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  The art and craft scene is expansive and diverse. From people who earn a little change from their handmade craft to individuals who rake in millions of naira on their works at auctions, there are several levels of achievement to strive for.
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Examples of craft include carved woodcraft, papercraft, pottery, jewellery, etc. If they are well made, they could sell for high prices. You could sell them at craft shops in art and craft markets, at exhibitions, or at online stores. Your journey to starting a craft business will depend on how further back in the chain you want to be involved with the business. You may choose to make and sell your own stuff or be a middleman or woman selling crafts that others have made. Here’s how to go about starting a craft dealership.

Learn the Craft If You Can

If you want to make the craft you’ll sell by yourself, you’ll need to learn how to make them. If you will be selling figurines made of carved wood, for instance, you may want to get some experience with this first. This will involve your training with an established craftsperson for a while. In some cases, this may take years. Many opt for a purely mercantile role in this business. They purchase works of art from craftspeople and sell them to customers who want them.
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#Learn How the Trade Works However, you should know how the market works, and understand the different types of crafts you will be selling. The greater your grasp of these things, the more easily you’ll be able to navigate the market. You may have to interact with existing sellers and artists for a while to learn the basics, before launching out into the trade.

Decide How You Will Trade

If you decide to be a middleman, where will you get your crafts from? Will you sell at art markets, at exhibitions, or online? Will you go with a combination of these? If you’re selling your own works, you can take part in art exhibitions that are open to craftspeople.

Calculate Your Costs

Find out the current cost of handmade jewellery, carved wooden figures, or other crafts you’re going to sell (as set by craftspeople). Decide the markup you’re going to add to these prices as your own profit. Remember to factor in other costs as well, like transportation, rent, taxes, etc. Before including your markup, also note the price at the urban markets where you’ll be selling, or international markets if you will be trading on global platforms.
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Select A Location With High Target Audience Traffic

In Nigeria, the market for art and crafts is predominantly made up of people in the middle and upper classes. That’s a small segment of the country’s population. But if you’re great at what you do and you know where these people reside or frequently, you can attract a steady stream of buyers from their number.

Set-Up

Get a profile at your preferred online craft marketplaces, or rent a new place at a market where such items are (or can be) sold.

Get Your Contacts Involved

Let your acquaintances, friends and family know about your pursuits, and try to build a support base from them. Share a few of your works with them if you’re making the crafts yourself. They could be among your first clients, or even refer their own contacts to you.

Establish an Online Presence

Get a visually appealing website for your business, and update it with pictures of your products on a regular basis. You may have an Instagram page for this instead or have both. Instagram content is heavily skewed in favour of pictures, and you’re likely to gather a sizeable following on that platform with your craft pictures. You could eventually pick up customers from it on the regular as well. Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
 

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This article was first published on 22nd November 2022

ikenna-nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.


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