I had a friend who began crafting a few chopping boards from Camphor Laurel, which eventually turned into a substantial business. These attractive and naturally hygienic chopping boards were perfect as gifts and fulfilled their role in the kitchen. What does it take to turn a hobby into a successful business? Many attempt the journey and very few end up mastering it. There are so many steps to climb in this process from dabbler to entrepreneur. Economies of scale become very important as a business endeavours to grow. Meeting demand can be harder than first thought and, often, requires injections of new capital.

From Hobbyist to Handicraft Business

In the beginning investment is usually small, when making a few handicrafts and, possibly, selling them at a market stall, for instance. However, as demand increases the amount of materials required and labour, also, increase, usually substantially. Then, questions of whether it is more cost effective to have the handicrafts made offshore, where labour is cheaper and more abundant, become pertinent. Suddenly, it is no longer just your hobby, but, now, involves many other concerns. The simplicity, often, goes out of the project at this point in time.

Handmade Businesses are Legend

Success stories do abound; and many of us devour these entrepreneurial triumphs like news from the promised land. The tech business that is purchased by Google for squillions of dollars, springs to mind here. Crafty businesses, which turn to gold, are like music to our ears in this private enterprise land. Handmade businesses are legend in the annals of attainable dreams. A lot goes into those that succeed on this long and challenging journey. All those who have been ultimately successful have been changed by the experience. Their naivete has been deflowered by the market.

Naivete Deflowered by the Market

Price for profit, becomes a mantra heard in the bathroom and the shower. Losing the rose-coloured glasses along the way, when it comes to customers and humanity, more generally, is pretty much par for the course. Planning and strategy take over from inspiration and blind luck. Hard work becomes a discipline, rarely, put aside for the rest of their lives. Cutting to the chase during negotiations; and learning to spot the tyre kickers from the genuine shoppers – become important aspects of running a business. There is no room left for naivete in the handmade business world.