A lot of women in their 60s would love to make a little extra money on the side, preferably doing something they love. Unfortunately jobs for seniors are hard to come by these days.
Besides, after decades trying to climb the corporate ladder, many of us are reluctant to start something too serious. At the same time, we would like to earn some “fun money” for travel, gifts and little luxuries. The question is – where should we start?
One option that is appealing to many women in the Sixty and Me community is making money from crafts. Perhaps you love to make luxurious hand-made soaps. Or maybe you’ve always had a knack for knitting, pottery or sewing. Whether you are passionate about baked goods or you prefer building bird houses, there has never been a better time to be a “craftpreneur.”
There are a few reasons that the craft economy is heating up. For starters, many consumers are turning away from mass produced items and embracing locally produced goods. This trend extends from farmers markets to crafts of all kinds.
Ironically, technology is also helping small craft producers to reach global audiences. With websites like Etsy and Shopify, you don’t have to limit yourself to selling to your neighbors. You can produce locally and sell globally. These websites offer great tutorials, marketing support and access to a community of like-minded sellers.
In this article, I’ll cover the first step to building your craft empire – enhancing your skills. Then, in future articles, I’ll walk through the process of building your business and marketing your products.
If your craft skills already let you spin straw into gold, then you can skip over this section and go straight to looking for the best website to sell your goods. But if, like me, you are still looking for some inspiration, here are a few of my favorite sites for enhancing your craft skills.
Craftsy is one of my favorite sites! Here, you can learn everything from embroidery to knitting, crocheting to knitting, and everything in-between.
Even if you are not interested in making money from your crafts, Craftsy can be an excellent source of inspiration for projects to do with your grandkids, or by yourself. For example, you could learn how to sew a beautiful new dress for yourself. I can’t think of a better way to bring a little creativity into your life. Craftsy has so many fabulous free courses that the hardest part may be deciding where to start. Here are a few links to my favorite categories:
If sewing is your passion, consider turning to Creative Bug for inspiration. You can start with a free membership and learn how to sew simple shirts, tops and dresses.
Creative Bug’s online learning process is amazing because it allows you to learn directly from experts, when and where you want. For example, one of their instructors, Deborah Kreiling worked with the Simplicity Pattern Company for 35 years.
Universal Class offers more than 70 courses in a range of creative categories including painting, beading, calligraphy, aromatherapy oils, soap making and more! They also offer practical advice on how to start your own home-based business.
Knitting Heretic is a site run by a woman named Annie who loves to teach people how to knit. If you have ever wanted to learn how to make your own gloves, scarves, tops and other creative clothes, using beautiful wools, this site may be just the ticket!
Auntie’s Beads offers beading accessories and free jewelry making instructional videos. Whether you want to make macramé jewelry, charm necklaces, pendants or beaded bracelets, you can get started here.
I hope that you find these resources useful. I have included two additional articles below on the topic of how to sell your handmade items online. Check them out!
What handmade items would you most like to produce? Do you feel that you already have the necessary skills to start selling your crafts online? Do you agree that the best jobs for seniors are the ones that we produce ourselves? Please add your comments below.
Step 1: How to Improve Your Crafting Skills (this article)
Tags Small Business