Make-and-sell business models have become more and more popular in recent years. A new generation of consumers have brought crafts and homemade products into the mainstream.
UK craft sales have increased from £883m in 2006 to more than £3bn in 2019. This growth is set to continue, with the global arts and craft industry projected to hit $50.9 billion by 2024.
On popular online marketplaces like Etsy, “Craft and Supplies” and “Handmade Items” have dominated the top product category spots – covering everything from crochet patterns and ceramics to personalised goods.
So, if you have a passion for art, crafts, or DIY, why not turn it into a business venture? Whether you’re just starting out on your make-to-sell journey or looking for new product ideas, our list of things to make and sell in 2022 can help you get inspired.
Read on to see our top picks and find out how Square can help turn your hobby into a thriving business.
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Choose what to make
Before you can start your business, you’ll need to decide what things to make and sell. We’ve looked at some of the most popular handmade products from 2022 to bring you eight ideas that could pique your customers’ interests in 2023. Let’s take a closer look…
Add a little spark to your customers’ homes with handmade candles. Use soy wax for an eco-friendly approach and tailor your scents for different seasons and occasions. They’re pretty simple to make too, and there are lots of videos to help you get started with the candle making process.
Turn your at-home pottery hobby into a profitable business. You’ll just need the basic equipment to get started, such as clay, wheels, and a kiln.
Use your signature style to create unique vases or personalised mugs. Tap into the latest homeware trends for inspiration, such as body-shaped ornaments and zodiac-inspired designs.
Fancy yourself as the next Mary Berry? Maybe it’s time to start selling your home baked goodies. You could create bespoke letterbox brownies for long-distance gifts, set up a stall at a local market, or build your own cake business for birthdays, weddings, and other special events. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to tickle the taste buds.
Natural skincare and soaps
In the past year, searches for homemade skincare have seen a 110% year-on-year increase.
Join the hype with your own range of natural skincare remedies or soaps. You can learn how to create the products online, then try out different scents and textures to see which combinations work and sell best.
Remember those friendship bracelets you used to make? Well, those skills could help you start a handmade jewellery business. Find inspiration in the latest trends – demand for zodiac jewellery is up 29% – or stick to long-term favourites, like the custom name necklace. You can then add your own twist to make your jewellery stand out from competitors.
Art and prints
Avid artists can embrace their creative side with a business dedicated to their artwork. Showcase your designs on social media and offer them as prints for interested customers.
Once you’ve built up your fan base and feel confident with your designs, you could even start printing them onto t-shirts, keyrings, phone cases, and more.
Hampers and gift boxes
There are endless options when it comes to starting a gift box business – from cosy night in kits to eco boxes or festive themes – you just have to find your niche. Think of your interests and decide which ones might translate well to a target audience, then stock up on various supplies to fill your baskets.
Upcycling is not only a great business venture for DIY types, but it’s also something that’s great for the environment. You can upcycle clothes or furniture – depending on your skills. Just head into your local charity shops to find pieces with potential or look for items in your own home as a low-cost way to get started.
How to sell your products
Once you’ve decided what to make, it’s time to think about the next stage of your business – the selling. So, how do you get your products out into the world and in front of customers?
If you’re looking to set up an eCommerce business for your handmade goods, you’ll need to choose an online platform where you can sell your products.
This could include:
Your own online shop – set up your own eCommerce site for free with Square Online. Customise your site to fit your brand and sell your products in just a few clicks.
An online marketplace – create a shop for your business on Etsy or sell your handmade items or upcycles through Facebook Marketplace. It’s an easy way to reach customers in your local area.
Social channels – that’s right, you can even use your social media accounts to sell your products. Create a payment link with Square Online Checkout to share on your different social channels. Learn more about how to sell products on Instagram.
Marketing is also an essential part of any small business – but especially if your main traffic or revenue comes from eCommerce. Support your online store with various marketing tools, such as:
Social media – you can use social media to grow your business and spread the word about new product launches. Make sure to interact with followers, join in with the latest trends, and showcase the best of your brand.
SEO – search engine optimisation is the key to getting noticed by Google and other search engines. Target relevant keywords, add a blog for extra content, and optimise your product pages to really compete with other businesses.
Emails – build and maintain your existing customer relationships with Square Marketing. Our easy-to-use software lets you create email campaigns to keep your customers engaged with your brand. For tips, check out our email marketing best practices.
Alongside your online platform, you can also look for opportunities to sell your products in person. Sign up for craft fairs, farmers’ markets, and local festivals to set up a stall. You could even ask local shops and businesses if you can set up a pop-up shop.
You should also make sure you have all the equipment you need to start selling in-person. A portable chip and PIN and contactless card reader, such as the Square Reader makes it easy to process card payments at markets and fairs, while the Square Terminal offers an all-in-one solution for in-person card payments.
More ways to sell
While in-person opportunities help you build relationships with those in your local area, online platforms make sure you can still reach and engage a wider range of customers. Here are some tips on how to combine the two to grow your brand:
Make sure to provide business cards at stalls so people can look you up online afterwards.
Share your in-person events on social media and email newsletters so your online customers know they can attend.
Look to become a supplier for gift shops so your products are available online and in-person. The shop will usually pay less than the retail price so it will be less profit, but potentially more sales and more brand visibility.
Investing in your crafty side can be a great way to start a small business or expand an existing one. Square helps you every step of the way with different payment processing options to help you sell your handmade products in person and online.
Plus, discover more tips and tricks for growing your business on our Town Square blog.