Hobbies, arts and crafts are normally activities scheduled for out-of-work hours. I like to refer to them as extra-curricular activities. They are those things that we do because we want to, as a relief from the everyday grind and because we enjoy them. We spend our time and our money undertaking activities and creating tangible pieces from our area of interest. We even take courses on our hobby or craft topic so that we become proficient at our chosen craft. Over time we not only master the hobby, art or craft but we usually excel at it because we are free to exercise our creativity in ways that would be considered a waste of time if we did it for a job. We admire our successes and share them with people, and either hide, laugh at, or reprove ourselves at our efforts on the less than admirable pieces. Pieces which become less in number as we gain experience with our medium of choice.
If you counted the hours of time you have spent and the amount of money involved in achieving a standard that you are proud of, what do you think that would total? How about the stockpile of things you’ve either done for other people or things that you’ve given away to them. Your experience has become valuable when other people want your services or products from a hobby, art or craft. It shows that you have reached a standard others consider worthy. But the question is, is it worthy enough for them to pay you for it and do you consider yourself competent enough at it to charge money for it.
Turning an extra-curricular activity into something you can make a profit from is no easy task, unless you have people beating down you door with demands for it. However, there are a number of ways you can turn a hobby into a commercial venture. Avenues are available for connecting paying customers with your ‘hobby/art/craft’ product.
You can attend the craft fairs and weekend markets. This gets your inventory, designs and skills out there and in front of people who may buy, recommend or order from you. You can have an exhibition and display your wares for the weekend to let people know what you have on offer. This provides an opportunity for people to see the range of things you have already done and what you are capable of doing. You can create a website that provides a ‘show and tell’ environment displaying your wares electronically initially. This means that you can display your items and provide possible examples as well as advise on the things you are able to create for them, depending upon demand.
If you have reached a standard you are proud of and would like a return on your investment in a hobby, art or craft consider reaching a consumer base with these avenues and turning a profit from a pleasure.