Embroidery is a skill that many people appreciate but don't have themselves, so they are willing to pay for the work of someone else. If you embroider, you can parlay this craft into a part-time or full-time business if you play your cards right. Knowing what to make, how much to charge and where to sell your items will give your embroidery projects new meaning.
There are some items that will always garner the attention of people who appreciate the craft of embroidery. A couple of items to consider embroidering are purses or bags. Women like details, and with embroidery you can turn a simple bag into an extraordinary bag with the selection of colorful threads and a nice pattern. You can often buy bags and purses wholesale, which will allow you to make more money when you sell your projects at retail cost.
Shirts and jackets are also popular items for embroidery. Choose themes that you know will sell with local folks, such as school mascots or even professional sports teams. This is a different approach to supporting a team, and the shirts and jackets will sell faster than you can create them. Bulk ordering of T-shirts and jackets will allow you to make more money when you sell at retail price.
Baby items are always good. Blankets, pillows and wall hangings are items that you will always be able to sell. Everyone is looking for a unique gift to give a newborn baby or the expectant parents. What better way to express love for someone with a personalized or lovingly handcrafted item? Again, you can buy these items wholesale or through discount sales to make more money later.
How Much to Charge
How much to charge is something that you may have to experiment with based on whom you sell to and how much others are charging in your area. Most professionals charge by the stitch -- for instance, $10 for every 6,000 stitches. Of course, you will also need to consider your time and the cost of your supplies. If you sell everything for this price, you may never make any money; in fact, you may actually be spending your own money.
A good rule of thumb when creating garments and specialty items is to charge 100 to 200 percent more than you paid for the item. This may seem like a lot, but if you only paid $2 for a T-shirt and you increase the price by 100 or 200 percent, you are still giving the customer a nice item for a reasonable price, but you're also putting a bit of money in your pocket.
Where to Sell
Selling embroidered items is not difficult if you can get your items in front of people who want them. A great place to start is with local craft festivals and shows. This is a niche market where your target audience will be in large numbers. Church functions, school functions and local sporting events are also great places to set up a small table and put your items out for sale. Word of mouth is big, too, so be sure to pass your contact information on to those whom you do sell to, via a business card or piece of paper pinned to the item with a web address or phone number.
Online sales are also an effective way to make money with your embroidery projects. Auction sites and even your own website will get your items out there and in front of people, which is how you need to market your talent and your goods. Once you have established a word-of-mouth reputation, you'll likely find that you don't need to work nearly as hard to get customers. You'll just have to work hard to keep up with the demand for your work.