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Start a 'cottage industry'... official MoneySavingExpert.com discussion

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Boost Your Income
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Boost Your Income
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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
  • LizD_2LizD_2 Forumite
    1.5K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    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!
  • luxor4tluxor4t Forumite
    11.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    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.
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • nzmegsnzmegs Forumite
    1.1K posts
    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.....
  • LizD_2LizD_2 Forumite
    1.5K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    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!
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • 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
  • LizD_2LizD_2 Forumite
    1.5K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    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!
  • 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 ?????
  • jamtart6jamtart6 Forumite
    8.3K posts
    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

    :ABeing Thrifty Gifty again this year:A

  • Catw0manCatw0man Forumite
    859 posts
    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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