Shortly after my husband and I married, we decided to start a blacksmithing business. My husband learned the art of blacksmithing, and he wanted to make ironwork of all kinds to make a little extra cash. Blacksmithing is hard work, and we did not want to do it for a living, so over the years we kept our business small and kept our day jobs as well.
We started our business by going to art fairs. At these fairs we made ironwork to sell and make some badly needed money. We did art fairs for about 15 years. Fairs are a lot of work, plus there is usually an entry fee that you must pay to sell at the fair. I soon did not want to do any more fairs. When I worked the numbers, I found we made less then half of minimum wage. Obviously doing art fairs was not for making money; it was something you did because you liked it. After 20 years, I did not like doing art fairs anymore.
We make campfire tripods and they took off big. People really like them and they are a very sturdy item that does not break. We took our tripods to stores and they liked the tripods as well so we started stocking some in a few selected stores. We charged the stores half of what we sold them for and found we made more money then at art fairs but we still did not make much money.
Then we started selling on the internet and found that it was much better then selling at art fairs or in stores, but shipping 6 foot items is a nightmare. Still, we do it even though we have to deal with shipping we still make a bit more profit.
We have a small business making and selling our tripods at stores and on line. I will not do art fairs anymore since they are far too much work for any money you earn. Still going to fairs is a good way to start a small business. It gets your name and item out where people see it. But there comes a time when you need to walk away from doing art fairs.
Our business is as big as we want it to be. It is small and only gives us a small amount of extra money. We will never get rich doing it but it is a satisfying business.