Many small businesses have sprouted from people’s passions and hobbies. Making your hobby into your business is a great way to not only make a little more money on the side but also a great way to start transitioning your hobby into your full-time gig.
We’re going to be running through how to monetize your hobby, the different ways you can sell your products online and give you a few examples of hobbies that turned into full-time businesses.
Where to start
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to turning your hobby into your side hustle or full-time business, whether you sell art, clothing or handmade items, the first thing you should do is write a list of items that can be made from your hobby.
For example, if you like to sew you could sell patterns, fabrics and or home textiles like The Vintage Sewing Bunny who also hosts lots of classes online and offline. If you like to make jewellery, try making a list of each different category of jewelry you could sell, such as rings, necklaces, anklets and more.
Ultimately try to link your hobby with items that people would want to buy and are popular. If you’re looking for some inspiration try looking at the latest trends in your industry, what’s popular, what’s everyone looking for, where’s the demand?
Once you’ve identified exactly what products you’re going to sell, you’ll then need to research how to sell your items online.
There are many ways to do this including marketplaces like Etsy, eBay or Amazon, selling through social media or the best option is to set up your own online shop. They each have their benefits and drawbacks so make sure to do your research to find out what option is best for you and your new business venture.
You may also want to consider creating a brand for your business. Your business’s branding is how you want to communicate your business with the world and plays an important role in helping you to build a recognisable and successful business.
Getting your first sale
Waiting on your first sale can be nerve-racking but there are ways you can promote your new business. You can ask family and friends to share your new venture on their social media channels or leave a good review of your products on your website or review accounts.
If you can afford to, you can host a giveaway on your social channels to boost your following and raise brand awareness online. Or if you have the budget to run some adverts a great place to start is with Facebook advertising or Google Shopping.
Here are 5 real-life examples to give you some inspiration
Blenheim Candles was founded to create beautiful soy-based candles that are affordable yet branded with a luxury feel.
“Business founder Kirsty O’Brien has been creating our unique candles and home fragrances for a number of years, focusing on a contemporary look with a quality that is second to none. With a passion to explore, we strive to take you to some of the most beautiful, far-flung places on earth with our luxury collections.”
Resin8 is a resin craft-based business that has grown to become a leader in its industry. They offer resin supplies and workshops at their premises based in the Cotswolds but they now ship worldwide.
“We absolutely LOVE everything about resin. We’re part of a rapidly growing resin craft community (and yes, we’re one of the originals, having been in business for well over 20 years and having a whopping combined 50 years experience in working with resin).
Founded by Lucy, owner and creator of The Vintage Sewing Bunny, set up her business from a passion to inspire, create and learn all about sewing and give people a place to get away from everyday life. She also hosts classes and more recently Facebook Live sessions where people can learn how to make their own items.
“The Vintage Sewing Bunny’ has grown so much in the last 5 years, we have expanded into a bigger and better studio. Our fabric boutique offers a select range of handpicked fabrics, priding ourselves on quality over quantity!”
Knobbles & Bobbles
Knobbles & Bobbles was set up by founder Lucy after taking a break to raise her children and wanting to get back into the business world. Specialising in ceramic door knobs, Lucy has grown the business and expanded her range to many other household products.
“I initially chose cupboard knobs because I personally loved the amazing choice, colours and patterns and also because they are easily shipped to customers. Now we still sell the cupboard knobs and have added room doorknobs, hooks, door stops, and a lot more homeware accessories”.
House of Silver
Zviad and Auguste have been working with jewelry for many years and decided to set up House of Silver and start their own business venture. As a small business, their dedication to their craft is a top priority and means that every order is dealt with personally, meaning every piece is created with passion.
“We set out to sell jewelry for every sort of person—and that’s exactly what we do! Our range includes earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, charms, chains, men’s jewelry and more. There’s just one key linking factor; all of our products are quality solid Sterling silver, and they are all pitched at the cheaper and more affordable end of the price range. This has been a dream of ours for a very long time, but only in 2018 did we finally take the plunge. Voila! Our online shop for sterling silver jewelry, House of Silver, was born, and we couldn’t be happier with how it’s been growing”.