Handmade gifts are everywhere and are really popular. Having clumsy hands, I’ve never been able to comprehend how such beautiful gifts were made, how long it takes to make one and if it is possible to make a decent living only from selling handmade stuff.
To find answers to my questions, I talked to Olya Velikova from “Olinda Decorations”, an entrepreneur who creates personalized birthday cards, decorations for wedding and bachelorette parties, photo albums and many more.
First, Olya explained to me that most people create handmade gifts in their free time as an additional source of income but it is also possible to turn the hobby into a successful business. However, no matter if it is a full-time occupation or not, the items should be made in a professional way if the creator wants to sell them.
When Olya started her business, she invested time and finances in researching and buying the materials and the equipment she needs to create high quality and professional looking gifts. She didn’t have previous experience. Olya learned all the tips and tricks from watching YouTube videos and from Facebook communities where people exchange knowledge and ideas. She gained her first clients by using the paid Facebook ads. From the moment Olya started to advertise her business, the number of orders has increased that much that she has to work long hours to be able to complete all the orders. Making a personalized birthday card can take up to 4 hours! Currently, Olya works from home and sells her products on Facebook. The next steps for “Olinda Decorations” are to create a website and to start selling on the big platforms for handmade stuff like Etsy.
The biggest challenge that Olya is facing is that she will not be able to complete the growing number of orders unless she hires people to help her or decrease the time spent on a single item. The other cons of working as a handmade stuff creator are the same as most entrepreneurs go through at the beginning of their career – working long hours and therefore having no social life, feeling lonely and demotivated, feeling anxious because there is no regular paycheck.
On the other side, creating beautiful gifts is a flexible and creative job. The self-employed creator decides on her own what products to create and at what price to sell them. Olya confirms that it is possible to make a good living only from selling handmade stuff.
In the end, I asked Olya for an advice to all the people who are thinking to start a business with handmade stuff. Her message is to be persistent and to be prepared that nothing will go as per the initial plan. The most important thing is to not be afraid to experiment. Once you start working, you will make a lot of changes based on customers requests. Eventually, all the pieces fall into place.
To connect with Olya, visit her Facebook page Olinda decorations.
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