Your first handmade business – Choosing the first products to sell

Starting a business online is a big challenge for yourself and for you family. It’s like the starting of elementary school for your children. It’s something that puts you completely out of your comfort zone.
When I started my first company I can’t say which I was more, excited or scared? Every night before going to bed I would worry about millions of different things but come morning, I was once again determined to continue.

For these reasons I write this post about starting your first business, I hope this will help you be a step closer to your goal.


Your first handmade business - Choosing the first products to sellSource

What are you going to sell?

I’m sure you have in mind the type of business you are going to open, next you need to figure out the specific products you’re going to sell.
If, for example, you’re going to open a jewelry business, you have to decide what pieces are you going to start with.

Follow these steps to choose your first products:


What are the products you love to make?

I’m sure there are some products that you love and enjoy making and also use it.
Pick a maximum of 3 items that you really enjoy to make and write them on a notebook, also add a little sketch for each.

What are the product your friends and family love the most?

I’m sure you gift some of your creations to your friends. Remember the ones they loved the most and the ones they wore the most. Pick a maximum of 3 items and update the notebook.


Create a Feedback session

Invite over some of your close friends , choose them based on your products (kids if you create toys, women if you create jewelry, etc). Prepare some creations and collect feedback. Ask your friends to be very sincere because constructive criticism means improvements for your products.
Improve your products based on the feedbacks you got and choose the 5 most promising ones.


Internet Research

  • Start by taking a look at Etsy “Trending Items” which you can find via this link: Trending Items. In the list there are the products most viewed on Etsy, you will need to find some items similar to yours and take note of it
  • Furthermore you can do some research on Pinterest and Storenvy, look for the most pinned items on Pinterest,  and the most popular items on Storenvy
  • Pick 3 items that will be “popular” and write them down on the notebook
  • Now you will have about 10 items in your notes that you selected for different reasons. Next we have to calculate how much it will cost you to create these products


Final considerations

For any product do this count:

  • The total cost for the supplies to make one item
  • The number of hours that you will need to make one item
  • The cost of any new tools you may need to create it (if you already have all the tools, don’t put any amount)

Now pick the 5 items that need less money and time to be created. You have the final products to create your first shop.


Before creating your first product

Now that you finally have in mind the products, it’s important to keep in mind some suggestions that will help you during the creations of your first items.

  • Create a unique product. It’s ok taking inspiration from other people’s work, but to spill out from the crowd, you need something special.
  • Create a product with a target customer in mind. For who is your product? If you’re selling product for babies, remember that you have to sell them to the parents.
  • Create a collection. Every product you will make has to have a connection with the other products, they have to be recognized to be from the same shop.
  • Create a brand. What makes your shop unique? What do your products convey? Find a shop name that matches with your philosophy and your products. Choose colors and a logo in relation to your products and the things you love.


Upcoming: In the next part

I hope you found this first part interesting and I encourage you to start right now to think about your handmade business.
In the next part we will talk about the production and how to save money on supplies.

It'll be okay


  • Traci, Jewels by Faith LLC

    This post is spot on however there is one important thing missing and that is speaking about copyright and patented work. Most small handmade shops don’t have those protections on paper through their respective offices, however they are protected and could take legal action against someone who takes their work and copies it to sell themselves without written permission. When you are looking through designs and trending items make sure you never use the exact same beads, charms, etc or it could land you in trouble. Learn the technique used, if there is one, but respect the original designer. I’m seeing more and more complaints about stolen work and people not obtaining permission to use the design. Please, make sure you get written permission before you use someones designs. I design my own handmade jewelry, and I would hope that someone would ask before using my designs. Some people will just want attribution and some will charge you to use their designs, but make sure each piece you make is your own.

    • Nicoletta

      Hi Traci, thank you for your detailed comment. I really appreciate it!
      I understand what you said and I’m sorry I didn’t consider it. In the next part on this series I will talk about legal requirement before open a shop and bookeping, I will mention this problem too.
      Thank you for let me know it and I’m going to send you an email as well to ask you about it, I hope you’ll help me.


    • Nicoletta

      I talked about those things in this part of the series:

      I hope you’ll like it! Have a nice day!

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