Many handmade business owners have seen a big drop in sales. The drop in sales may be due to the business owner wondering if it’s appropriate to market their products at a time like this (more on that topic can be found in this article) or it may be due to the product they’re selling.

 

Consumers are focused on buying essential products right now.

 

Most handmade products are not considered essential.

 

Although you should always be appropriate and respectful when it comes to what you sell and how you sell it, no one expects you to give up on your business and simply let it close.

 

It’s perfectly okay for you to promote your products and make money.

 

For some, that may be a matter of simply opening their online shop back up and marketing their products.

 

For others, it may require a re-work of their business and products.

 

If you have a product that isn’t likely to be in-demand for a while (e.g. travel-related products) and you’re in a position to wait it out, you may not need to change a thing.

 

But if you need to start making money with your handmade business, you may need to design some new products and maybe even re-brand.

 

I created this list based on a few stats I’ve come across, as well as my predictions.

 

I obviously can’t guarantee items included in this list will sell, and there’s a lot more to a product selling than the product itself. For example, you need:

>> A strong USP and reason for customers to choose your products over competitors’ (learn more about that here)

>> A signature style that your business becomes known for, makes it easy for customers to find multiple pieces buy, and brings them back to buy again and again because they can only get that signature style from you (learn more about that here)

>> Product descriptions that paint a picture and help shoppers imagine your products in their lives (learn more about that here)

>> A presentation that also paints a picture and increases the perceived value of your products, either through photographs (learn more about that here) or through displays (once craft shows are up and running again; learn more about that here).

 

However, based on recent changes in consumers’ shopping behaviors, these products seem to be more appropriate to sell during this time.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here. 

 

CURRENT CONSUMER BEHAVIORS

 

*UPDATE

Check out NEW CRAFT TRENDS FOR 2020 (POST PANDEMIC) for a list of products that are currently trending on Etsy, in Pinterest searches, and based on general consumer trends. 

 

Most people are quarantined in their homes and we don’t know when that will end. When it does end, it’s likely that there will be a slow and methodical relaxing of physical distancing rules.

 

I’m sure many people will be staying in or physical distancing for their own safety, regardless of what the rules are.

 

During these times of staying in, consumers are creating new habits.

 

For example, we have three grocery stores in our neighborhood, each no more than 5 minutes away. Prior to this pandemic, it was easy to stop by a grocery store, so we didn’t put a ton of planning into our grocery store trips. Each week had at least 2 trips to the store.

 

Now, we’re obviously limiting our grocery store trips and have started planning every meal so we can grab a week or two worth of groceries at once. Not only have we discovered how much more efficient this method is; we’re also wasting less food because we have a plan for every perishable item and we don’t buy items unless we need them.

 

We also have more free time since there’s no work commute or social obligations. With that time, we’ve been cooking way more, trying new recipes, and are starting to enjoy cooking (instead of looking at it as a task). We’ve also started meditating together in the mornings.

 

These are all habits we’re likely to keep, even after physical distancing is over.

 

Think about the new habits you’ve been forming and if your customers are likely to be doing the same. Their new habits may influence their shopping habits and the products they buy.

 

For example, some products I may be more likely to buy now, based on my new habits are:

  • More reusable grocery bags for bigger trips to the grocery store (which we can’t use now but will eventually be able to).
  • Grocery store checklists (as our lists are much longer now and can’t be scribbled on a post-it)
  • Kitchen tools (with all our meals being at home, we run out of cutlery before the dishwasher is ready for a cycle. We’ve also gotten more adventurous with our cooking and are looking at items like a wok for stir-frying, a tortilla press for making our own tortillas and chips, etc. I’ve even felt more inspired to host dinner parties (when allowed), which may require new serving dishes, table décor, etc.)
  • Meditation products – our new habit of meditating each day may lead us to buy items that enhance our practice or help us carry it throughout the day.

 

Those are a few product ideas that stem from just a few of my new habits. Come up with your own list and determine if you can make and sell any of the product ideas that are sparked from it.

 

 

PRODUCT IDEAS FOR HANDMADE BUSINESSES

 

*UPDATE

Check out NEW CRAFT TRENDS FOR 2020 (POST PANDEMIC) for a list of products that are currently trending on Etsy, in Pinterest searches, and based on general consumer trends. 

 

There are new behaviors and interests that have stemmed from this pandemic, which may influence purchasing. The following are a few categories of behaviors and interests I believe are more common now:

  • Heath & cleaning
  • Home living
  • Home entertainment
  • Self-care
  • Working from home

 

Based on those, here are some product suggestions that may be more in-demand as everyone deals with life during this pandemic.

 

 

HEALTH & CLEANING RELATED PRODUCTS

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has stepped up their cleaning. New items coming into our home are wiped down at the door, surfaces are regularly cleaned, and hands are washed more frequently. Millions of other people are likely doing the same, which is likely to create more demand for the following products:

  • Cleaning products
    • Sprays for hard surfaces
    • Cleaning cloths (to use with sprays)
    • Disinfecting wipes
    • Room sprays (to freshen the air)
    • Linen and fabric sprays
  • Hand soap
  • Soap dispensers
  • Hand moisturizer (my hands are dry from constantly applying hand sanitizer or washing them)
  • Hand sanitizer (obviously)

 

People do have to go out to grab groceries or to go to work if they’re an essential worker, so many will also need:

  • Masks
  • Gloves

*If you’re a sewer and are able to make masks, please be sure to look up the proper guidelines for creating an effective mask

 

Consumers may even be more aware of the environmental impact many cleaning products have and be looking for more natural and environmentally friendly alternatives. For example:

  • Natural cleaners
  • Cleaners that don’t come in aerosol spray cans
  • Dryer balls
  • Reusable diapers
  • Reusable paper towel

And maybe even…

  • Reusable toilet paper (yes, that’s a thing)

 

 

HOME LIVING RELATED PRODUCTS

With people spending more time at home, it’s likely many people will spend more money to make it a comfortable space.

 

There are so many products that help consumers spruce up their homes. Start with your target market and think about the items they may use.

 

For example, if I’m targeting a market of people who meditate, there are several items my customers may want/need:

  • Meditation floor pillow
  • Meditation bench
  • Incense
  • Candles
  • Essential oil diffusers
  • Healing crystals
  • “Zen” art

 

Let’s look at a few other areas of the home and hobbies that may give a space a different purpose to different target markets.

 

Reading and creating a cozy reading corner:

  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Reading lights
  • Candles
  • Plants
  • Coffee station items (every good book needs a good cup of coffee to go with it):
    • Mugs
    • Mug hanger
    • Coffee/tea/sugar/cream containers
    • Baskets for items like K-cups
    • Coffee station art/chalkboards
    • Trays

 

Crafting and creating a functional craft space:

  • Desks
  • Shelving units
  • Baskets for organizing
  • Work lights
  • Craft supplies & tools
  • Crafting books or courses

 

Personal grooming and creating a spa-like bathroom:

  • Candles
  • Mirrors
  • Trays to display beautifully packaged products, like perfumes
  • Bottles to make their soap, moisturizer, shampoo, etc. look more elegant
  • Bath mats
  • Skincare products
  • Haircare products

 

Relaxing and creating a bedroom retreat:

  • Sheet sets
  • Duvet covers
  • Throw pillows
  • Throw blankets
  • Rugs (I love the chunky knit rugs)
  • Art
  • Lights
  • Curtains
  • Sleep masks
  • Heating pads
  • Picture frames

 

Cooking and creating a functional kitchen:

  • Cookbook stand (or iPad stand for those who get recipes online)
  • Cutting boards
  • Serving trays
  • Knife blocks
  • Spice racks
  • Wooden spoons and spatulas
  • Wooden BBQ scraper
  • Reusable food wrap
  • Tea towels
  • Aprons
  • Oven mitts
  • Potholders
  • Fabric casserole covers
  • Tablecloths
  • Dish scrubbies
  • Dishcloths
  • Any food items such as rubs and marinades, soup mixes, etc.

 

Baking and creating memories with kids or items for presenting or storing their baking:

  • Pie plates
  • Cake stands
  • Cupcake stands
  • Cookie jars
  • Cookie tins
  • Reusable food wrap
  • Aprons (matching mom and child)
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towels
  • Dish scrubbies
  • Dish cloths
  • Mixing utensils
  • Measuring cups
  • Cookie cutters
  • Rolling pins (some have shapes on them so you can roll patterns onto cookies)
  • Any food items such as baking kit jars

 

Enjoying an outdoor space:

  • Windchimes
  • Outdoor rug
  • Outdoor pillows
  • Outdoor blankets
  • Bird feeders and baths
  • Candles
  • Bug repellants

 

These are, of course, items that have always been available and consumers have lots of options to choose from. So you must know who your target market is so you can create products perfectly suited for them.

 

HOW TO FIND A GOLDMINE OF CUSTOMERS will help you find a profitable target market

 

It’s also important you market those products in a way that appeals to your target market and paint a picture that aligns with their new way of living.

 

You may use social media posts to point out that “with more time being spent at home, it’s a good time to make a cozy reading nook even cozier with my soft, chunky knit blanket” (for example).

 

You may need to learn some new skills to make new products and now is a good time to take online classes. Here are some you may be interested in:

 

 

HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELATED PRODUCTS

With people having to isolate at home, they’re finding new ways to keep themselves, their kids, and their pets entertained at home.

 

It’s likely many people will build new habits and spend more time at home with family, even once physical distancing is lifted.

 

Here are some product ideas related to home entertainment:

  • Crafts (e.g. you could make DIY kits to teach others to paint/knit/make jewelry/etc. or items such as coloring books, sketch notebooks, etc.)
  • Puzzles
  • Games
  • Toys
  • Cooking & Baking (items mentioned under cooking and baking sections above, as well as food products such as rubs & marinades, baking kits, etc.)
  • Popcorn bowls for movie nights
  • Indoor gardening (e.g. pots with herb names on them. One could even create and sell kits; pot, seeds, and soil for customers to plant)
  • Bar items for mixing cocktails at home
  • Pet toys

 

 

SELF-CARE RELATED PRODUCTS

It’s always important to take care of your mental and physical health, but people are even more aware of the importance of self-care because of the stress caused by this pandemic, as well as the additional free time they have to take time for themselves.

 

People are working out at home, pampering themselves at home, and finding ways to unplug and reduce stress.

 

WORKING OUT AT HOME

  • Yoga mats
  • Yoga blocks
  • Yoga socks
  • Workout clothes (e.g. tanks with workout phrases, leggings, etc.)
  • Motivational wall decals or art for a workout space
  • Headbands and scrunchies
  • Workout tracker/schedule stationery
  • Cleaners for dumbbells, yoga mats, etc.
  • Personalized water bottles
  • Heating/cooling pad for sore muscles

 

SPA-DAY AT HOME

  • Spa headbands
  • Scrunchies
  • Eye masks (could be a skincare product applied to the eye area or a sewn mask filled with rice so it can go in the freezer)
  • Manicure or pedicure products (e.g. foot scrub, cuticle moisturizer, foot cream, nail polish, etc.)
  • Facial products (e.g. clay masks, exfoliators, moisturizers, serums, etc.)
  • Loofahs
  • Bath products (e.g. bath salts, bubble bath)
  • Bath pillows
  • Bath trays
  • Candles
  • Massage tools
  • Bathrobes
  • Slippers
  • Facecloths
  • Heating pads

 

DE-STRESS

  • Journals & stationery for journaling
  • Goals/gratitude notepads
  • Adult coloring books
  • Incense and essential oils
  • Stress balls or toys
  • Comfort food (e.g. soup mixes, dark chocolate, tea, etc.)
  • Mediation products mentioned previously
  • Pet products (people love to take care of their pets too! Pet beds, dog shampoo, pet treats, etc.)

 

You may need to learn some new skills to make new products and now is a good time to take online classes. Here are some you may be interested in:

  

WORKING FROM HOME RELATED PRODUCTS

Most people are working from home and that may continue once physical distancing is relaxed. A lot of businesses are likely to realize how much money they save by having some of their employees work from home and how much more efficient those employees are.

 

Many people likely had to set up home offices, create a secondary office space for multiple people working from home, or create a homework station for kids now being homeschooled.

 

They may require items such as:

  • Desks and chairs
  • Notepads
  • Office art or wall decals
  • Do not disturb door hangers (so the kids know when they can and can’t barge into the office)
  • Casual office attire (people are trading their suits and dresses for casual, easy-wash clothing that still makes them look presentable for Skype calls)
  • Bulletin boards or whiteboards (you’d be able to come up with more interesting designs than what’s typically found at Office Depot)
  • Home office coffee mugs
  • Paper sorters
  • Paper trays
  • Pen holders
  • Paperclip holders
  • Calendars and planners
  • Bookends
  • Desk pads and mouse pads

 

 

ALTERING YOUR PRODUCTS

Based on the new habits, shopping behaviors and interests, go through the lists of products and consider any that are appropriate for your skills and existing customers.

 

For example, if I’m a woodworker and typically sell custom furniture pieces, sales may have fallen off the map because my target market is less prepared to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars right now.

 

I may decide to shift my focus to kitchen products to make use of the wood supplies I’ve already purchased. I could create cookbook stands, cutting boards, knife blocks, and spice racks.

 

I can send a newsletter to my existing customers to let them know about the new line I’ve launched and they’re likely to be interested in those products as well. The people who have purchased a handmade piece of furniture appreciate woodworking and natural materials. *Here’s how to get your newsletter set up for free, as well as a year’s worth of newsletter content ideas.

 

I’m not having to go out and find new customers, rebrand, or market to a new type of customer, I’m simply offering my target market a different product they’d be interested in.

 

 

 

WHAT ABOUT JEWELRY AND FASHION ACCESSORIES?

This category seems to be one that has been hit the hardest. These are items consumers tend to buy to make an impression on others and create a specific look when out in public. And since most of us aren’t leaving our houses, we’re not looking for different outfit/accessory options.

 

That doesn’t mean no one is buying jewelry or accessories.

 

In my opinion, consumers are simply going to be thinking twice about every purchase. Previously, they may have purchased items they liked, but now they must love each item.

 

Creating must be more purposeful.

 

That starts with really knowing your customers and who you’re targeting. And then adding more meaning to products, aside from them being beautiful to look at.

 

For example, jewelry may have more meaning in the following ways:

  • Pieces with inspiration quotes stamped on them
  • Charms or pendants that represent a connection to a loved one
  • The use of crystals that have different healing benefits
  • Jewelry that’s perfect for gift-giving (e.g. Mother/Daughter necklaces for Mother’s Day)
  • Buying from a jewelry business that gives back

 

I fully explain how to make products more purposeful under Task #2 in this article

 

Now may be a good time to brush up on your jewelry making skills and learn how to make more intermediate to advanced pieces so you have less competition.

 

More handmade businesses sell beaded jewelry and stamped jewelry than businesses selling jewelry made with metalsmith or silversmith techniques.

 

That’s because learning silversmith skills requires time and practice, something many jewelry business owners aren’t willing to put in. Simply learning a more advanced skill will allow you to level-up and create jewelry that falls under a less competitive category.

 

Here are some online jewelry making classes you may want to check out: Online Jewelry Making Classes

 

 

Check out NEW CRAFT TRENDS FOR 2020 (POST PANDEMIC) for more product ideas.

 

If you have any other predictions of products that may be more in-demand (and can be handmade), please share in the comments. I hope you found this article helpful!

 

 



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