before I start doing business. Yes, even someone who sells handmade crafts as a hobby still has to pay sales tax on those items sold to customers within the same state. Tune in next time for more on that ball of fun.

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