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Selling Handmade ~ Organizing a Workspace

March 28, 2012

{If you’re joining us for the first time today, Welcome!  Pull up a chair and grab a cup of coffee…}

In January, it seemed the land of blogs was buzzing with the topic of “Craft Room Makeovers”.  There were link parties popping up all over.  It worked for me.  I was inspired, and ended up creating a craft room in my basement

I was interested to find out where other ladies made {and stored!} their handmade creations.  Thus, the topic of today’s discussion.

Day 3:  Organizing a Workspace {When you live where you work!}

selling handmade bright final

 

Question:   I find it a challenge sometimes to work at the place I live at, too!  Do you have separate spaces where you create and wrap your products for shipping?  How/ where do you store your items for sale?

Gina's Banner  Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage

I work all over my house, but primarily I work in my kitchen at my table. We’re working on a new studio space, but it will probably be summer before we get into it. All of my items are stored in cabinets that are scattered around my living room & kitchen. It was much harder when my product line was much broader, but now that I’ve narrowed it to fabrics/textiles, it’s easier to keep it all sorted & organized.

table runner

{Burlap Table Runner from The Shabby Creek Shop}

yellow grograin

jami's banner Jami from freckled laundry

Working where you live is both a blessing and a challenge. Yes, I have a separate studio where I create and package. Actually, most of my creating is done at the kitchen counter so I can keep an eye on my little ones! My wrapping and packaging is all done in my studio though. I have a long, plastic, fold-out craft table ($20 at Target) set up where my wrapping and packaging goods are laid out in assembly-line fashion.  Clear bags, tags, tissue, twine/yarn/lace, business cards, customer appreciation tags, laundry rectangles, and boxes. I have little inventory as I sell primarily on a made-to-order basis. Pre-made tags are stored in a plastic rolling cart also purchased at Target.

tags

{tags from freckled laundry}

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Lisa's banner Lisa from The Pennington Point

I am blessed to have a separate space for my shop.  We used to use it as a guest house, but as the shop got busier I needed a space to be able to just go work and leave the equipment sitting out.  So we made the guest house living room into my shop.  In it I have my embroidery machine set up all of the time plus we’ve added a lot of products with vinyl cut outs so I have a table where that machine stays out all of the time.  I have shelves for finished products and I have a shipping spot with a table and all of my boxes and packing supplies right there.  I know, I’m spoiled.

buckets

{Silhouette Buckets from Lisa’s Shop ~ Shop 24}

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aimee's banner Aimee from My Pink Life

This is a constant challenge for me! I work in our garage, our basement, and our kitchen. I don’t have a studio (yet!), so I do my work where ever I can. I take mostly custom orders, so I typically ship my products as soon as I make them and storage is not a big issue for me.

barn door sign

{Aimee’s Most Popular sign (I love it so much!) sold on her Etsy site Aimee Weaver Designs}

 

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I think the lesson I learned today was that it is not necessary to have a separate space or room to create handmade things to sell.  We all need to modify and be flexible to make whatever situation we’re in work.  I’ve found that, although I love having the separate space in the basement, when it comes time to paint letters on my signs, I still need to do that in the natural light of my kitchen.

And speaking of light…tomorrow we’re talking photography!

See you then.  Have a great day.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Wren @ for the Love of Lillian March 28, 2012 at 7:44 am

It’s so refreshing to see that this group of successful women are pretty much “just like me”. I wonder how many of us have wonderful creative ideas and hold off on the dream of an online shop until we get that perfect place to work. Thank you for the ‘start where you are!” message. Very much enjoying this series! ~Wren

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ritajoy@harbour breeze home March 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

I so agree! We can all just “pull up the kitchen table” and craft!:) I’m glad you’re enjoying the series.
Ritajoy

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Carol @arewethereyet March 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Interesting topic – I just have a little antique desk over in the corner that I use for all my blogging and bill paying! You know all the stuff that we do all the time.
Wanted to let you know that I awarded you the Versitale Blogger Award today over on my blog. Pleae come by and check it out at http://cdm-arewethereyet.blogspot.com/
Hugs -
Carol

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Peggy March 29, 2012 at 5:46 am

Ritajoy,

I want to say thank you so very much for putting this series together. I can hardly wait for tomorrow’s installment as it is one of my biggest challenges. Now its back to the kitchen for me… I’m painting my kitchen cabinets!! :) Woohoo!! We are one step closer to having the kitchen done!! :) Only TWO projects left and it will be complete!!!

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