How to Start a Homebased Business Making and Selling Fabric Handbags
By Dawn Hall
If you are interested in sewing fabric handbags for income, there are a few things you must consider. First and foremost, how are your sewing skills? Initially, it's unlikely that you will be outsourcing the work, so you need to make sure you can sew. For the most part, fabric handbags are not that difficult to make. You can start with simple totes, and then as your skills improve, you can diversify by sewing more complicated designs.
If your experience is limited, or if you can't remember the last time you actually used your sewing machine, it may be a good idea to take a class. Many fabric stores offer classes, or if not, should be able to point you in the right direction.
To maximize your income potential, and to minimize future problems with tax liabilities, it is a good idea to talk to an accountant. An accountant will be able to help you with all business aspects of your startup, from how to track and report your income and expenses, to filing the required forms so that you will be able to purchase fabrics and other supplies at wholesale cost.
Many crafting businesses operate as sole proprietorships. However, if you are interested in setting up an LLC or corporation for your business, an accountant or attorney will also be able to provide advice and suggestions regarding this.
Another important aspect of starting this type of crafting business is determining how you will market your handmade handbags. If you are interested in attaining local customers only, selling through consignment boutiques and setting up booths at craft fairs, flea markets, and farmers' markets are good ways to market your bags locally.
However, if you want to expand your customer base, the internet offers a multitude of opportunities to market your handbags. Although setting up your own website may come to mind first, and this option is certainly viable, there is a significant learning curve involved. You will need to familiarize yourself with website design, search engine optimization, and other ways to drive traffic to your website and convert visitors to buyers. These can be outsourced if your budget allows.
If starting your own website seems overwhelming, you can still tap into the online global marketplace by selling your fabric handbags through sites such as Etsy and eBay. These sites, as well as similar ones, simplify the process of selling online. Also, because of the high number of visitors they receive, there is a good chance you will receive a fair amount of buying customers to your listings.
There is a strong demand in the marketplace for handmade fabric handbags. Although there is much involved with starting a homebased business, the rewards are worth it.