Those that make or produce something handmade

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Dec 1, 2002
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Just trying to get a good feel for where might be the best place to spend some advertising money.

Ebay is not an option, I don't think it's right for the product.

The product is pretty much framed art, or memorabilia. It is very much a "gift" item, though also very well-made, but completely handmade.

For example, the target audience is probably early middle-age to older women looking to buy the perfect gift for son, husband, father, etc. Then again, the product appeals to everyone, it's just that younger people without a higher than minimum wage job would be unlikely to buy.

Anyone have any help so that money and time are not wasted? There's really almost NO money for advertising as it stands, but I feel that there is a pretty big need to do so.

I thought I'd ask here since I know there are many who produce something and sell it themselves, and I welcome your experience.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

I really think the best thing is to have your own website but that costs money too. For exposure get on some online craft stores that take contractors. I used to make a lot of money that way. They used to take like 2 percent of the sales price. I believe teh website was or I did sell some fine art on there too and there is no upfront costs
Thanks, kaykay!

He already has a website, but we're waiting for the designer to update it so I can take over.

I'll look into those websites. I was thinking also along the lines of publications, or other venues to get exposure.

I think this is a tough time to part people with their "expendable" money, but then again, I see people that will drive five miles out of their way to grab a Starbuck's and at the price of fuel, that money adds up!

Not sure if these places would interest him but...


They are all places to sell ones art.

I have a web site and the Blog now. Five online stores,,, there are ones I like better than others. Couple are set up to sell originals but most are for prints.

I would suggest to contact with the Art galleries in "Orenco Station" area in Hillsboro. That is pretty high end for our area. Normally if they are intested in someones Art, they will ask for a CD and a write up.

It is hard selling anything right now..all are feeling the pinch because of the economy.
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I was going to suggest print ads: Women-targeted magazines, or travel magazines that have a section focusing on your area.
country sampler magazine is one of the best to advertise in but very expensive. when I ran my first ad I got 300 orders!! Being naive I was not prepared for that and had to work day and night to fill all the orders LOL. Hard lesson learned. (always plan for success) This also told me I was selling it too cheap. Gosh there used to be this really awesome book about pricing handmade items and marketing. Cant remember the name. But it was full of great info. Most people mess up pricing handmade items.

I also was published in several magazines that bought the designs from me so there is that aspect too. Craft how to magazines are always looking for designs to publish and the pay is very good.

I started my first craft business in the 80's in the middle of a huge recession. I never lacked for orders. If you have something really good and unique people will buy it.

This is one of my designs that was published in Better Homes & Garden. They bought the design and instructions from me and I was paid 500.00 to write it out etc.

Thanks, guys! I'm looking into your suggestions.

What's difficult is that it may not be considered "art" by many, but it is...and it isn't.

I'm going to consider all the help, though, I really appreciate it.

Hey know I was just thinking of this very same thing a couple of weeks ago. I had emailed my sister a couple of months ago...(I think that was how long ago it days seem to blend anymore :DOH! ), and if it's the art pieces that I think you're talking about I, nor she has not heard a yea or neigh on what you and I had talked about a while ago.
I was hoping by now to have heard and have had things underway for Bill. I will still continue to keep my eyes and ears peeled.

As far as myself is concerned...well you know I do craft fairs and things such as that, but I'm not sure that is the sort of place you'd be looking to advertise. I agree with you on the Ebay thing too.....sems like it's a buyers market out there...and work like that is worth much more than what people would be willing to give.
Yep, Cheyenne, you know what I'm talking about.

He's so precise with his framing and matting that it is almost like machine-made, but it really is all handbuilt from the box on into the design of the lithographs on a few of the pieces, as well as adding things and restoring antique maps.

It's a lot of work, and I'd like to see him find the right audience.

He does a weekly market here in Astoria, which is slated to begin next weekend, but he could also do with outside orders, it's just where to find the right place to advertise. They almost need to be seen in person to be appreciated, can't clone oneself and there's the difficulty.

I've never known of anyone who is less than amazed at the work he does. I've learned a lot while observing him and assisting him where I can.

If it picked up a little, well, I could find myself a bit of income from it, too!

The entire business was founded to make something that is proudly made in the USA, and that principle is his "labor of love" as he says.

Living in a smaller city, it's hard to generate enough interest at times, so we're thinking he needs to selectively step outside that circle.

Great ideas, though, I'm investigating as I have time!

Given the particular product I think we're talking about, could you find a local fishing magazine or Oregon Coastal magazine or something like that? Is there a trade journal for what Martin does? Sunset Magazine might be another publication where it would fit well into a sidebar ad. Perhaps distribute an ad to the local Chamber of Commerce/Visitor's Bureau's for publication in their brochures? What about marine shops that sell supplies or boats? Is there a local historical society? You could advertise in their newsletter. National Geographic is undoubtedly out of the budget but perhaps a similarly focused smaller publication could serve.

[SIZE=12pt]I posted this website in another post this week
ETSY I heard about it on CNN.[/SIZE]
Laura beat me to it.
I frequent a quilting forum and that's where some of them have a "store." The cost to set on up is very low.

I sold two quilt projects this week, but both were folks I knew. BUT, they did see what they wanted on my website. My site covers a lot of topics.

Im working on TONS of projects to prepare for a craft show in November. Local craft sale work for you?
Leia, yes, that is just one thing that he makes/made. There's such a huge range of them that it's hard to cover in one category, and we were trying to figure out how to kill the most birds with one stone, so to speak.

I think the advertising in something like Sunset is VERY spendy, not to mention hiring someone to design it. I dont' think that's in the budget, too much of a gamble.

Etsy is something we've considered, too, but it doesn't really "fit" either....craft fairs are fine, too, and he does many of those, but finds that there's a large gap between what he does and what is offered.

Thank you for all of the suggestions!!!

I appreciate your time and experience/observations on this.


My family is in the newspaper business and speaking from experience we like to do feature stories on different people, crafts, art and so on. I think you should take your "craft" down to the local newspaper and ask to speak with the Editor. Show him/her what you have and how it's done and they may very well run a feature story on this usually with big photos.

Good luck on your new endeavor!!

The paper's a good one, his story makes good copy (IMO, it is a business begun with the hope of creating a superlative American-made product of American-made materials, something that one is proud to produce, to own, and have).

WE're working on the local papers, and last weekend he spoke with our governor, who hopefully will help get him something in the Oregonian.

Then maybe some sales can pick up and we can look at a more vast array of options for advertising! I like the idea of travel magazines for some of it.


Thanks, everyone!


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