If you have your own beading business and that's all your going to do to bring in income then the reality is you're going to be working a LOT. Expect to put more time in than your regular 40 hour a week job.....think two 40 hour a week jobs....but if it's something you love that won't be a problem.
Expect to have many irons in the fire because though what you love is playing with beads to make a living from it your going to have to do a lot of other things too. If you just make beaded jewelry you will have to photograph it, write about it, price it correctly, find your market to sell it which could be opening and maintaining an online store or two or it could be presenting your work to a gallery or setting up shop/booth at arts fairs.
If you do the solely online thing expect lots of competition and to stay visible you'll have to be active with Facebook or a blog or have some other kind of online presence. Typically this isn't enough to bring in a decent income for the first few years....if you have had incredible success please tell us your secret :)
Now the other things you'll have to look at doing....and bear in mind all your work has to be your own original design:
- Enter competitions to get your work and your name out there.
- Submit patterns to beading magazines...it doesn't pay much and your work will be with the magazine for eons (which means you can't sell it) but it does get your name out there.
If you do all these things you may be able to make a living, if you do them realy, really well it might be a comfortable living. Personally I work at least ten hours a day, seven days a week...sometimes more. I figure my time gets split four ways:
- 25% spent designing...this may be drawing, working in BeadTool4, or with actual beads in hand. Plus color planning which means spending time looking for the right beads....either online or at stores and shows.
- 25% spent writing patterns and tutorials, planning classes, packing kits, writing announcements and creating displays and teaching.
- 25% marketing...which includes maintaining two online stores, my own blog (The Beaded Carpet), my two days of blogging for the Mavens, keeping up with the Mavens forum, having a prescence on Facebook, working with galleries and bead shows.
- 25% actual beading....working up designs in different colorways for the kits and patterns, creating original work for competitions and making things for my stores and the galleries.
I think any of the Mavens will tell you "It ain't easy!" and they'd all probably tell you "I can't see myself doing anything else". So..if you're sure it's what you love and what you want to do my advice is don't jump right into it, go into it gradually...make a plan, set some goals and do it. Life's too short to not be doing something you love.
And this is Mikki signing off at 3:45 am....because I haven't had time before this to blog. Ahh....the realities :)