I get asked quite a bit about how I decide what to make and sell online. Where does the inspiration come from? How to I decide what to sell? Where do I source my supplies? Well, you are in luck! I am going to share my process for creating and adding new products to my online shop with you today.
Where to Draw New Product Inspiration
Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not much of a planner or organized person. That is likely why I excel at being creative. My mind is a chaotic mess that just breeds ideas, but I can’t keep organized for the life of me! However, all that creativity has lead to some amazing products over the years. Usually, I create new products based on items I would love to have in my home or would buy if I saw it on the shelf of my favorite shop. A pretty ombre planter? Um, yes please!
Sometimes I will look at trends of what people are responding to on social media on both my account and other people’s accounts and then try to develop a product that plays to that trend. Rarely do I make something that people ask for, mostly because people don’t ask, but also because I want to make things that people don’t know they need until they see it! Something that just isn’t available out there on the market until I bring it in. Many times I will expand upon something that is already a popular seller for me. For example, last year I experimented with adding holiday decorations to my shop. People loved them! So this year I am expanding on that idea by making decor for other holidays besides Christmas, as well as adding to the product selection by adding in pillows, ornaments, and more.
Once I have the ideas, the issue of whether to add it for sale lies more in if it is a viable product idea or not. When it comes to deciding what to sell in my online shop, there are a few criteria that I go by. One, how long does this item take to make? If it is something that will become popular, I need to make sure that I have enough time to actually make enough of them to fill all the orders. Two, how much will this product cost to make and will people buy it at the price that I need to sell it at? If those two items check out okay, then I move on to figuring out the best way to make the product.
Do I buy pre-made planters to decorate or do I cast them myself and then paint them? Do I outsource a portion of the process to a contract laborer or do I make the entire thing from start to finish? While I used to do it all myself from start to finish, I found that my time is my most valuable asset. So, I need to use my time wisely and that means decorating or painting pre-made items or sourcing out some of the process. For example, for Easter, I made these pretty painted bunnies for my mantel using pre-cut wood bunnies from Darice. They were easy to paint and looked super cute, so I bought a bunch wholesale and added the painted ones to my shop. It cut down on the time I would spend if I painted them myself, but still let me add a new product to my line that didn’t cost much to make and were extremely popular.
I am sure that there are many ways to go about deciding what to create and how to make it, but the tips above are what I have found to work best for me. Look for the trends, see what you can modify to put your own spin on it, and find out if it will be profitable. Then make it, photograph it, and market it to all your customers!
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Kara designs and sells everything from wrapping paper and throw pillows, to cocktail shakers and flower vases. All with the signature colorful bold patterns Kailo Chic is known for!