Consumers are starting to get a little restless. They’ve moved past the survival and fear mode and are ready to start planning for the future.
Your business needs to stay a step ahead and start planning for it as well.
It’s time to get excited and motivated about your handmade business again.
As you know, from this post, I had a hard time with my businesses when this all started.
But then I realized that challenge creates opportunity.
My businesses will likely never be the same but I’m ready and willing to make the changes required to keep them going. Here are a few articles that may help your business:
>> HOW TO TARGET SHOPPERS WHO ARE BUYING DURING THE PANDEMIC will help you target a new customer if yours’ have stopped buying
>> TOP 5 TASKS TO WORK ON WHEN SALES HAVE DROPPED will help you stay productive until sales pick back up
>> And 10 WAYS FOR A CRAFT BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY DURING THE PANDEMIC will help you come up with new ways for your handmade business to generate revenue.
Use the article you’re reading now to brainstorm new product ideas and then make a plan for the rest of this year.
Your goals may have shifted with this pandemic, and how you reach those goals will likely require a major change. But the sooner you make a plan and start working towards your new goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.
Use THE SUCCESS PLANNER to help with that.
I hope this article sparks some new ideas for you!
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.
CRAFT TRENDS FOR A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD
For this post, I gathered product suggestions based on some research. I looked at:
ETSY – I read several of Etsy’s articles and the shopping trends they’re noticing on their platform. I also looked at the types of products they’ve recently featured.
PINTEREST – I gathered information from Pinterest and the search trends they’ve been noticing on their platform. Although Pinterest isn’t widely used as a shopping platform, search patterns tell us what consumers are interested in, which creates an opportunity for your business to offer products that align with those interests.
CONSUMER TRENDS – I’ve read several articles on general consumer trends and have summarized any shopping trends that popped up in multiple articles and that are relevant to a handmade business.
MY TWO CENTS – as always, I’ve included some more specific product ideas, based on the information I researched.
NON-MEDICAL GRADE FACE MASKS
Etsy has seen a big spike in searches for facemasks.
It’s important to note, these are non-medical grade. Masks for doctors and nurses must be medical grade and follow strict regulations. However, an increase in supply of non-medical grade masks means there are more medical-grade masks left for frontline healthcare workers.
A handmade business has an opportunity to get creative with the masks they sell. A line of stylish designer masks, or humorous masks, or children’s masks could do well.
There are several items that fall under self-care. You can find more product suggestions in this article.
Here are several that were recently featured on Etsy:
- Hair products
- Gels *flaxseed gels seem to be popular
- Dry shampoo
- Styling creams
- Hair towels
- Scrunchies, headscarves & headbands
- Nail products
- Nail stickers
- Nail polish
- Cuticle oil
- Bath products
- Bath salts
- Bath bombs
- Soap saver bags
- Face masks
- Facial oils
- Face steams (jars of dried flowers and/or herbs to add to hot water and steam your face)
- Facial rounds (they act as reusable cotton pads)
- Male grooming
- Shaving cream
- Beard oil
- Beard pomade
- Beard comb
- Spa products
- Bath trays
- Candles and incense/incense holders
- Eye pillows
- Temporary tattoos
- Zero-waste packaging (e.g. instead of bath bombs being wrapped in one-time-use plastic, they may come unwrapped in a jar that can be reused)
Consumers are exploring their creative sides with the extra time they have.
I also think a DIY subscription box is a great idea for a small business because it generates consistent income month after month. You’ll know how much product to make and what your monthly income will be based on the number of people subscribed to your DIY box.
You may be selling to a new type of customer, but a platform like CrateJoy will help you find that customer (they’re like the Etsy of subscription boxes).
Here’s an example of how a handmade business may add subscription boxes as a revenue stream.
Let’s say I sell knitted products through my craft business. I may start selling DIY knitting boxes that teach people how to knit different items.
Each month, I would send out a new box with a new pattern and instructions, yarn, and needles. One month it may be the materials and instructions to create a set of dishcloths, the next it may be for a chunky knit blanket, and another month it may be to create an infinity scarf.
The DIY craze applies to a wide range of categories such as sewing, knitting, jewelry making, baking & cooking, and even services provided by hair salons and spas are being attempted at home (DIY manicure kit).
BAR CART ITEMS
It makes sense that people want to purchase items to make the fancy cocktails they used to drink at restaurants, at home. As more people stay in for date nights and cheat meals, and begin to plan more intimate get-togethers at home, instead of at crowded restaurants and bars, they’ll want to improve their home bar.
Typical bar cart items may be shakers, citrus peelers, ice containers, etc., which aren’t easy to turn into handmade items. However, there are other items that can be handmade and used to decorate a bar or serve drinks:
- Serving tray
- Set of mason jar mugs (you could personalize the mugs or add sayings such as “Cheers!”)
- Pottery or wood bowls for lemons and limes
- Bar signs
- Plants for the bar (how perfect to have a mint plant at the bar to make mojitos?)
- Napkins (personalized or with funny drink sayings printed on them)
- Paper straws (these are “on-trend” in the eco-friendly department as well. Here’s a tutorial on how to make them)
TOPS & TEES
With more people working from home, they’re trading in dress shirts for t-shirts. Although many people will be heading back to the office, there will be more people working from home in the future as companies have realized the benefits of having some employees work remotely.
People are often still required to participate in video calls so a line of professional tops would be appropriate; stylish and professional but comfortable and easy to wash.
A line of “professional-looking” pajamas may be popular with people like me who want to stay in their pajamas all day (why dirty another set of clothes) but don’t want to feel like they’re in pajamas 😉
Conscious consumption was a consumer trend I mentioned in this trend list.
But Etsy has stated they’re ramping up their sustainability efforts and are offsetting 100% of carbon emissions from shipping. You can learn more about that here.
They also mentioned how carbon-neutral shipping messaging in the shopping experience positively impacts purchase behavior (source).
If you’re an Etsy seller, focusing on sustainable products and building a sustainable business may get you featured.
The following products may be appropriate for your business:
- Eco-friendly cleaning supplies
- Reusable food wraps
- Reusable grocery and produce bags
- Zero waste products. E.g.:
- Laundry detergent
- Dish soap
- Toothpaste and dental floss
You may also consider how you can make repeat purchasing more sustainable. For example, a bath and body business may offer bulk size containers of liquid hand soap so existing customers can simply refill their pump containers.
Not only do sustainable products help the environment, they also help consumers save money in the long run.
COOKING, BAKING & GRILLING
People will be having more BBQs as the weather warms up and as they find more intimate ways to socialize with friends.
The following items may be appropriate for your business:
- BBQ scrapers
- Personalized flippers, skewers, tongs, etc.
- Spices & marinades
- Outdoor dining items
Many people are also taking their time at home to brush up on their cooking skills and/or spend more time baking.
Items related to cooking and baking may be a good niche for a handmade business to venture into. There are several more product ideas in this post.
‘Tis the season to start gardening and with people fearing shortages, more people are starting their own gardens. Gardening is also more popular with Millennials. These are some of the trends I came across:
- Houseplants – these are making a comeback with Millennials.
- Eco-friendly garden products – consumers are becoming more aware of the harmful effects of harsh chemicals used to kill weeds, bugs, or disease. A line of eco-friendly sprays, fertilizers, etc. may be popular.
- Garden nooks – a spot to sit and enjoy your garden. Products that may be a fit:
- Benches or chairs
- Small tables for a cup of coffee or glass of wine
- Water fountains
- Outdoor pillows
- Stepping stones to create a path to the nook
- Outdoor lanterns or candle holders (perhaps also candles that repel mosquitos)
- Herbalism – using plants to treat common ailments and promote wellness. E.g.:
- Aloe Vera plants for cuts and scrapes
- Chamomile for tea that helps with relaxation
- Ginger to help with motion sickness
Keep indoor gardening in mind as well; this may be a good niche for a handmade business. There are many people who live in apartments or don’t have the outdoor space for a full garden.
Some ideas for an indoor garden are:
- Garden walls
- Garden starter kits
- Lighting – if you have experience with lighting, consider creating stylish indoor plant lights
- Watering cans or plant misters
This would also be a good category for a subscription box.
For example, I could create an indoor garden subscription box and on month 1 send:
- A pot with “I’m kinda a big dill” written on it
- Dill seeds
- Potting mix to fill the pot
- Planting & care instructions
- A decorative indoor watering can
The next month I may send:
- A pot with “feelin’ good from my head tomatoes” written on it
- Tomato seeds
- Potting mix to fill the pot
- Planting & care instructions
- A decorative support stake for when the tomatoes get bigger
If you’re unfamiliar with subscription boxes, you can read more about them here: How to Start a Subscription Box Guide
People’s backyards are becoming their vacation spots. The following items will help consumers spruce up their outdoor living space:
- Garden markers
- Plant markers (for pots)
- Patio lights
- Planter boxes
- Hammocks & patio furniture
- Backyard games (e.g. corn hole, giant Jenga, Yardzee, etc.)
- Outdoor cushions
- Seed kits
- Pool accessories & toys (with most vacation plans being put on hold, people may be shopping for above ground pools, sprinklers, slip and slides, etc. to keep kids entertained and to beat the heat this summer without heading to crowded beaches. Think about items that might work with those backyard water activities)
With people spending more time at home it makes sense that they’re wanting to make their space cozier.
- Floor Pillows
- Mugs (because what’s cozier than curling up with a cup of coffee or tea?)
- Oil diffusers/candles/incense
- Room sprays
- Wall art
With more people working from home, home office products are more popular:
- Desk accessories (e.g. letter sorter, pen holder, paperweights, etc.)
- Weekly planners
- Phone docks
Pet products have been on my craft trend lists for a couple of years now. People think of their pets more as members of the family, and thus, want to treat them to the same luxuries we enjoy.
- Dog/cat beds
- Dog/cat treats
- Cat scratching posts/trees
- Dog collars and clothes
- Cat toys
- Food dishes
- Pet art (e.g. custom portraits of their pets)
PUZZLES & TOYS
Kids and adults are trying to stay entertained at home. Here are a few items that could be handmade:
- A piece of art could be turned into a deck of cards or a puzzle (with the help of a card or puzzle printing company)
- Wood games. E.g.:
- Wooden blocks for kids
- Coloring books (for children or adults)
Many kids and adults will have to skip the extravagant birthday parties this year and celebrate at home. We may see an increase in people buying party decorating supplies. Think:
- Personalized balloons
- DIY cake decorating (what a great course for a cake maker to sell: “How to decorate a kid’s cake like a pro”. OR, brush up on your cake decorating skills with Online Cake Decorating Classes and sell custom cakes)
- “Drive-by” invitations (many people are driving by homes and honking horns or holding up signs to wish quarantine birthday boys and girls a happy birthday. Parents may send out invitations with instructions for where and when to drive by)
More people will be traveling within a province/state and sticking to rural destinations rather than urban.
Consider the items one might need for a road trip to destinations such as: a park, lake, beach, or to go camping.
- Travel bags
- Picnic items
- Backpacking items
- Zero waste travel essentials
- Shampoo bars
- Deodorant cream (comes in a jar instead of a one-use plastic tube)
- Compostable dental floss
- Camping items
- Camping tees (e.g. tank with camping phrase)
- Sleeping bags
- Meal kits
- Camping hair/skin kits
- Eco-friendly shampoos, toothpaste, etc.
- Dry shampoo, scrunchies
WHEN PEOPLE START VENTURING OUT
Restrictions are slowly being loosened but keep in mind, there will be a new normal, even once all restrictions are lifted. Consider any items that may be needed as people start to reintroduce social activities. For example:
- Any products that help people stay safe and clean in public
- School – when kids do go back to school, new items will be added to their back-to-school shopping list to stop the spread of germs
- Gatherings – think about items people may need as they start to have more low-key weddings, BBQ’s, etc.
I hope this article sparked some ideas for your handmade business!
LINKS IN THIS ARTICLE
- HOW TO TARGET SHOPPERS WHO ARE BUYING DURING THE PANDEMIC
- TOP 5 TASKS TO WORK ON WHEN SALES HAVE DROPPED
- 10 WAYS FOR A CRAFT BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY DURING THE PANDEMIC
- THE SUCCESS PLANNER
- HANDMADE PRODUCTS TO SELL NOW (DURING THE PANDEMIC)
- THIS YEAR’S (ORIGINAL) CRAFT TRENDS
- HOW TO START A SUBSCRIPTION BOX