Do You Have A Niche To Scratch?

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A key to success when selling your crafts is to find a niche that hasn’t been filled in your own community.  Even the best and finest crafts will go unsold if there is no need for that item in your marketplace.  But, how do you go about finding your craft niche?  It’s not as hard as it sounds. Just ask yourself a few questions as a starting point.

  • What craft do you look for when attending a craft bazaar or craft fair?
  • Is there a craft you make that your friends request over and over?
  • What creative items catch your eye and make you take a second look?
  • Does a craft you like to make serve a function or practical purpose?
  • Is there a craft you can’t find readily in your community?
  • Is there a craft that can attract attention through demonstration (making items on site of the craft bazaar)?

Nancee McAteer of Palm Bay, Florida found a craft niche when her daughter went off to college at a military academy.  “When Heather went to West Point I wanted to write her almost everyday.  At first I made her homemade cards, but after a while I started to make hand stamped stationary using stamps that represented the army or West Point mainly because I couldn’t find any stationary of this type to buy,” explains Nancee. 

“When I sat down to make the stationary I’d make dozens of sheets and matching envelopes at a time.  I decided I would package a few sets and donate them to our local West Point Parent Club for an upcoming auction.  The parents went wild over the stationary.  Those that didn’t win the bid on the stationary sets were asking me to make sets for them.  I realized that there are parent clubs all over the United States and that I might just have found a group that needed or wanted to buy items unique to the group.”

There are dozens and dozens of niche markets like Nancee found.  If you can find a niche that matches your talents and skills, you have a ready marketplace with eager buyers.  Consider some of these niche buyers.  Do your craft interests lend to any of these groups?

  • Teachers
  • Nurses
  • Care Givers
  • Sports Enthusiasts: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Baseball, Football, Surfing, Diving, Volleyball, Tennis and Fishing
  • Men and Dads
  • Children
  • New Moms and Mothers
  • Grandparents
  • School Spirit: grade, high school, college
  • Hobbyist: Crafters, Artists, Bingo Players, Gardeners, Musicians
  • Holidays: Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day
  • Celebrations
  • Birthdays, Weddings, Births, Anniversaries,
  • Collectors: Teddy Bears, Santas, Angels, Elephants, Dolls, Cows, Pigs, Miniatures, Americana
  • Pet Owners or Pets
  • Home Office Workers
  • Spiritual or Religion
  • Teenagers

Once you select a niche to fill, then you can begin to think about what craft items you can make to fill the need.  Christmas is one of the best examples to use as a learning guide.  Just take a few minutes to think of all the craft items that could be made with a Christmas theme.

  • Ornaments
  • Personalized Ornaments
  • Tree Skirts
  • Wreaths for Inside and Outside
  • Lawn Decorations
  • Greeting Cards and Gift Tags
  • Christmas Card Holders
  • Toys
  • Earrings, Pins and Necklaces
  • Crèches
  • Stockings
  • Santas
  • Angels
  • Sweaters, Sweatshirts and other Wearables
  • Candles, Soaps and Potpourri

Finding your crafting niche means you will not have to work so hard at attracting a buying audience.  It also means that you probably already have knowledge and insight into what will please your buyer.  It’s not the only key to success in selling your crafts, but it is one of the stepping stones to making some money from an activity you love.

Nancee’s Gift Stationary

 Materials

Instructions

1.  Cut 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper to measure 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.  This size sheet will fit nicely in a 3 5/8″ x 6 1/2″ envelope when folded into thirds.

2.  Stamp sheets as desired.  Stamp images can be stamped top center, top left or right corner or bottom left or right corner.  It’s nice to make each sheet vary slightly in a set. 

3.  Stamp envelopes to coordinate.  Stamp images on front, back or both.

4.  Gather the stationary set.  I usually package 6 stamped sheets, 6 unstamped sheets and envelopes per set.  Stack together and tie with ribbon.  I embellish with a West Point button, but you can embellish to keep with your own theme or motif.

5. Author’s Note:  Nancee requested permission from West Point to use the school’s logos and seals.  You must also do so if you want to use any trademarks, registered logos, or other copyrighted materials.

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