Here is how to make a handmade card, but you should never be making the cards. What? Isn’t that the whole reason you got into the handmade card business?
Maybe in the beginning YES, but if the business is going to grow and succeed financially, you cannot base your business model on you being the person making the cards.
Remember “making a card” is different from “designing” a card. A card maker constructs hundreds of cards. A designer is the one who comes up with the design, but does not actually make cards that end up on with the customer.
At first you will be doing both jobs, the designer and cardmaker, but as your business grows, you need to hire someone else to take over your cardmaking job.
“Ask yourself: what happens if you get an order for 100 cards? Do you really want to make all of them? Are there enough hours in the day? Even if you could, chances are you will burn out and dread getting orders. Making cards is not fun after number #20 (or in my case #10!). You need to hire other people to do this.”
Remember, you can still be a card designer, just don’t plan to be the one holding the glue bottle in the business.
If you want to make a living in the handmade card business, here are important manufacturing questions you should ask yourself:
How To Make A Handmade Card
1. Can you teach someone else to make the card like you do?
Are your designs so complicated that the person making them cannot repeat the exact way you paint circles or fold delicate Pastel Papers? Ask a few friends to test it out. See if they can make your card according to your instructions.
2. Is the assembly an easy process to learn?
How complicated is it? Will it take a month to learn? Does it require being skilled at using special equipment or special art techniques? It took me 2 weeks to learn how to use a glue gun properly, so I would stop ruining the paper by dripping glue all over it.
3. Have you eliminated the “grey areas” of decision making, so that no matter who makes the cards, they will look alike?
Down the road you will need to hire help. When this day comes, you don’t want to suddenly discover that no one understands your quirks about how you make your cards. Aligning things by eye can be difficult for some people and they’d rather use a straight edge, or perhaps you cut things by hand, but no one else can cut as fast or as good as you do. Maybe it’s better to have a punch out cutter. Even though each handmade card is ultimately unique, it still has to match sales sample you have shown to the customers.
4. Are you willing to give up being the one who makes my cards?
Did you have a fantasy of sitting at your kitchen table making cards while drinking a cup of coffee and listening to Coldplay on your ipod? (Yes, I’ve done that) You can still do this once and awhile, but just realize you cannot grow a handmade card business doing this all the time. By the way, coffee and paper just never seem to mix, no matter how hard you try.
5. Can you make a card in less than 3 hours?
Don’t panic. You may think that you could never make a card in three hours, but later on in this series of articles, I will talk about simple things you can do to redesign a card so you can make it faster, how to set up a time efficient work space, and how to do a time study.
Also, you will be surprised to learn that many of the extra special things artists put on cards, customers may not even notice or care about. Perhaps you make your paper by hand, but in reality the customer doesn’t even notice it. They might be more attracted to something else on the card.
“Don’t try to set unreasonably high standards for your card. Remember, the card designer is always pickier than the customer. That’s because artists are hard to please, and customers are merely “normal people”.
– Kate Harper, Artist
Original Article by kate Harper