Annual Income Report for my Handmade Business

Unlock a Profitable Handmade Business
in Just 12 Weeks Without Using Etsy
or Social Media

FREE WORKSHOP

This workshop is for anyone who makes and sells a handmade or physical product, including jewelry designers, artists, paper designers, bath & body product makers  and more!

What You'll Discover

The #1 mistake people make with Etsy & social media that causes shops to FLOP

 The secret to making it with your handmade shop so it's no longer just a hobby

How to make sales in your handmade shop with ease so you can finally get to 6-figures

TAKE ME THERE

What to do when you think your handmade business is struggling
  1. Right now I am very frustrated because I sold only half as much as I did last year. I don’t know how people can be casual about 5 sales a week when I don’t even have 5 sales a month. I have done everything any business person has told me but I can’t get any other Milliners to talk to me about sales or anything business wise. Right now I’m bummed out about my business. I’ve got my winter hats on sale. I’ve had 4 sales in the last 2 years and have sold exactly 2 hats through those sales. If you can tell me anything to help increase sales it would be wonderful. My sales seem to be totally random, no repeat customers and no referrals.

    • Mei says:

      Hi Helen,

      I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t had a great year. Can you tell me what you’ve done to promote your business? Where do you currently sell? That way I can help identify how you might be able to increase sales.

  2. Toni says:

    Thank you so much for allowing us to take a peek into your success!

    I’m excited to use the pitching skills I learned from your In the Limelight course!

    In 2014, I stopped going to craft shows since it cost too much money and I rarely recouped my expenses. I learned that I do very well with custom orders!

    In 2015, after I redo my product photos, I will pitch to online blogs, magazines and explore wholesaling. I also want to launch a new product line.

    • Mei says:

      Of course, Toni! I wasn’t sure if my year end review would discourage or motivate people, but the general response is a pretty good one :)

      I agree completely with craft shows. I only ever do the ones that I know are totally worth it, usually only around the holidays. I’m done trying smaller shows out though!

      Do you have ideas yet for your new product line? That’s always exciting to think about!

  3. I always enjoy reading your posts because you are such a pragmatic and dynamic creative business inspiration. I am currently reviewing my product line to decide what I can do to make it more ‘original’ vs assembled..at first I was aiming to be more in line with juried shows so as to meet their criteria for participation; instead I am going to aim for a product line that might be worthy of exposure in gift shop settings and might also appeal to a more minimalist aesthetic for fashion minded bloggers to consider promoting. I haven’t traveled down that promotional road as yet as the feedback I have gotten from the brick and mortar venues I have approached so far with my existing inventory has been discouraging and I feel that I will need to improve my product before I can hope to be more successful with my promotional efforts. The downtime involved in exploring creative options worries me because I don’t want to neglect my ETSY shop and allow it to stagnate and lose my existing following while I am figuring this out. I was considering previewing some prototypes on instagram to see what might seem appealing to my audience, but often times I am not sure whether or not a lukewarm response is due to the item itself or my poor understanding of hashtag use. Hoping this doesn’t take too long to figure out and meanwhile I will introduce some items that are variations on what has sold well in the past year since opening my shop to try to keep it fresh. Also what is the best way to introduce the option for followers/customers to sign up for an email list as I understand this is an effective way to promote shop news (I am thinking no more than once or twice a month)?

    • Mei says:

      Hi Laurel!

      In my experience with coming up with new product designs and gathering customer response is it can sometimes take time.

      I launched a lower price point jewelry collection that wasn’t as detailed as my regular pieces. I didn’t really promote it. The first year I had it up on my website, I sold maybe 1 or 2 pieces. I thought it was a total flop.

      The next year, I didn’t change a thing, I didn’t promote it. But the sales for it started to go up and up, until I couldn’t keep up with producing this new line, that I eventually discontinued it.

      Now when I’m creating product, to a certain extent I make designs that I know people will love (because they ask for it) and also that I will personally love. There is definitely sometimes the internal struggle of creating pieces that you personally don’t love, even though it sells well.

      To address your concerns, I would write down a list of what you’re currently doing with your Etsy shop to keep it active and the sales coming in.

      Then try to turn those tasks into habits so you do them every day and every week.

      Once you’ve created a system for that, you will be more efficient and should have the time carved out to think about your new line.

      You may have to refer to Etsy’s Terms of Service on this. But I would put up a link to your newsletter opt-in/sign up page (if you sign up with a service like Mailchimp, they will give you a unique URL for your customers/fans to sign up at) on your shop announcement.

      On social media you could also do a giveaway and the requirement to enter is to sign up for your mailing list. This will get you to building your list super quickly.

      Hope that helps!

  4. […] Reading and learning from the generous sharing of Income Reports – Abby’s, Pinch of Yum’s and Mei’s. […]

  5. All your blog post inspired me a lot, thanks for sharing all your tips and this report which seem so unbelievable!
    You were my boosting thing of the night, i’m really now to do all these tasks!
    I’m planning to do wholesale next year so thanks to one of your post, i now how to do it well.
    Thanks for all this inspiration and motivation!

  6. Viaani says:

    Hi Mei!

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am into handmade jewelry business and I am sure this article is going to help me in future!

  7. Mark Edwards says:

    I’m interested in starting my own business with my art. I do a lot of different drawings “mainly with pen and oil based colored pencil” and I just got into drawing with a digital tablet. A friend of mine got me into setting up a booth at an event to try and sell my stuff, but, I want to find out how I can get more out of what I love to do. I have a full time job and support my wife and kids, but, I feel that I should be getting more out of my talents and hopefully support them with something I love rather than wasting away at a job that leaves me physically and mentally drained. Any advice would be helpful.

  8. Tayler says:

    How much profit have you made in 2019, going to be 2020? I’m also starting my own homemade arts and crafts business and I was wondering if they were any tips?

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