How do you know if you’re ready to start selling your woven wall hangings?
This is a really personal decision. If you’re considering selling your woven art I’d suggest asking yourself these 3 questions first.
Do you feel comfortable with the quality of your work?
A few years ago I heard a Woolful podcast interview with Maryanne Moodie. In the episode, she said that her husband suggested she wait a full year after she started weaving to start selling her work.
I liked that idea so that’s what I decided to do for myself. I don't think I waited a whole year, but I did wait until I felt like my skill had grown. The products I made were better, not only structurally (since my technical skills improved), but they also just looked better aesthetically as I figured out my weaving style.
A year is NOT the only timeline. Personally I'd just suggest waiting until you feel confident in the quality of your weaving skill. (Plus there's way more weaving classes available now so you can learn faster than weavers could a decade ago.)
Do you want to sell?
It’s ok to not sell your work. No for real. It’s totally ok.
I know it looks like that’s the next step in being a weaver, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many people who just want to weave and make art to make art. For more reading see this article from The Cut.
If you do want to sell your work that's amazing! Go for it. People love having woven art in their homes. It adds such a unique and beautiful element.
Start researching how to start your shop and see where it takes you. So many weavers love selling their work and find it really rewarding. What matters is what works best for you.
(You can find some of my favorite small business resources at the bottom of this post).
What are the expectations of your woven art shop?
Think about your expectations around your shop: do you need to make X number of dollars a month, how much inventory do you have and how quickly can you make more, how much work are you willing to put into your shop?
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make sales right away! Shops take time to grow and build. You can definitely do this.
Start brainstorming what you want out of your shop and let that inform how you set up your business. Maybe you prefer to release certain collections at once, maybe you update your shop as you make new items. Find what works best for you.
Do what feels right to you
Whether you decide to start your own woven goods shop or not, do what feels right to you! You can always change your mind later. One of the great things about small business is that you can make your business work for you how you want.
For more information on starting a woven shop here are a few of the small business resources I found helpful:
Merriweather Council (Danielle is no longer publishing new content but her existing content is extremely helpful)