Top tips for crafty businesses

Designer-makers Annie Watts and Zoe Larkins offer their advice for going it alone in the craft world

Zoe Larkins is the gal behind handmade accessory brand Love From Hetty & Dave. Meanwhile, designer Annie Watts runs Wattsolak, creating and selling her own super-cool knitting patterns. Here’s their advice for budding creative entrepreneurs:

Zoe suggests saving on costs: “I don’t think there’s any need to spend a fortune on a fancy website or marketing – there are so many free, brilliant social-networking tools online. A good place to start selling online is Etsy or Folksy since you are part of a community. But for a standalone type of site, I’d recommend Big Cartel. It’s low-cost, easy to run and can be customised to suit your brand”

You should also do your market research: “Setting up a stall at your local vintage or secondhand market is a great way to find out what people are buying and how much they’ll spend. It’s the perfect place for research,” says Zoe.

Community support is also important, as Annie explains: “One thing I didn’t consider much when I first started was the importance of a support circle. I have found a great group of gals who I can trust, from my tried and true test knitters to my like-minded friends who are good for bouncing ideas off of.” Honesty is a key factor too: “Make sure you have folks who feel comfortable being honest with you! Friends who will tell you when your stuff sucks are indispensable,” concludes Annie.

Read more about Zoe and Annie‘s respective businesses and their celeb customers in issue 16 of Mollie Makes. On sale now from all good newsagents, supermarkets and through our official online store.

Image © LadyGane