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Manufacturing startup ideas


Manufacturing startup ideas


1. Self-composed gift boxes and subscription boxes

making money with subscription boxes

Matthew Wiebe

Gift boxes and subscription boxes are a great idea for people who are better at finding fun things than they are at crafting. Unlike a print-on-demand T-shirt company, here you are very much working with your hands. Filling the boxes is sometimes a little tedious but usually only needs to be done once a month. And the fact that all boxes are usually the same size also makes shipping easier.


Getting started: selling subscription boxes: tips from a successful Korean beauty box company


💡 Tips:


Calculate how much storage space you’re going to need. Will it all still fit in your home or will you need to rent additional space?


Make the idea of being tied to something longer “less scary” for your customers by, for example, offering a significant discount to people who pay in advance or by making the first month free or offering free products.


Use an app like Recurring Orders and Subscriptions to manage your subscriptions.


2. Candles

Make money with homemade candles

Jennifer Roberts

Candles are big business: on average, we burn 3.3 pounds of candles per person per year. This industry has a lot of niches: religious candles, birthday candles, ecological and natural candles, scented candles, beeswax candles, funny candles and many more. As with soap, there are more than enough tutorials online for people who want to start making candles and the more basic methods (melting & pouring) are super easy.


💡 Tips:


Get good insurance and make sure you put safety information on everything. Because candles do involve fire, there is an increased risk of injury and even fire. So make sure you properly protect your business from any charges.


Find a niche so you stand out in this crowded market. Frostbeard Studio, for example, targets book lovers with candles and website texts full of literary references.


Since candles in themselves are not very different from each other, it is the packaging and branding that makes the difference. Make sure your product stands out with beautiful packaging and a strong brand identity.


3. Sweets (cake, candy)

Make money with homemade sweets


Sweets, cookies, cakes, chocolate bars and jams: you can use sugar in a hundred different ways in an endless amount of products to make and sell. With these products you do have to deal with a lot of complications – the commodity laws and shelf life – but you also have a lot of room to be super creative. Niches in this market are: parties and holidays, personalized products, catering and fruit baskets. Think carefully about whether your products are suitable for online sales. If they are fragile or need to be kept cool, this can get in the way of shipping.


Getting started: Everything you need to know to start your own online food business


💡 Tips:


Check the suppliers of your suppliers of your suppliers, says commodity law specialist Glenford Jameson. It’s important to get a good handle on what’s really in your raw materials, so that what’s on the label is really what your customers are getting.


Check with a commodity law expert to make sure the information on your labels meets all the requirements.


Always use your inventory in the FIFO (First In First Out) way, says brewer Casandra Campbell, and make sure any employees do the same.


4. Art and posters

make money with homemade art 

Artist Michael Reeder in his studio. Spoke Art

The era of the poverty-stricken artist is truly over. Historically, we live in the best of times for artists. Artists can make the art they want without having to make things they don’t support. Whether you’re selling Art with a Big K or posters of reproductions, it’s easier than ever to reach a huge audience and sell your products all over the world.


Read more: Guide: how to sell art online?


💡 Tips:


Collaborate with an already existing gallery like Shopify’s Spoke Art, they will hang your work in their real life galleries and help you get more audience for your webshop.


Have your art photographed by a professional photographer or, for a smaller budget, scan your products bit by bit with a simple scanner and paste the loose pieces back together in Photoshop.


A fun idea is to offer your art in a variety of formats: as posters and postcards, but also on T-shirts and mugs. You can do it yourself via print-on-demand, or you can give another shop permission to use your art for their products for a fee.



business management