Sunday, February 12, 2017 Sunday, February 12, 2017

Eight Crafts you can Turn into a Home Business

Current labor market finds itself in a very unusual position. On one hand, after years of recession job opportunities are becoming scarce. On the other hand, 46% of Millennials find flexible work hours that allow them to spend more time with their friends and indulge their hobbies- more valuable than a salary. Is there any silver lining in this situation?

Yes. Starting a home-based business allows you to make a living from your hobbies while spending time with your friends. You see, people are slowly growing tired of uniforms and branded products. As a result, after years of being pushed back crafts are making a very welcome return to the mainstream world. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular crafts and see how to make money from them in 2017.

1. Forging

These days, blacksmithing is considered an archaic profession, but the art of forging can be used for creating so much more than horseshoes and rudimental tools. For example, you can earn a lot of money by making replicas of famous movie weapons. (Come on. Who wouldn’t want to have Excalibur or Anduril hanging on the wall?) Or you can open your studio and enter the waters of modern art. Now, getting the basic blacksmithing tools will require some funds. There are many ways to save money, and you will have to spend a lot of time practicing before you finally forge a worthy sword. However, once you get there the feeling will be incredibly satisfying.

2. Sewing

Image Credit: Bruce Turner, Flickr

Unlike blacksmiths who are all but extinct, tailors are very numerous. If you are good at sewing and want to stand out from this bunch, you should put your efforts into some very niche market. Cosplayers are one of the first customers that pops into mind. Convention culture is growing more potent and ostentatious with each passing year. You need only to nail one or two spot-on costumes, and you will get tons of free social media promotion. Alternatively, you can narrow the focus exclusively to prestige items like hats, vests, corsets, and similar clothing pieces.

3. Knitting

Image Credit: Storebukkebruse, Flickr

Everyone’s first association to knitting was probably the awful Christmas sweaters we all remember from our childhood photos, but if such sweaters are made purposefully silly they can become a very lovely gift. Use your knitting skills to further ruin utterly ugly sweaters with ridiculous quotes, inappropriate movie characters, and heavy metal lyrics. Don’t stop there. Extend your efforts to hats, scarves, gloves, and even iPhone pouches. The investments you will have to make will be minimal, so you lose almost nothing by trying.

4. Woodworking

Somewhat easier than blacksmithing but still challenging to master, woodworking is a gorgeous and satisfying profession that can find an innumerable number of modern implementations. How successful you will be depends exclusively on your will to practice and the niche you will eventually choose. Some of the more obvious choices are making unique furniture pieces, custom chess figures, wooden jewelry, baseball bats, weapon replicas, longbows, and other items. Here’s an interesting idea: Have you ever heard of NBC-inspired Minute to Win It games? You can put your twist on this concept and make something unique and cool.

5. Cosmetics

Although we usually associate the word “cosmetics” with more recent times, the origins of cosmetics go back to Ancient Egypt. Reaching back to these “old ways” can do nothing but help you more easily market your home-made products. Branding the products “eco-friendly” will make this already solid starting position even more favorable. What kind of goods can you make? The list is pretty extensive, and it includes soaps, facial creams, hand creams, deodorants, conditioners, shower gels, shaving gels, makeup, and essential oils. All of them are easy to handle and require only a small investment.

7. Leather working

In its essence, leatherwork is very similar to sewing, but it opens a whole range of new possibilities. For a start, crafting leather is very compatible both with sewing and forging. If you are ready to explore multiple disciplines, you can end up with a better rounded and much more appealing offer (e.g. you can sell your sword replicas packed in beautifully-carved scabbards). If you want to go down a more traditional route, you can still have a lot of fun by making wallets, belts, straps, clothes, and hats. Finally, you can devote all of your efforts solely to carving.

8. Decoupage

The reason why the word decoupage feels so beaten to death is that anyone who has ever tried to master this art went the same old path and used the same old tired style. Does the world need yet another jewelry box with floral motifs all over it? No. But, what about a House Stark wine case? Or a set of House Greyjoy wooden tankards? Or even a Witcher 3-inspired, case-like looking, wooden PC tower? The possibilities are endless. You only have to think outside the boring, vintage, floral box to explore them.

9. Flower Arrangement

Another craft that has its roots in ancient Egypt, flower arrangement is as casual as it gets. If you like growing plants, you will likely never notice that you are doing it for money. Unfortunately, that is the prime reason why you can count on ferocious competition. Once again, your greatest allies will be clever thinking, out-of-the-box designs, and a healthy amount of pop-culture awareness. For a start, your prime targets will be weddings and birthdays, but as soon as you successfully handle a couple of such events, you can start working your way into the bigger league (corporate events, national institutions, etc.).

10. Brewing Craft Beer

Image Credit: Tama Leaver, Flickr

Craft beers have always had an excellent reputation amongst rabid bar crawlers. No matter how many craft beers you try, each one seems to have its own unique flavor. It’s safe to say that there’s a lot of room for developing a business here. Starting your journey doesn’t require expensive brewing equipment. For the most part, you can get away with what you already have in your house, but if you want to advance to professional brewing systems, you should establish a very solid customer base and start reaching out to local pubs and restaurants as soon as possible.

While all these crafts are very different from each other, all have a few things in common. They require a lot of skill, passion, and endless hours of online promotion. If you are ready to pay these dues, you can develop a very creative, exciting, and fulfilling home business. Leave cubicles to the less ambitious. You are meant for something better.

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