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Start a 'cottage industry'... official MoneySavingExpert.com discussion
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# 1
MSE Lawrence
Old 12-10-2007, 1:47 PM
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Default Start a 'cottage industry'... official MoneySavingExpert.com discussion

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Last edited by MSE Lawrence; 16-10-2007 at 12:57 PM.
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# 2
Tabby_Kitten
Old 16-10-2007, 2:27 PM
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I've sort of just started this, in the new year I took a seed beading course and have had a great time making bracelets and ear-rings, I've started to build up a collection that I'm going to list on ebay.
I also wanted to have ago at making pinic/gardening/camping mats out of olld carrier bags which I'm to list.

It would be good to hear what others are doing/going to try.
A Life Less Simple - one day I'll get there
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# 3
LizD
Old 16-10-2007, 3:06 PM
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I'm an experienced dressmaker, so I'm offering to teach people the basics of sewing and I have one lady learning at the moment. I'm also taking steps to do alterations and dressmaking for people.

Teaching a skill is a way to make extra money and you don't have to teach at night-school!
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# 4
luxor4t
Old 16-10-2007, 4:08 PM
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I had 3 small children, a spare table, a sewing machine and several boxes of fabric. Oh, and no money of my own. OM earned enough to keep us but nothing for any luxuries, which is (of course) what I craved then.

I designed and made Christmas decorations, doll's clothes, fancy dress, aprons, tea cosies, quilts etc etc and sold at Craft Fairs, fetes, bazaars etc etc, and then joined a co-operative shop.

I would have made better money working in McDonalds, but it meant I was able to fit the work around the family.
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# 5
nzmegs
Old 16-10-2007, 5:30 PM
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I have recently started knitting and have discovered the joys of felting. I have made my first few items which (lo and behold) are really good! I have a lovely mohair scarf, a hand bag, some purses and a couple of jumpers under my belt and they are all going towards xmas presents. But following christmas I will be knitting every spare moment to make some things to sell. People love hand made items and the more experienced I become the more I can charge!!

I believe people are willing to pay a premium for items which they know noone else will have. To have something completely handmade and even to your own specifications(colour and type of wool) is something people will pay good money for.

Admittedly it will take me up to a week to make a small item and even a month for something big but I get real satisfaction out of it. I would love to give up my job and do this all the time. I even dream about it.....
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# 6
LizD
Old 16-10-2007, 7:13 PM
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The only downside is that you still have to charge what people will pay (within reason) - many people don't realise how much time and effort goes into sewing and knitting - particularly in these days of Primark and co!
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# 7
wingnut143
Old 17-10-2007, 11:07 AM
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Default handmade cards

I've been making cards at home for the past year and have often wondered about the best way to sell them. I've sold a few at car boots and I take them to work and sell them there, but does anyone have any advice/experience on selling them on say ebay or starting their own website? Another thought I had was setting up a stall at a christmas fayre or something similar. Thanks
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# 8
LizD
Old 17-10-2007, 12:28 PM
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I would think about a Christmas stall, but remember, everybody and his dog is trying to make and sell handmade cards! Book early, as those sorts of markets usually limit numbers of each type of craft they have.

You can try ebay, but they usually go best as packs: say 5 birthday cards for 2.50. Have a look under completed listings for ideas.

I personally wouldn't bother with a website - so many people are doing them I don't think it would be worth it, unless you make particularly unusual or specialist cards.

Good luck!
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# 9
seggie
Old 17-10-2007, 5:19 PM
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im just bout to start making gift baskets which i have been doing for friends, hoping to get into some local markets any body got any ideas to help make this work ?????
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# 10
jamtart6
Old 17-10-2007, 9:21 PM
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Xmas fairs might be ok to sell normal cards, but usually how many people buy special expensive xmas cards? they seem to want xmas cards at 50 for £1 but will pay £2.50 for a birthday card. for this reason ive always avoided xmas fairs

Being Thrifty Gifty again this year


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# 11
Catw0man
Old 17-10-2007, 10:50 PM
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My sister and I have been doing Christmas Fayres for a cuple of years now, it really depends on where you are as to how well you do. We used to do one that was linked to a toddler group, it was very cliquey and we never sold anything!! But we bit the bullet 2 years ago and took a bog stall in the city centre for one day (Saturday), it cost around 60 but it was worthwhile. We do cards but other things too, the cards usually sell well, but we only charge a pound each - we don't make much on them. But my sister does hand decorated wine glasses and vases and knits lots of scarves! I make hand-made traditional teddy bears - they are not cheap and tend to be for a specialist market - however last year I sold one about half an hour after opening up - I was very pleased and it boosted us for the whole day - We made around 80 before the fees - a good day. But it's not always so good!! - You have to be prepared, it is usually a long day and if you are outside - which we do, it's very cold in December!!
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# 12
Kaminari
Old 18-10-2007, 7:18 AM
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Hi everyone!

I make handmade jewelry and sell it on www.etsy.com it allows me get my items exposed to a wide market. It was set up to sell handmade items so all people making things at home can sell on it. The only thing i recommend is the need to take great photos to show your items at their best.
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# 13
Tabby_Kitten
Old 18-10-2007, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaminari View Post
Hi everyone!

I make handmade jewelry and sell it on www.etsy.com it allows me get my items exposed to a wide market. It was set up to sell handmade items so all people making things at home can sell on it. The only thing i recommend is the need to take great photos to show your items at their best.

This site looks good, do you sell much through it?
A Life Less Simple - one day I'll get there
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# 14
LilMissEmmylou
Old 19-10-2007, 5:25 PM
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wingnut - my aunt used to do hand made cards and she took them to local shops - the sort that sell nice nicnacks or the like, even pretty gift shops. She did ok selling to them frequently
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# 15
Anastacia
Old 19-10-2007, 7:28 PM
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Hi
We have tried loads of differnt things over the years to make a few s. I have made jewellery that we sold at school fairs etc (craft fairs were too expensive to attend.) OH has made wooden garden ornamenty things which we took around to garden centres on sale of return (still got around 40 in the shed). Also bird boxes, they were really cute.
The best payer was selling fudge at school fairs.Edible stuff always sells best i think. and real addicts would think nothing of spending 10 or so, which was loads back then. We did about 12 fairs at Chrsitmas and again before the summer hols. We bought the fudge from a company in Devon on the internet.
We dont have time anymore though because i found the best paying activity was to qualify as an accountant. It was fun in back then though.
....another happy bug.........sorry,blogger embracing the simple life
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# 16
jessicamb
Old 19-10-2007, 8:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizD View Post
I'm an experienced dressmaker, so I'm offering to teach people the basics of sewing and I have one lady learning at the moment. I'm also taking steps to do alterations and dressmaking for people.

Teaching a skill is a way to make extra money and you don't have to teach at night-school!
I would love to be able to sew! I'm sure many others would too
The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese
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# 17
Wiggynut
Old 30-10-2007, 2:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabby_Kitten View Post
I've sort of just started this, in the new year I took a seed beading course and have had a great time making bracelets and ear-rings, I've started to build up a collection that I'm going to list on ebay.
I also wanted to have ago at making pinic/gardening/camping mats out of olld carrier bags which I'm to list.

It would be good to hear what others are doing/going to try.

You could set up a little shop on Etsy... it's a site that people sign up to (it's free - you pay a small amount on what you sell) and it's all handmade stuff... some fantastic crafts on there - very unique but of course you can find some rubbish!

But worth looking at if you make stuff by hand! I would love to but can't seem to organise myself enough.

This link is to the 'how to sell on etsy' info! They have a forum too so you can go and ask questions too.
http://www.etsy.com/how_selling_works.php
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# 18
Wiggynut
Old 30-10-2007, 2:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzmegs View Post
I have recently started knitting and have discovered the joys of felting. I have made my first few items which (lo and behold) are really good! I have a lovely mohair scarf, a hand bag, some purses and a couple of jumpers under my belt and they are all going towards xmas presents. But following christmas I will be knitting every spare moment to make some things to sell. People love hand made items and the more experienced I become the more I can charge!!

I believe people are willing to pay a premium for items which they know noone else will have. To have something completely handmade and even to your own specifications(colour and type of wool) is something people will pay good money for.

Admittedly it will take me up to a week to make a small item and even a month for something big but I get real satisfaction out of it. I would love to give up my job and do this all the time. I even dream about it.....
I've noticed a lot of people have recently started creating their own pattern and selling them on Ebay, Etsy or on their own blog!
It's patterns of a knitted bag or purse in their own style or colours and they write up what they did and a little pic and sell it for a couple of quid!!
Have you thought of doing that - do a internet search for knitting, felting patterns and have a look.

I'm trying to make a crochet pattern which I think will take me months (I'm a beginner! and I've never created my own pattern) and I'm sure the crochet/amigurimi fad will probably have dissapeared by time I finish but I still want to have a go!!).

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# 19
purplepixi
Old 31-10-2007, 10:14 AM
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I recently (about 4 months ago), decided to do something that I could do and not worry about child care etc.

So I decdied to put my sewing machine to good use, I now make adults costumes and sell them on ebay. Generally they sell for between 50 and 100, which I'm happy about as they only cost between 15 - 20 for materials.

The hardest part is the pattern designing, as you can't sell a costume made from a commercial pattern as they are copyrighted, but once you've made your own you can make it over and over in all manner of colours.

I started by simply buying some pattern making books and reading them and having a go. The best bit is when people send you emails letting you know that your costumes are lovely - that always makes you want to do more!
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# 20
jenny121
Old 31-10-2007, 2:34 PM
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Smile seed beading

To Tabby_ kitten, for the past couple of weeks i too ahve been interested in making bracelets and pendants. I am not a professional by no means. I love the seed beads. You mentioned you did a course , can i ask where and how much it cost to do a seed bead course.
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