More Than a Hobby at This Point

So how do you know that your hobby has become more than a hobby?

I knew it was time to start selling my carvings when birthdays and Christmas came around and I could pick a carving off the shelf to gift, when the grand-kids would come to visit and they got to pick a carving to take home, when our Christmas tree had more carvings on it than other kinds of ornaments, and when I spent most of my days carving, thinking about carving, or reading about carving.

But, could I sell my work?

I set up a little table at a yard sale we had to see if there was any interest in my work. I was surprised at how much I sold.

I am very much in the early stages of selling my craft, and I have had a lot of support and help. My wife came up with the play on words name for me – Carvings by Wood, because my name is Dave Wood. My friend and neighbour, Mary Sullivan, is an accomplished potter, and has taught me a lot about selling my art and has helped me through various stages. She created this beautiful website.

So, what do you need to do to start selling?

Here are some steps that I highly recommend:

  1. Get a professional to build your website. If you want to be treated as a professional you need to look professional.
  2. Have quality business cards printed rather than home printed.
  3. Spend time with other artists. You can learn a lot about the business.
  4. Get support. Make sure that your family is behind you, because you will be spending a lot of time working on your craft.
  5. Trade services/skills with people that you know. My son, Tyler Wood, an artist in his own right as a photographer, has taken all the photos of my work. I buy him equipment or supplies for his art. It is a win/win situation.
  6. Learn about and apply to the shows in the area that you think you fit into. My carvings wouldn’t do well at a quilt show, but being accepted to participate in the local Studio Tour is a real rush.
  7. Let your family and friends know about your new venture. Word of mouth is a powerful tool.
  8. Remember to have fun. If you aren’t having fun carving anymore, why are you doing it?

Next time, Why I Don’t Paint…