Making things out of nothing, by hand, and exchanging or selling them – that is the basis of all commerce. Today, thousands of Shopify merchants make their products themselves, and sell them at fairs, trade shows, in pop-up shops and worldwide through their webshops. E-commerce gives creators more reach, and apps help them work more efficiently. Best of all, many of these business ideas can be started from home with minimal investment.
Are you exploring what you want to make and sell? Or are you looking for a hobby to keep yourself busy (and make a little extra money). We’ve put together a list of things you can make and sell online (on Marketplace or in your own webshop). It’s a list with something for everyone: from beginners to professionals and from skilled crafters to sellers who want to make things easier for themselves.
1. Sparkling balls and soap
If you search Google for tutorials for making soap, effervescent balls and other beauty products, the list of results is almost endless. From simple recipes for bath salts to complicated formulas with emulsifiers and preservatives. For this business idea, you don’t have to be super creative – molds for soap and effervescent balls are available everywhere – but with beauty products, packaging and branding is very important, so it’s a good idea to hire someone who is good at design.
Keep your stock small – the fresher a fizzy ball is, the harder it fizzes and natural ingredients (like essential oil, for example) in soap don’t last forever.
Check that the raw materials you use are intended for cosmetics and are safe for use on the skin. Shopify vendor Salem Essentials recommends that you familiarize yourself with the principles of chemistry.
Make sure your tools and the place where you make your products comply with all laws and regulations surrounding consumer products.
2. T-shirts and products with prints
earning money with homemade t shirts
An idea for makers with two left hands: Do you have an original idea (what you ‘made’ in your head)? Then a graphic designer can turn it into a beautiful image, and you can have it printed on things like T-shirts, mugs, linen bags and dog clothes and have it shipped directly to your customers. A very low-threshold endeavor and guaranteed to be done without dirty hands.
Everything you need to know to start an online T-shirt business
Print on demand: sell your own T-shirts, books and more with minimal investment
Create and sell your own merchandise
T-shirts and products with prints can be an addition to an already existing business. Gyms, musicians and charities, to name a few, can sell branded products (merchandise) to their existing clientele and grow their brand that way.
Not good at designing? Use sites like freelancer.co.uk to find talented people who can help you turn your ideas into designs for your T-shirt business.
Use a print & send app like Printful or Teelaunch. They are integrated with Shopify stores and will automatically print, package and ship your orders.
Make money with homemade jewelry
Jewelry is another business idea that can range from simple and basic (beaded necklaces and friendship bracelets) to highly skilled craftsmanship (goldsmiths). This market is hugely saturated, so it’s crucial to do thorough market research before you start – how can you make sure your designs stand out? Is there a niche for your products?
Reading: Making jewelry and selling it online: the ultimate guide
Fashion trends come and go. So see if your idea fits with today’s trends by using Google Trends and following popular fashion bloggers and influencers.
A useful app is Camweara Jewelry Try-on that allows customers to see how your products look on them.
Good photos are extremely important in this industry, but also difficult to take because jewelry is often very small and also reflective. Therefore, hire a professional. You can save on costs by booking a photo session with a clothing brand that matches your jewelry.