Reply by andy6601

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Posted on Marketing and choosing your niche in woodworking

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91 posts in 2461 days

#1 posted 12-13-2011 07:58 PM

Good topic Loren,
First I want to say that as humans we like to catigorize things not just furniture, but everything and I think that is just how we are wired.

Second, marketing, marketing, marketing if you are doing this for $$$.
Right now I have been doing a lot of refinishing and repair work, I WANT to move back to building furniture and this is not my day job actually its my night job, when I have time. I am doing what is currently in demand for me. I enjoy refinishing but, after you do 4 pieces in a row I am growing a little tired of it. That being said you need to be flexible but have a niche or something that you are known for.

Third, I think as a “furniture maker” you have to pick a style and go with it, myself I can not make a high boy today and crank out some modern studio furniture the next, you can not be all things to everyone. So find a style and go.

Forth, I honesly think that people like the idea of custom furniture but are either intimidated by it, think that is way too expensive, or really just don’t have a clue. They get their pottery barn magizines and go this is what I want! Can you build it for half that price? I guess I really do not have much of an answer but this is just my observation of people. Lastly cabinets are a commidity so is furniture anymore and I have to agree with you when a cabinet shop tries to build furniture it is a losing propostion, the reason I say this is when I think of cabinets that is what I think of kitchen, bathroom, etc boxes with doors and drawers that is it. Maybe there are some shops out there that do both but I would think that it would be very hard.

Lastly I feel the ideal place to be is when you are doing something you enjoy and are able to have people pay you for that, or at the very least can do it at a profit and do what you like on the side and not starve to death. I also feel that in this economy people are willing to go outside of their comfort zones to get work because of how scarce it is, but if you do a bad job or really flub something up bad news travels faster than good news and may hurt you in the long run.

So my advice is pick something stick with it and the worst that happens is you fail, then pick something else eventaully you will find something.

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