Tips For Starting A Teen Crafting Co-op
Starting a crafting group and cooperative for teens is an excellent way to foster their creativity while also teaching them business skills. The best group will be self funding and also turn a small profit. You can teach the teens how to complete different types of crafts, which they will then create and sell through the co-op. The following tips can help put you on the road to success.
Tip #1: Create a mission
The mission of the group will direct everything else going forward. It could be as simple as teaching teens entrepreneurial skills, or it could be more involved, such as also helping to fund a certain cause. The mission statement should be in effect before making any other major decisions.
Tip #2: Secure start-up funds
You will need start-up funds for the business. You may be able to get a grant or sponsorship to help fund your initial investment in a crafting and selling space, as well as supplies. Another option is to require each member to pay an initial membership fee to help fund the start-up. Loans are also an option, but not recommended since profit isn't the main aim of most teen craft co-ops.
Tip #3: Make a money plan
Decide from the outset where the money will go. Begin by setting up a specific budget to cover basic overhead and craft supplies. Then, determine a plan for any money the co-op brings in beyond overhead. Will it go towards a charitable cause, or will profits be split amongst active members? If there is profit sharing, you will need to determine how each share is figured out in advance to avoid arguments later.
Tip #4: Find deals on supplies
Supplies will be a major part of your overhead. The best way is to find wholesale suppliers for everything you need. For example, if you plan to do jewelry making, contact a wholesale bead company and find out what you need to qualify for the less expensive wholesale pricing. You may need to provide documents to show you are a business or non-profit, or there may simply be a minimum order requirement to qualify.
Tip #5: Set participation expectations
Now that you have the basic infrastructure in place, you will need to set expectations for each co-op member. A good rule is to require that all members dedicate a certain amount of hours to actually working in the co-op, as well as attending a set amount of crafting classes or days. It's also a good idea to have monthly meetings that include all members. This will help foster community and give everyone a chance to air out differences or share new information.
With a little planning, you can have a successful crafting co-op. For more information about crafting supplies, contact companies like Mayer Import Co Inc Imitation Stones.