Saturday, September 8, 2012

From DIY Craft Blogger to DIY Craft Entrepreneur

[soapbox] I want to live in a world where craft companies recognize and reward those who a) use their products (duh!), and b) dedicate time out of their busy schedule to be creative, let their inner artist come out to play, and encourage others to do so as well! [/soapbox]

It’s no secret that although DIY craft activity has exploded since the massive success of sites like Pinterest and Polyvore, being able to turn DIY crafting into a profitable business has yet to be reliably mapped out. I mean, how do you make money off doing something you do for fun, and mostly in your spare time?
Craft supply companies haven’t quite caught onto the DIY craft blogger marketing freight train yet, especially when you compare how companies like Nestle and Huggies/Pampers have sunk their hooks into the mommy blogger marketing machine.  Sure DIY craft blogs have been around for quite a while; however the exposure has been minimal up until recently (the last 2 years).

For the time being, crafters who wish to exploit their creativity and turn a profit, need to be equally industrious and have a knack for entrepreneurship (or at the very least know someone they can rely on to mentor them through the process)…oh, and have an original idea that will draw potential customers in! Fact: Coming up with original ideas is HARD!

Then I came across this article. Alicia DiRago owns WhimseyBox the DIY craft company she hatched out of her DIY fashion blog WhimseyBox ships a selection of craft products to customers every month for $25. I just signed up and hope to get my box of goodies soon! I can’t wait! The article takes us through Alicia’s pitch day at Excelerate Labs’ 3rd annual Demo Day, where she would be looking for $900,000 in venture capital to grow her business.  It offers a rare glimpse into what it takes to go from DIY craft blogger, to DIY craft entrepreneur.  The answer: A metric sh*t-ton of dedication and hard work, that’s what!

Perhaps it is a sign that DIY crafters are beginning to be recognized as a profitable market, albeit slowly and with a healthy dose of reserved investment, but recognized nonetheless.  If I had half the lady balls this woman has I wouldn’t think twice about quitting my cushy government job and pouring my life into a venture like this. Huge props to Alicia DiRago for making a bulletproof business case and paving the road forward for venture capital providers to begin investing in DIY craft start-ups. *high five*

I sincerely hope to see more of this in the near future!

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