Over the years I’ve considered the idea of selling my jewellery. At present I probably keep about half for myself and give half to friends and family as gifts.
I have two main reasons for not having gone into business before.
Firstly, the old adage – ‘don’t mix business and pleasure’. I don’t want to take the fun out of my hobby by turning it into work.
Secondly, I’ve not been convinced that the cost/benefit ratio stacks up. Handmade jewellery doesn’t sell for a great deal of money and I suspect most small artisans don’t shift very much of it. The income would be small and the time it takes to source, develop, construct, list, market, promote, pack and ship items would be rather high.
These are the two principal reasons, although there are others. For example, I wouldn’t want to just sell any old stuff, but something that’s unique, robust and of which I’m proud. I’m also tormented by the memory of having to tax returns when I was a freelancer several years ago!
I would have no desire to turn it into a full-time enterprise. I love my day job (okay, okay, when I actually have one) so it would only ever be a part-time business.
But, being unemployed has made me think about it again. I also work in the non-profit sector, in an area with notoriously low salaries, so extra income would never be unwelcome.
But the fact is, I already spend a lot of time researching trends, learning new skills, looking for new ideas, sourcing materials and developing new pieces. Hell, I even spend time looking for and buying nice packaging for my gift recipients. At present my pieces are almost entirely one-offs. Would it actually be much more effort to create half a dozen instead of one piece? The construction is not usually very time consuming, it’s developing the ideas, experimenting with colour and construction.
I could buy materials in bulk to save money. I could offset things like equipment and courses against the tax bill. It would be an impetus for me to continue learning and improving.
I feel like I have more of a style now than I did when I first started a few years ago. Pieces I’ve made have been worn for over two years (with quite a lot of ‘abuse’!) and are still going strong.
If I did go into business I would sell jewellery and cards and possibly other small mixed media pieces. I might also sell some painted horses. Once I have to do a tax return anyway, I can add anything to the mix.
I’d be interested to hear from those of you who do sell things. Why do you do it? Is it worth it financially?