Home Crafting Opens New Doors For Geeks At Christmas

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Peter Shorney of Small Greetings Card Company Comedy Human On How Small Time Artists And Crafters Are Fulfilling A Need For Obscure And Nerdy Christmas Gifts And Cards This Year.

Online market places for independent craft and art are proving to be the new draw for consumers who want something different. Marketplaces such as Etsy, Folksy and notonthehighstreet.com have opened a new opportunities for individuals with varying degrees of talent to sell their wares. Particularly when it comes to the more unusual and niche interests.

Peter Shorney, who has set up his own only store on Folksy.com/shops/comedyhuman, says, “I wanted to turn my drawing skills into something. I was aware of Etsy, and I did initially think it would be very twee, and not for me.”

The products in the Comedy Human shop are definitely for the science fiction fan and tech geek. With Christmas greetings cards that feature a robot choir singing in binary code (“it actually says, ‘Silent Night’,” adds Peter), to a card featuring the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity, there’s definitely a specific crowd in mind.

“I just draw what I enjoy. That’s what makes it easier. I know there are people who enjoy my cards too, because they’ve parted with money to buy them. That means a lot.” Comedy Human’s sales are modest but far reaching, as purchases have been made from co-workers to Oregon, Ohio.

Is It Cost Effective?

“I’m not sure if I’ve broken even or running at a loss, if I’m honest. I spent a lot of money initially on getting products printed, which was a mistake. Some of my stuff, like the original spaceship art cards aren’t big sellers. The robot stuff does well though. I’m still finding my feet with it.”

Although sales aren’t huge through the Comedy Human shop on Folksy, they are manageable. If the offer of a wholesale order came up, would that be overwhelming? Peter said, “It’s sounds overwhelming, but if I could get the costs right, and manage print runs, I would certainly consider it. It’s not exactly in the spirit of the ‘small’ feel of Folksy, but then, you have to start somewhere.”

For many people, this seems a good way to make a bit of extra money, particularly as times are hard. Peter does have some advice: “Having asked other people who have shops on Folksy and Etsy, it’s taken years sometimes for it to take off. As an alternative career, you might have to be really patient and spend a long time on it. I’m quite lucky, as I have a day job I enjoy, and I do this to help pay the bills. As a way out of a dead-end job, I’m not sure how fast a return it would bring. The best thing to do is just enjoy what you make, talk to people, show it on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram, and people you work with and your friends. I certainly don’t think it’s wise for me to rely on it as a major source of income!”

Comedy Human sells greetings cards and printed material with a science fiction/fantasy theme. Peter Shorney has been selling through Comedy Human since September 2012, earning sales in the UK and overseas.

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