Everyone needs to come up with ideas at some point and these ideas can sometimes be extremely elusive and almost impossible to reach. There are easier ways to form those thoughts that few consider, even though they greatly assist in the process. It is the same for the craft-person that wishes to start a business on Etsy.com. The first step in any venture is always creating an idea, whether simple or complex, and then following through on it.
There is a website, Etsy.com, that sells not only hand-crafted items, but created patterns, supplies, and associated items for crafting. The public clamors for many products and it is up to the seller to create a new one. That first idea of what to create (not to mention exactly how to make it) is often the most difficult step in getting on Etsy.com. The following items can assist you in creating wonderful, saleable items.
1. Decide exactly what you are best at doing.
While it is wonderful and admirable to always want to challenge yourself with new crafts and techniques, the best thing is to stay with where your best efforts reach the best conclusion. The end result will not make for happy customers if the person has a fantastic ides, but little skill to accomplish it.
Stay with crocheted items if you are often complimented on your skills. Someone with exceptional skill at sculpting should offer sculpted wares for sale. Privately, they may attempt to knit a sweater, but do not rush it for selling. What you are best at is usually what you most enjoy doing is another item to keep in mind since nothing is worse than working away on something that you dread.
Stephen King and Anne Rice are two examples of why it is best to stay with your strong points. Each are known for their horror novels and each attempted to expand their writing into other areas with the finished products not gaining much popularity. In the end, both returned to writing horror.
2. Consider crafts and/or techniques that are rare.
Many crafts have begun to become, if not extinct, certainly endangered. One of these would be the art of shuttle tatting, as seen in the above picture. This particular craft involves a small ball of thread/yarn and a shuttle in order to create inter-connected circles and chains to create lace, such as an edging or a doily.
Another fading art is the technique of knitting doilies on double-pointed needles. There are many interested in these items, but there are few with the skill to produce them. Bobbin lace, another lace-making craft, has mostly been lost other than in old library books.
3. Pay attention to, and keep track of, sketches and doodles.
Everyone has had that one meeting or class that seems to extend into eternity with no foreseeable end in sight. During those times, the pen/pencil is suddenly given a life of its own as it dances across the page creating weird squiggles and disconnected thoughts. What that writing utensil is doing is bringing the deeper thoughts to the surface. Inspiration can spring from any source and sometimes even doodles can be the foundation for many great ideas.
4. Think about the supply chain.
The internet has made getting supplies easier, but there are many more considerations to take into account. One of the most frustrating of situations is being in the middle of a project and running out of supplies. Knowing what materials are readily available in your immediate area can ease the worry at this point, while having to wait at least a week for an online store shipment can be detrimental to the finished project due to gauge or interest.
Take a leisurely drive around and stop at any craft stores in the area to see what they normally stock and what unusual materials may have “popped” up. This could provide an extra source of inspiration by seeing and touching the supplies along with any thoughts/feelings of what it wants to become.
5. The easiest step of all: Go to sleep.
Simply going to sleep and dreaming has brought about many great ideas. The first glimpse of the Flying Geese quilting pattern was in the middle of a dream. Visions and dreams were the foundation for a large number of Native American designs. Dreams bring the subconscious mind to the forefront and, since it is rarely heard from, it actually contains some exciting fresh material from which to garner an idea.
6. Consider popular television programs.
There is certainly no shortage of popular television programs and the resulting fan base that rushes for new and unusual items relating to them. The most popular items for sale has involved any of the Star Treks, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, and Doctor Who. Using this step has created a replica of the Millennium Falcon, a Harry Potter crocheted owl, an Enterprise quilted wall hanging, and a T.A.R.D.I.S. sweater. The fresh and unusual is certain to easily capture the imagination of any fan.
7. Picture and research popular actors/actresses.
Think about the actors and actresses in the popular movies or television shows. Researching other lesser known roles they may have held in the past can lead to new ideas. Taking a black-and-white photograph and turning it a cross-stitch or crochet pattern or a full-size crochet afghan is a new, popular technique.
For those with skills in plastics, painting, or sculpting, shower scenes or waking up scenes made into recreated dioramas would be certain to garner attention, not to mention sales. Realistic life-size replicas would entice the most interest if shipping cost were not a factor.
8. The last, and absolute, MOST important step: Have Fun!!
No matter what your age or which craft you decide upon, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. The exact opposite of the desired end is finding that the craft becomes more of a drudgery than a hobby or more of a chore than a pastime. If the craft person truly enjoys the craft and the crafting subject, the finished product will become a thousand times better, translating into happier customers and finishing with larger profits.
Forming ideas in order to turn them into finished crafting projects is difficult, but certainly not impossible. Going to sleep or doodling are being overlooked or under-rated as possible ways of generating ideas. The desired end result of your efforts is a successful product that will sell on Etsy.com. Pleasure and enjoyment are the primary goals of a craft while profits are a fortunate special outcome.