You may have noticed there’s a growing trend in the art world called resin art.
You know, those really mesmerizing, 3-Dimensional pieces that have been filling up your Instagram feed?
If you know what I’m talking about, chances are you’ve already dabbled in making some resin art yourself.
Today we’ll talk about how you can turn your new favorite craft into a business!
Hey, my name is Mei Pak and I help makers, artists and designers make a living from selling their handmade products online.
Resin art has boomed in popularity in the last few years and this is largely because of social media.
The creation process is pretty hypnotizing to watch and the end results are just stunning!
Videos of artists making these pieces go viral pretty quickly.
Social media’s not the only reason for the trend, though.
We can also blame quarantine.
Remember when everyone was baking bread or making TikTok videos at the start of lockdown?
People were getting super creative with their extra time – but not everyone wants to bake or go viral on TikTok.
So, some people started to dip their toes into the world of resin art (not literally, of course, that would be pretty messy).
The resin industry itself is growing rapidly.
The epoxy resin market was valued at $5.9 billion in 2019, and it’s expected to increase by 7% by 2027.
Now, that’s not all because of art.
Epoxy resin is used in a LOT of industries – from jewelry to wind power and even aerospace.
This stuff is intense.
That’s why it’s actually a great business to delve into.
Resin can be used for such a large variety of pieces that your prices can fluctuate quite a bit depending on what you’re making.
You can make anything:
The options are practically limitless – and depending on which route you choose to take; you can make quite a profit.
Resin furniture, for instance, sells on Etsy for hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Of course furniture’s a bit more intensive to make, but that just means you can stick a higher price tag on it.
Choose What You're Making
Let’s get into the first step to starting a resin business: choosing what you’ll actually be making!
I know that might seem obvious, but for something like resin art, where you have so many choices, you need to narrow down your specialty.
This is what’s going to establish your brand and give your business a unique angle, which is so important.
If you’re selling everything from coffee tables to crystals to dog tags – how can you build trust with your customers?
You know that feeling when you go to a restaurant and the menu is 90 pages long and they have everything from Mexican to Chinese to Italian.
It’s hard to trust the quality of a restaurant that serves everything!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t sell more than one kind of product – it just means you need to find a focus to center your brand on.
This focus, by the way, should be something you have the resources to make.
Furniture will be more expensive to create than earrings.
If your resin art business is a side gig, you won’t want to trap yourself into a style that’s super time-consuming.
You also need to look at the market before you make a final decision.
You’ll want to find a corner of the resin art world that has high demand, but little competition.
Resin keychains are one of the more saturated markets, so that’ll be a more competitive route to take.
I’m not saying you can’t make a large profit in that niche, but it will be more difficult.
Housewares like silverware, coasters, or dishes, though, are a less tapped market – with high demand.
You’ll want to pick something that interests you.
Don’t design cutting boards just because it’s less competitive. Design them because that’s something you really love doing!
Think about your own interests and ask yourself if there’s a market there for themed resin art.
If you’re really into romance, ask yourself what a romance-based market looks like.
How can you combine your interest with customer demand?
The wedding industry is huge!
You could make sentimental gifts like flower resin bookmarks using a couple’s wedding flowers or heart-shaped resin dishes.
Build Your Inventory
Once you know what you’re going to make, start building your inventory.
It’s exciting to start a business and I get that a lot of artists want to dig in right away, but you want to be careful about how much stock you start with.
While you want to keep up with demand, you also want to get a good feel for which of your products customers are actually buying.
A lot of times, it’s not the piece you expected.
Start with 10–15 ready-to-sell pieces and soon you’ll have an idea of what you should be making the most of.
Before you establish your inventory, you’ve gotta practice!
You need to be competitive, so you need to have quality products that customers will love.
The more you practice, the better your art will be. The better your art is, the more customers you’ll draw in (and at better prices).
To really stand out in the resin industry, your work needs to be top notch.
Keep practicing until you’ve established a large enough inventory at a high enough level to start selling.
With resin, your specific supplies will depend on the niche you choose.
If you choose furniture, flowers, or 3D paintings, you’ll require different materials.
If you’re just getting started and still not sure what exactly you want to make, there are some inexpensive resin starter kits for making jewelry or 3D paintings.
These kits will give you a good feel for what style of art you like the most.
If a kit is not for you, you can collect the materials you need at art stores and even hardware stores.
Regardless of the style you’re making, almost every resin artist will need:
- casting resin
- mixing cups
- stirring utensils
- wax paper
- mold release
Before you get started, you need to make sure you have a flat surface to work on and are wearing safety equipment like gloves and protective glasses.
Resins are chemicals, so you’ve got to make sure you play safely.
The fumes can get intense, and the last thing you want is to seriously hurt yourself while you’re trying to make some great art.
Optional – but highly recommended supplies – include:
- A heat gun to remove bubbles (or if you’re really a daredevil you can try a torch)
- Resin colorants to make that bright and vibrant look that makes resin art so mesmerizing.
Because you’ll be working with chemicals, I highly recommend watching tutorials about how to work with resin and even reading books on the subject before you begin.
This is as much a science as it is an art, so make sure you’re as prepared as possible before you get started.
Setting Up Shop
You’ve got your supplies, you’ve done your research, and you’ve established a starter inventory that you’re happy with.
Now, it’s time to set up your shop! I recommend starting with Shopify.
On Shopify, you’ll be in total control of your site, instead of forcing your shop within the confines of another marketplace’s rules and regulations.
With Shopify, you’ll have access to a user friendly site for you and your customers, market building tools, customer contact lists, and other great resources aimed at helping your business thrive.
Not to mention, you won’t have to share a percentage of your sales!
If this feels better to you, go for it!
Just know that as your business grows, you might want to branch out to your own site when you get tired of sharing those profits and being trapped in someone else’s rules and regulations.
These sites are also extremely competitive, so it can be harder for your product to rise in the ranks.
I highly recommend that if you do choose to go the Etsy route – just make sure you’re selling your product on a site of your own as well.
That way, you aren’t solely relying on a third-party site for your income.
Now, you’ll want to market your products so you can actually make sales!
While marketing through social media posts is a popular way to promote your products, I actually don’t recommend them as your primary source of marketing.
When I started my shop, I spent a long time trying to grow my business through organic posts alone and it was moving really slowly.
It wasn’t until I started focusing on media outreach that I really started seeing those sales rise.
When you can get your product in front of a large audience, you’ll see that building a loyal customer base is easier than ever.
That’s because when your resin art is featured on a celebrity’s Instagram or even in a TV show or a magazine, it becomes so much more desirable.
When a person sees someone they trust and admire using a product they’ve never heard of, it becomes personal and much more desirable than a regular Facebook or Instagram post you uploaded to your newsfeed.
If you’re just starting out, look for micro-influencers.
Influencers with around 10,000 or 20,000 followers and good engagement.
This means around 1000 likes and comments combined per post.
These micro-influencers are far more approachable and they love getting cool products, especially if it’s something that’s right up their alley.
Reach out and offer them a free product and a discount code in exchange for an Instagram feature.
This could lead to enormous success!
When that influencer’s followers start buying and spreading the word about your product, you’ll find that even bigger influencers might want to help promote your products too!
This is how I established my businesses.
Let me know in the comments below if you’re an artist that’s taken an interest in the latest resin art trends.
To learn more about building a successful art business be sure and check out my YouTube Channel. There you’ll find even more great tips and tricks for your handmade business.