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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
Hi there ,Prior to the lockdown I was looking at starting up some sort of arts and craft business. I have had a head injury and it is not likely that I will be able to return to my previous occupation in the forseeable future, ie I am currently unemployed and supported financially by my partner,I have been making a variety of things (some could be considered a bit quirky, not really mainstream); I make cards for birthdays etc, paper decorations for a party, a wide range of styles for paper flowers, bouquets that sit in a jar or you can attach to the wall, 3D wall art, doll clothes, dressed up recycled flower vases, patchwork items etc etc etcJust before the lockdown I was going to go to the local arts and craft market, which was run twice a month in the library foyer, to investigate what it would be likely that I could sell in that setting and the possibility of opening up my own stall there.Unfortunately now that we have COVID19 I don’t think this is going to be an option for me to try for quite a while. Can you give me some advice about the best way to get started; setting up an online ? and especially how to test/ work out what people will buy, how to price things etc I can make such a wide varitey of things, I don’t know where to start. Appreciate any assistance that could be given. Megan NaylorJ

Question submitted 14/05/20 @ 09:06am
Industry: Creative Services
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  • Hi Megan – there will be experts in your area who will provide better advice than me, but as a consumer of the sorts of products you make, I often go to felt.co.nz and etsy to make online purchases. Have you also posted photos of your crafts on the current Facebook campaign under the group called “New Zealand Made Products” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/519618962054849/)? That seems to be getting huge attention and sales. I so admire that you’re heading onwards and upwards. I’m sure it can’t be easy at all. All the best to you, and look forward to buying from you one day! Fiona

    Hi Megan – there will be experts in your area who will provide better advice than me, but as a consumer of the sorts of products you make, I often go to felt.co.nz and etsy to make online purchases. Have you also posted photos of your crafts on the current Facebook campaign under the group called “New Zealand Made Products” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/519618962054849/)? That seems to be getting huge attention and sales. I so admire that you’re heading onwards and upwards. I’m sure it can’t be easy at all. All the best to you, and look forward to buying from you one day! Fiona

    Kia Ora Megan – Thanks so much for reaching out and for being so creative at this time. It’s certainly a challenging question you pose. Thinking about it objectively, seems critical to see which of your products resonates with consumers, and which products consumers will purchase.

    In terms of how well your products resonate with the NZ consumer, Fiona has a great idea to try putting it on the New Zealand Made Products group on Facebook. That is free, and there are nearly 500,000 people in the group. You will get instant feedback on whether your crafts are appealing.

    To make the best use of the opportunity, you will need your own place to send people to, so they can look at your full product line. Given you aren’t yet sure of the product set, the quickest and cheapest approach will be to set up your own Facebook page.

    You can then refer people from the NZ Made Products to your Facebook page. Anyone that “likes” your Facebook page, or anyone that likes your post on the NZ Made page, you can then reach out to them directly with a survey and ask them which products they like. And what they are willing to pay.

    You’ll need to start out with pricing when you put up your products on the Facebook page. Given the current economic environment, and your starting position, suggest put it on the lower side rather than the higher side!

    You’ll need lots of great photography of your various crafts products. The more the better, and set these all up on your new Facebook page.

    If you are targeting a younger market, Instagram is more appealing to them often than Facebook. So, consider an Instagram page as well.

    This may all seem a bit scary, but Facebook has set up it’s own group on Facebook to help people out. Go to this group and you can get free advice.
    http://www.facebook.com/groups/boost.newzealand

    Perhaps, this is a good starting point to get a sense of what the market thinks of your product and see if you can start getting some sales through.

    Happy to provide further possibilities if you want! Best wishes.

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