I love, love, love getting questions from you guys! It is awesome to be engaged with my customers/readers, and I really enjoy receiving your questions about everything from crafting to business advice! In a previous post, I opened up my blog, email, and Facebook page for you to ask any questions you would like. I was thrilled with the response, and have had a blast answering all of your questions. Because there were quite a few, I have decided to break up my responses into two parts. If you missed out on my previous post, and would like to have a question answered, please feel free to list it in the comments area below. I will answer them in my next post!
Here we go!
What is a typical workday like for you? ~ Jahnelle
This is a tough question because it really depends on the time of year, and as a stay at home mom and an entrepreneur my life can be pretty unpredictable! For the sake of answering this question, let’s say theoretically it is not craft show season, and the kids are in school. With that in mind, a typical day usually begins around 7am when my kids wake up. I usually get them settled with a show, make myself a cup of coffee and snuggle between them on the couch while I look through my email and Google Reader feed. I actually look forward to this time as it eases me into my day, and helps me to make notes of what I may need to follow up on later. As an added bonus I am sneaking in some valuable snuggle time with the kids! After a cup of coffee, I make breakfast, get school lunches and snacks together and get the kids dressed for school. I drop them off at 9 am, and return back home to start working on my “to-do” list which usually consists of working on new craft kit ideas, writing blog posts, packaging crafts, fulfilling orders, photographing products, answering emails, and promoting Freckles Crafts through various social media networks. I work until 3 pm when I pick up the kids from school to start job #2 as MOM (homework, dinner, dishes, bedtime, etc.) After the kids are asleep, I will try to soak up some time with my husband before bed, however, sometimes I might have to finish up a few tasks that I couldn’t get to earlier in the day. My work day looks a lot different when the kids are out of school because I have to do everything listed above all while balancing having them at home full time. It usually requires me to get up really early and work very late into the night to get it all done. It can be crazy, yet it’s totally worth it to do something I love and be home for my family!
Where do you come up with the ideas for your craft kits? ~ Jaime
I find inspiration in so many places and I find it helpful to keep a record of what inspires me. I keep notes in a journal, store images on my Pinterest boards, and keep folders of pages torn out of magazines. I refer to these places frequently because I never know when something such as a color, fabric, or image may inspire a new craft kit or blog post. I also get inspiration from my boys. I look to see what toys, television shows, movies, books, and games inspire them and try to create crafts based on those interests or trends!
I have a great idea for a craft business but I have no idea where to begin. What advice can you offer to someone just starting out? ~Melissa
Well an idea is the first step. Congratulations on wanting to take it to the next level! The first thing I would suggest is to research other companies who may be selling a similar product and see if there is a market for what you want to sell. Ask yourself if your product is one of a kind or is the market saturated already. If others companies sell products similar to yours then what can you do to make your product stand out from the crowd? What makes your product unique?
The next step is to brand your company. Come up with a business name and logo, secure a website URL (even if you don’t plan on having a website at first), have some business cards printed, and register your business name in the county where your office will be (often referred to as a DBA registration). I would also suggest getting a tax ID number so that you do not have to use your social security number.
Next decide if you want to sell your products on line, in a brick and mortar store, at festivals and fairs, or a combination of the three. Each offer a unique way to reach your target market and one may work better than the others depending on your products. If you want to start out slow then you may want to try selling your products at a few festivals. It is a great way to get immediate feedback from your audience, and also gives you an idea of how well your items will be received by potential customers.
I will be starting a small business series on my blog in the next few weeks and will elaborate more on how to start a small business. Hope these tips get you started in the mean time!
What is your favorite craft tool or supply and why? ~Colleen
What only one? That is tough! I think the coolest craft tool I own has to be my We R Memory Keepers Crop a Dile tool. It punches through wood, thin metal, and plastic. I can also set eyelets, grommets and snaps! I use it for so many projects that I cannot imagine life without it!
What do you like most about working from home? ~ Heather
Without a doubt it has to be flexibility in my schedule, and being able to be home with my kids. It is the best perk of working from home….that and wearing slippers and pajamas to work!
Thanks again for all of the great questions!
Part 2 will be posted early next week! Stay tuned!