Design Stained

Stained Glass crafting: how do I sell my work locally?

I design stained glass work and I am wanting to make it as my side job working out of my home. I was thinking of doing a few samples and getting word of mouth to help sell my work. Any better ideas? I am not sure how to market myself. I can do creative work as art pieces or as part of doors/windows for homes. Hopefully I can use my craft to work down debt with the divorce lawyer. Any ideas on how to present that to her? Thanks for any input you all have to offer.

Before you go the flea market route, consider marketing your craft as high end. Stained glass is NOT easy and it's not cheap, but rarely do you find people willing to pay for what you put into a project at a flea market, or even a yard sale. People go to those looking for bargains, not quality custom work.

Marketing yourself as a more high end craft may seem like it would turn people off at first, but when it comes to something as technically difficult as stained glass, people are willing to pay for a quality artisan, especially for a larger project. Don't sell yourself short just yet.

If you do smaller pieces, like sun catchers, business card holders, and the like, you may be able to get away with selling them at a craft fair. Find somewhere you can rent a relatively inexpensive booth and make up a bunch of different pieces. You absolutely must have business cards, and if possible, a portfolio of your work. Someone may only want to purchase a small piece, but you never know if you can score a custom job based on larger pieces.

Speaking of business cards, come up with a name for your business and get some professionally printed cards. Have these ready to hand out at all times. You want people to be able to reach you, and you want them to hand off your contact information to others that may be interested. Word of mouth is a powerful too.

I'd also suggest you get a website as soon as you can - and make it a nice, aesthetically appealing one. If you can't do it yourself, invest some money and have it professionally done. You will need an easily remembered URL (www.marysstainedglass.com or something like that). Make sure you have your contact information, a little about yourself (how long you've been doing stained glass, projects you've done), and examples of your work. I suggest using low res, smaller size pictures so the page loads faster, and you can make the pictures clickable to display a larger, more detailed photo if you want.

Check around for local artisan guilds in your area, and try to get involved in associations. Subscribe to magazines dealing with stained glass (and a small business / entrepreneur magazine won't hurt either)

http://www.stainedglass.org/

http://www.glasspatterns.com/

Also look into restoration projects to help build your portfolio.

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