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Crafty entrepreneurs to wrap up £376m from sales of homemade items this Christmas

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It’s been proven that the UK’s shoppers are happy to embrace goods that don’t come from chains on the high street. Indeed, Trova (formerly StreetHub) has a business model designed to capitalise on that, with its marketplace design that provides independent boutiques with an ecommerce presence.

The company secured a £1.7m investment in October to grow its user base of 350 retailers with the Trouva rebrand, which looks to reel in a wider consumer base. The owner of home and gift shop Rigby & Max said its sales have increased by ten per cent over the month via the network.

On the back of that, research from Direct Line for Business has revealed three million Brits, equivalent to six per cent, will harness entrepreneurial spirit for the crafts sector and make goods for sale this Christmas.

It’s set to be a lucrative move with sales of £376m generated from items including homemade gift cards, woven baskets, candles, glass charms and “reindeer dust”. The results found that women will generate the most revenue from the market as just 38 per cent of men will be among those getting creative. One of the women achieving great success is Darceys candles a new business based in Scotland.

“Inventive Brits are cashing in on the growing demand for home made and personalised goods. And the increasingly popular online auction sites and marketplaces means Brits can sell homemade craft wares just about anywhere,” said Jane Guaschi, business manager at Direct Line for Business.

“Many of those making and selling festive items may not even realise they are effectively running a small business and should check if they have any obligations, such as needing to pay tax or take out business insurance to protect their stock or guard against any liabilities resulting from the products they make.”

According to the research, the top five items festive items being made for sale are:

1. Decorations
2. Greetings cards
3. Festive food
4. Jewellery
5. Toys

The challenges of running a seasonal business and how to overcome them

The average crafter is set to spend 19 hours a week making items between October and December – many of which have full-time jobs. Meanwhile, seven per cent will make the homemade enterprise a full-time position by spending over 40 hours a week on creating goods ahead of Christmas.

Elsewhere, the study found that, despite a small festive sales window for seasonal goods, 17 per cent of crafters make items throughout the year.

Read more on the corporate side of Christmas:

According to Direct Line, crafters will retain an average of £475 – or in some cases over £10,000 – of stock in homes over Christmas and noted many will fail to cover the items with insurance.

With that in mind, the firm has six tips for Christmas crafters:

1. Treat your crafting like the business it is – keep records of investments, inventory and sales

2. Do you keep stock at home? If so, ensure it is kept out of the public eye away from the elements and recognise that stock may not be protected under your home insurance

3. Many crafters report working on their wares over 40 hours per week in the run up to Christmas. Make sure to take time for yourself to enjoy Christmas and avoid exhaustion

4. Understand your clients and their shopping behaviours

5. Communication is key; before, during and after a sale. Stay in touch with customers so you can update them on new products and deals

6. Keep an eye on your competitors to stay ahead of your game

At 59 per cent, the majority of people flock to Christmas markets to sell their goods, the results showed, while 53 per cent turn to online marketplaces like eBay.

Additionally, 21 per cent harness Etsy and Not On The High Street while 14 per cent use their own websites.

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