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Once you start selling your handmade Silhouette Cameo crafts, other crafters (or new crafters) will eventually stumble onto your page and one might ask you where you got your supplies for a certain project. Similarly, maybe you’ll get a customer that wants to start their own cutting business and they ask you – either publicly or privately how you create your items. How do you handle it? Here’s a few options for gracefully handling these requests:
- You could tell them. There’s no harm in sharing a few of your “secrets” and everyone needs more good karma in their life.
- If the person is local (or you can manage to teach them online), offer to teach them how to operate the machine and make items. You can charge the crafter for your time and materials. This becomes a win-win situation: the crafter that asked the questions get their questions answered, and you make some extra money.
- You can ignore and/or delete the comments. If the comment about your supplies or secrets is posted on your social media accounts, you can always delete it.
- You can answer vaguely. If you get a question about what machine you use to create your items, feel free to be vague. For example, I use a Silhouette Cameo for most of my items. If someone asks what machine I use and I don’t feel like sharing, I tell them I use a plotter. This is the truth, as the Silhouette Cameo is a desktop plotter.
- Lastly, you can always find a picture of the biggest, most expensive plotter on the market and send it to them. Most people won’t want to invest several thousands of dollars and the conversation will be over quickly.
Ultimately, the choice of how to handle an aspiring crafter or competitor asking questions is yours, but I urge you to stay professional no matter how you handle it. Your response is a direct reflection of not just you, but of your small business.
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.
Monday 26th of December 2016
I have a friend who willingly shares her knowledge and has even helped out a few fledglings in her area of expertise. This does a few things; it makes for good karma, it creates a sense of camaraderie with someone who could become a business rival, and it demonstrates to the other person that my friend is a professional and takes her business seriously. It also shows the person how much work is involved in creating the pieces my friend sells. Most people either become terrific customers, friends, or business contacts this way!
Monday 26th of December 2016