I remember telling a friend of mine years ago that I never intended to sell my crafts. I told that friend that I liked to give my items away as gifts and I felt it a poor use of God-given talent to sell them for profit. Now, here I am with two online shops and selling at craft fairs and flea markets. Have I really sunk to that low of selling for profit? Is profit a bad thing? I reached my decision to sell in 2009. I was creating a lot back then, mostly knitted and crocheted scarves and I reached a dilemma. I personally owned more than ten handmade scarves and only a few of my friends and relatives enjoyed wearing them. So then, what was I supposed to do with the scarves that I was producing? I hated the idea of not creating and knew for me, putting down the needles wasn’t an option. I ran into the same issue with jewelry. After giving handmade earrings and necklaces to my mom for several birthdays and Christmases I knew she probably had enough to last a lifetime. As much as “selling out” scared me at the time, I knew I needed to branch out, to get my creations in the hands of others. My selling venture began online and it began slowly. My first ten items in my shop sat around for awhile, not getting many views. I felt invisible in a huge internet universe filled with similar items as mine, some higher quality or with more detail. My mother-in-law was my first customer and purchased a fuzzy blue neck warmer. This proved to be the confidence booster that I needed and I looked forward to that first “real” sale to someone I had never met before. A year later, I did my first craft fair, splitting a booth with a few of my church friends. I hardly made any money, but I enjoyed the experience and have since done several shows and am always keeping an eye out for new ones. It’s not so much the income that I love about these gatherings. It’s the people, the chance to discuss my passion for crafts with others. Of course, the extra cash isn’t horrible, either. Six months later, I opened a second online shop selling soap and found success much quicker with this venture. I always thought that if I sought to make money doing something that I loved, that I would very quickly begin to hate it. However, in my case that simply wasn’t true. I love crafting more now than ever, and though I don’t have money rolling in by the truck load I am able to pay for more craft supplies, which keeps this whole thing going. I still give handmade gifts, only now I’m able to pay for the supplies by also selling handmade to others. It’s a self sustaining hobby that will someday be a successful business. So, whether you craft for the sheer love of it, or hope to make a little extra income, I say go for it As Thomas Edison once said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” So decide what you’d like to make of your hobby and set to it. Chances are, you won’t be an instant financial success, but getting your items in the hands of strangers, for me, is payment enough.