Your own workshop – is it a dream or not?

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

Which artisan doesn’t dream of having her own separate and comfortable workshop?

Probably only those who already have one!

We, the rest of us, look at the lovely pictures and admire them. For a long time, I have been thinking about the workshop and concluded that no matter how beautiful and nice it is in dreams, the reality is somewhat different.

And in this article, I want to share my thoughts on this matter. Maybe for someone, it will be useful.

Let’s immediately agree not to consider creative activities involving bulky/hazardous equipment, leather shoe sewing, glass, etc. Here it’s obvious; it’s either forbidden or dangerous to put a stove or a gas cylinder in the apartment. I want to talk more about toys, knitting, scrapbooking, sewing, jewelry – everything we do at home.

So, what do we face when starting a dream workshop?

Space rental costs

This is the most obvious point, but I want to reveal it more.

Necessary: I’m considering this topic in the context of how to make money on my own with my craft to develop a business. I’m not considering rich husbands, huge heritage, bank loans, and other external sources of finance. If you have them – that’s cool, but you can’t avoid the headache here too. Money must be competently invested and multiplied, not spending it in six months and staying with nothing.

So, it would seem like “let yourself rent a studio” is to start making more money with your occupation. There will be more income, and your dreams will become a reality.

However, there are two main ways to make more money:

1) Raise prices significantly

At the same time, to maintain the current demand, but even better to increase it. The way is as excellent as it is difficult to achieve. We have some regular customers who are used to the prices. There are masters in the same segment as we are with their prices (the average market price), and there is common sense. If tomorrow you increase the prices by half, they will buy only if today our prices are half the market.

2) Raise productivity

I made 10 a month and started making 20 (and sold those 20!). Productivity to raise productivity is always reasonable and necessary, even without aiming for a workshop. But you must consider the increased cost of materials and the increased amount of your labor. This is where a workshop can help someone if there is affordable equipment for your creativity. Still, its size only allows you to accommodate it at home comfortably. Suppose productivity increases due to the equipment for which the room appeared. In that case, it is great – there is a chance of not dying from overexertion and sleeping at night.

How much, by the way, do you have to earn?

I don’t live in the city center, and renting an office (not retail space) of 20-30 square meters costs between 200 and 400. It doesn’t sound like a dream, but let it be so for now.

And the price doesn’t seem too high, and the room is not too small.

Commercial space is quite another matter; it is in a prominent place, cash registers, seller, showcases, and other things.

A shabby crypt in need of repair, let’s not consider it now. Let’s have our clean white walls, sockets, and good windows.

What should we do next? Bringing things in! A table, a chair, shelves, a kettle, materials for creativity, and equipment that had no place at home. I will not write a figure for an example. Everything is very individual. Everyone can calculate their expenses for themselves.

It’s beautiful – sit down and work! And now we have to work a lot because we have added these averaged $200-400 dollars to our monthly expenses.

We made 10 monthly toys at home, selling them for $30. We got $300. Hypothetically 50% expenses and 50% income ($150 is obtained).

Now we are doing 20 toys in the studio (600 we get, 30% of earnings, 20% – to rent, 10% – income). Not enough.

We make 30 toys – 900 received, 450 we earn, 20% – rent, 25% – income. Now everything is better than at home, except that instead of 10 toys we have to make 30.

This begs the topic of helpers, but that’s a separate headache -works, qualifications, hours of employment, wages, more room…

Or, to avoid going bankrupt in the first month, we go by increasing the price.

Previously, for 10 toys, we got $ 300. Now, these costs need to consider the rent, that is, add to 300 more $ 200 = $ 500 we need to get for 10 toys.

So one toy should now sell for $50 instead of $30. In this case, the rent is covered, and we earn as much as we do at home. And all that remains is to solve the question of getting people to buy more expensive toys.

Of course, you can also find compromises: make 15 toys and sell them a little more expensive than usual. Spending less on materials, buying them in bulk. And yet, it is not so easy to organize both increase productivity, maintain demand at new prices and money to find equipment and wholesale purchase of materials.

And then there is the enormous responsibility of making that $200 to $400 in rent at all costs. Always! In season, out of season, vacation month, sickness, and health.

You can’t just take a workshop and rent it; you need a good business plan, which will be about the number of toys, prices, increased sales, advertising, and assistants. Workshop – a brick in your strategy for the development of the case. Without the other bricks, you can not build a wall.

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

– Your own workshop – is it a dream or not

The question arises – is this nice dream space worth the effort?

The answer to this question can be found by writing out your real advantages of the workshop in the column. And preferably, they should be more practical than poetic.

Not mental comfort, interior in lilac tones, silence, and a beautiful view from the window, but an increase in demand due to the convenience of the fitting. Optimize the work process due to the absence of stress at home (if not given at least an hour to work without distraction), large-sized equipment, master classes, etc.


We’ve got the finances sorted out. The next question is how to organize the work and how the workshop’s location affects this.

Excellent, our rented office is four kilometers from the subway. What do we need from it?

  • To get to it quickly and easily by ourselves.
  • So customers could come: to inspect the product, pick up the order, or try it on (if you sew clothes).
  • You can also add a grocery store nearby, the lack of access to the territory, etc.

And here it is these 4 kilometers can play a negative role. Is it possible to walk from a stop to a workshop in summer, winter, snow, or rain? Or go by bus (is there a route from your house?). A workshop closer to the subway will cost more, which means there’s even more chance of hating your 50… 60… 70 toys; back to the first section.

By the way, what is our work schedule? Ideally, something like 5/2 so we can spend the weekend somewhere to unwind and spend time with the family. And then we keep the finished work in the workshop since we work there. Courier comes to the workshop, self-delivery from the studio. And everything would be fine, but for many people, it’s convenient to pick up on weekends, we’re home, and the work is there. So, these two weekends will also have to go to the workshop.

The Great Meaning

The most important question we’ve already asked ourselves and answered on paper. It is worth checking again if these written points are important and what they will give you.

It is necessary to understand that opening a workshop is unlikely to affect significantly and immediately the increase in profits (it will affect the case of excellent equipment).

With a new roof over your head, the money will not fall. Making yourself work for the sake of work and making 10 toys that will only pay back the rent is a weak pleasure.

The “image” side of the issue warms my soul. I will not sit at home in slippers but work as a business person in the workshop. It is pleasant, of course, but not so much as to pay $200-400 a month for it. And the buyer, this status of a master with a workshop is unlikely to make much difference. To rejoice in our status, the buyer must have already found us and should like the work before reading about the shop. So maybe spending money on monthly advertising, photography, and better tools and materials is better?

Maybe you could work in a different direction, doing more work in your home and getting all your honestly earned money instead of giving it away for lilac walls.

Three-meter ceilings aren’t happy! If your home is cramped, consider optimizing your workspace. A comfortable workspace is essential. You can hang shelves, get a shelving unit, dresser, and storage drawers.

You can even throw out the boxes from the TV and microwave, throw out unwanted old clothes, and buy a smaller closet. A new closet can solve many problems and cost less than monthly rent.

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

– Your own workshop – is it a dream or not

Another radical one is to throw out the old skis and junk from the balcony, insulate it and do a workshop there. Or buy a laptop and say goodbye to the cumbersome computer desk. Hanging the TV on the wall.

Rearranging is also a fun activity that can make a room look new. I found some good examples:

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

– Your own workshop – is it a dream or not

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

– Your own workshop – is it a dream or not

And it’s sad, but few would argue that losing money is more sad.

So those who have a workshop can be very proud of themselves since you solved such a mountain of problems (and a bunch of smaller and more mundane ones)! That’s cool!

And those who don’t, at least now, can dream a little closer to reality or even decide it is better to work from home.

That’s exactly the conclusion I came to – the dream is real, but you don’t need a workshop at the cost of so much effort. You have to work twice as fast for it, and there’s no apparent increase in profits on the horizon.

Let me show you a photo of my acquaintance’s workplace. She has her corner of the kitchen. She does a lot of monthly work (her main occupation). And everything fits in this corner – the work table, the materials, and the finished products she photographs here. She has a small closet in her room for her finished work, though she could have nailed more shelves, and everything would fit in here.

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

– Your own workshop – is it a dream or not

The rack divides the workshop and the kitchen, and thanks to the many sections, everything is sorted – fabrics, paper, flowers, cardboard, synthetics, tags/stickers, etc. She puts the finished work in the free cells, which then go to the closet or the buyer. The same rack is a great stand for potted flowers. They do not warm up in the sun and do not block the light from the window.

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

– Your own workshop – is it a dream or not

Your own workshop - is it a dream or not

– Your own workshop – is it a dream or not

I’d love your opinion in the comments – who does and does not dream of having a workshop? Who has already tried to open one? What do you see as the pros and cons? Who already has a workshop, and how have you organized it?