An African prints blog is just one option. No matter what your ethnic background or knowledge, this applies to you as well.
Simply put, Ethnic is BIG. Very BIG. HUGE. IMMENSE.
A wise friend once told me that in troubled times we reach out to embrace our own. I believe that is true.
And in joyful times we also reach out to embrace our own, along with everyone else.
Taking pride in who we are as individuals is celebrated in our culture. It shows in our artwork, in our attire, in our home decor, even in our gardens.
For those with an ethnic connection AND with a talent in soft goods, an ethnic fabric blog is made just for you. Let’s take a peek at what an African themed blog can do.
If you aren’t sure if you’ve got a slew of potential buyers, do take a look at the free master class, FINDING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT, AND THOUSANDS MORE JUST LIKE HER.
CREATING YOUR OWN FABRICS
This is by far the most profitable approach. No matter the technique you use — batik, embroidery, dying, painting on ethnic designs — if you can work in fabrics, you’ve got a market.
Take a look at the snippets of designs above. How might each of them have been created? block prints? custom printing of some sort? One approach is to make the fabrics absolutely as close to the African reality as possible, with styles and colors and techniques. That is a very valid approach, and one that is likely to sell well.
The other approach is to create your own designs, with inspiration from your African source. This too is a very valid approach, and is also one that can sell very well.
You know the kinds of fabrics and styles you are likely to purchase yourself. THOSE are the kinds of designs you need to create.
PURCHASE FABRICS FROM AUTHENTIC SOURCES
Soft goods may not be your forte, and that’s fine. If you can cultivate sources of authentic fabrics, this is still an excellent business.
Do you travel to Africa from time to time? Can you purchase enough fabric to have a goodly supply? or have it shipped to you as needed?
How about getting bios of the artisans who create the fabrics? This is especially valuable if the artisans are women. Post a bio for each bolt of fabric you’ve got.
TURN YOUR FABRICS INTO FINISHED GOODS
Take it one step further and create celebration attire for men and women — bridal gowns and groom’s outfits too. If you feel very ambitious, offer to create dresses for the bridesmaids, or turbans for the groomsmen, dresses for mothers of the bride, or for special guests.
Hook up with sites like African Wedding Traditions. Pay them a nice commission whenever they refer a client to you, or let them sell your fabrics and clothing directly from their site.
If there is a ceremony for bringing children into the adult world, a bar or bat mitzvah in the Jewish tradition, or a Quincinera in the Mexican tradition, then create special African prints for that.
And don’t neglect other soft goods, like pillows and bedspreads and wall hangings. There is an immense market for these items. Display your goods well, and this could very lucrative.
MARKETING YOUR AFRICAN PRINTS
The key word here is “connections”. Look for connections, for affiliates, for sites that already reached the demographic you are likely selling to. Invite them to be affiliates, and don’t be stingy on the commission. These folks have worked hard to identify their lists, and if you can create a few strong connections it will save you years of list building on your own.
Also look to Amazon as a solid place to sell your African prints and dresses.
Take a look at Zazzle for pillows and such. You can post your designs at no cost, and Zazzle will create each one as it is ordered, giving you a percentage of each sale. Zazzle sells internationally and will handle all the money transactions, but it is not great for promotion, so you will still need a website and promotional avenues that you create yourself.
There are so many options for an African print blog, or for other ethnic themed blogs as well. Ponder just a bit and you will no doubt find the perfect one for you!