Creative business: making handmade toys
Production and sale of products for children is considered one of the most profitable areas for their own business. Nevertheless, if you plan to do this “production” at home and on your own, then you should take into account a few basic nuances.
Features of making handmade toys
You will be able to start your own business with minimal investment and risk (in the worst case, if your business “does not go”, you simply close the PI, and donate unsold toys to friends and family). This is an interesting direction, which has quite good prospects for development. However, this is also a drawback – the first few months of work should not be counted on a large profit.
Most likely, you will have to invest all your revenue in further expanding your production, purchasing materials, searching for new customers … Many people fail to reach large sales volumes and their passion remains a hobby that brings more pleasure than money. Unlike some other types of hobbies, the manufacture of handmade toys is not the most profitable direction, since it has objective limitations on both the “production” volumes and the target audience. Let’s start with the last one. On the one hand, toys, as a rule, are intended for children. Parents spend a lot of money on them, try to choose the best and high-quality goods for their children.
However, hand-made toys are least often intended for children, which significantly limits the possibilities for organizing their sales. As a rule, such toys are rather fragile, they are distinguished by a large number of small decorative elements and are rarely certified by manufacturers as products suitable for children. Thus, such toys are rather souvenir and are positioned as an original gift for adults.
If you plan to independently engage in the manufacture of toys by hand, then experienced entrepreneurs are advised to focus on the adult target audience. If you are going to hire assistants and automate your work, it is better to start producing toys for children. In the first case, as a rule, we are talking about textile primitive toys.
They are quite simple, for their manufacture does not require much time and effort. The most difficult part of the work is the decor of the toy: coloring, shaping hair, creating various accessories. Handmade textile toys are not suitable for children to play, as they quickly lose their appearance. But they offer great opportunities to create a story souvenir. By adding different accessories to the same blank, changing the color of “hair” and coloring, you can make any character – from a representative of a certain profession (for example, teacher, fireman, policeman, accountant, etc.) to a portrait doll. The cost price of one product is, as a rule, not more than 100-200 rubles, depending on the materials used. Its retail price starts from 500-700 rubles and above (as a rule, about 1000 rubles). It will take 2-3 hours to make a simple toy. Of course, a large number of products cannot be made in this way, so craftsmen usually work on order.
The following materials will be required for the manufacture of textile dolls: fabrics (for the manufacture of the doll itself — linen, cotton, and for clothing — calico, wool, batiste, etc.), accessories (eyes, ears, noses), accessories, wool or natural wool (for hair), paints for painting (acrylic, tempera), natural or artificial leather (footwear), material for stuffing (synthetic winterizer, holofiber, etc.), etc. It is most advantageous to buy fabrics and other materials either at wholesale bases, or in regular stores in the departments of discounted balances. For the manufacture of one toy, a small cut of fabric of no more than 1 meter in size will be enough.
Be sure to take beautiful photos of all your products. Best of all, if it will be artistic photos – with a suitable background and good lighting. Keep the source of all images taken in good resolution. Perhaps they will be useful to you in the future.
Where to look for buyers for handmade toys
Starting to look for your first buyers is best in your environment. Sew a few different toys and show them to your friends and acquaintances, create a group on social networks or your theme on a regional forum. Consult with your potential customers and listen to criticism. Offer the small cafes and themed restaurants in your city to decorate their interiors. Recently, the style of chebbi-chic or retro in the interior design of catering establishments is especially popular, and your naive toys can perfectly fit into such an environment.
Often toys are provided in such places for free, but their creator gets the opportunity to place a sign with their name and website or contact phone next to them, which will be a good advertisement.