Do you own a cottage? Do you go to friends cottages? Do you sell arts and crafts? Then you could be missing out on a great opportunity to make some money.
Before you head up to the cottage, whether it is yours, the families, or rented, or even a friends, find out more about the area. Do some research on the local towns and any events or festivals or fairs going on.
With most town on the internet now, all you need to know is the closest town and key it into the search engine and see what comes up. Do a bit of surfing and you should see something about events. If this is a high tourist area, then they will have spent some time on a decent website that will show all the happenings going on.
There quite often are arts shows, craft shows, events that will offer booths for vendors and more. This can be a gold mine, as most people. are up here in the summer trying to relax, and will likely spend money.
Have you ever noticed how quiet craft shows are around your own area in the summer? Other than summer fairs where vendors are welcome, most crafters have found the cottage country market to be more lucrative. If you make enough products during the cooler months, you can be ready for these shows.
I know many crafters, who only sell in cottage country. They will drive the two or three hours to the most touristy summer cottage area, and set up their booth. These small coastal and cottage towns swell in the summer with visitors from all over.
Relaxed people, looking to enjoy themselves, they are not rushing off to work, or trying to fit everything in on a weekend. They have the time to wander the local shops and the events and hopefully wander right into your craft booth.
A friend of mine, creates raggedy quilted jackets, and she makes a killing up north during July and August, as the nights are a bit cool, so these sell. In the beginning she would sell arts and crafts in the small town around her family cottage, and quickly realized this could be a good market. She then decided the next year, to rent a cottage for the family, and sell her crafts in other slightly larger cottage towns. She has done well.
Plus there is the added bonus, of being able to claim any expenses you incur while doing this business. Check with your accountant, and see just how much of the cottage rental and expenses you can claim against any income you make in this craft business. You may end up being able to fund your next holiday, in a nicer cottage area then you would normally go.
Once the summer market is over in the cottage area, she heads home and starts making products for the local Christmas market around her home town. But the summer was always frustrating in the city she lives in. So, it was only by chance when she went on holiday with friends to their cottage, and they had a day of shopping, that she saw just how many people were shopping for arts and crafts at events and local art galleries.
Happy relaxed people willing to spend.
So, if you sell arts and crafts for a home business. Why not get on the internet, and start checking out any cottage areas, and their towns, and see if you can get signed up for any craft show or art show events. Then tell you family you are going on a working holiday.
They get the benefit of the cottage, if they help you with your arts and crafts show. You will meet other vendors from all over, and get lots of good information on other great shows for next year.
Have a sign up list, where people who like your products, can sign up for your newsletter that you will now create, highlighting some of your best work, and where you next shows are going to be, and what month you will be back the following year. You may end up with a great following and admirers of your work.
This is a great way to get known, not just in your own backyard, but up in cottage country. Some cottage areas do well in the winter too, especially if there is skiing, so don't throw out the idea of heading there in the fall and winter. You may find you prefer that market to your own area!
Just do as much research as you can on the internet, and ask friends and family who have ventured into different areas, what the arts and crafts markets are like. If you have not got anything made to sell this year, then head up there and consider it "research". Ask your accountant, you still may be able to claim some of those expenses, as you are researching for your business, with the intent to sell. Worth asking!
Also, take a good look at what type of products sell? Are they more clothing based? Or art based? Obviously, you don't want to be copying anyone, but it at least will give you some inspiration to try new crafts. The crafts you sell in your own area, may not be the ones you want to sell in cottage country.
You may want to concentrate on products, that do well for the cottage. Outdoor living ideas, outdoor placemats for example, or great outdoor cushions that you make. You could batik your own fabrics, and then make them into pillows and cushions for those patio sets. There are all kinds of ideas. You just have to think more like the cottager!
Outdoor candle ideas do well. It all depends on your talent, and whether you can tweak your ideas to include cottage creations. Remember, people bring their pets with them to the cottage as well, maybe something for them, like great colorful flea bandannas? As the dogs are outside more.
The point is there is a whole other market in cottage country, nice relaxed people hopefully willing to open their wallets and buy your great arts and crafts or whatever you are making and selling. This could be a great boost for your bottom line!