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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am strongly considering making a hand painted tack and paratack business. I have been looking for a specific color scheme for my coming three year old, and I can’t find any without fringe or blingy
(which I dislike) or crazy high prices. I understand that a lot of them are making the entire tack set, leather cutting and all, but I can’t afford it, and I figured other people were having the same problem. I have a place where I can get bulk tack for a discount, anywhere from Tahoe to circle y. My only drawback is, would people buy it? I have added a picture of a belt I did for myself. I will eventually add conchos, swavorski crystals, and buckles, but for now, it would just be tooled, painted tack. I also make my own barrel reins. I added a picture of a set I made as well. Would any of you be interested in a business like this and would people purchase it?
 

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The belt is quite nice. There are a lot of people that sell para-tack so I am not sure of success there. I think you should make pieces as a hobby and sell as you go. If it makes a profit that is nice but I don't think that either of these items will earn you a living.
 

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The belt is quite nice. There are a lot of people that sell para-tack so I am not sure of success there. I think you should make pieces as a hobby and sell as you go. If it makes a profit that is nice but I don't think that either of these items will earn you a living.
Right. I wasn’t really planning on making a living out of it, just maybe make some extra money to put toward some horse stuff, like maybe some vet bills, new tack, etc. I guess a hobby business is kinda what I’m going for. I just wanted to know if it was worth it to put money into it.
 

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Dreama - rescue from the local dog pound. Some type of gaited horse mix of unknown history.
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Here are my thoughts, as someone who ran a little crafting business but is on pause right now due to the current shut-down situations.

I crochet, knit and make jewelry, and my business plan for the year was to replace all of my cheaper jewelry-making findings like chains, jump rings, earring posts and hooks etc. with stainless steel-nickel free, but with all the shows shut down in our state for now I have held off making the bulk order of supplies.

I may just be paranoid, but I would suggest NOT picking right this moment to buy supplies for a new endeavor if you have to buy in bulk to get your materials. Some people are really shopping online a lot right now but others not so much, and I mainly sell in person so I simply couldn't bring myself to make another investment right now on supplies that I'm not sure I'll be able to move in the near future.

HOWEVER -- if you don't have to buy in bulk, if you can just buy a few materials at a time it might be a great time to start picking some things out and working on projects and sharing your work!

Your best tool is social media. I bet if you have lots of horse friends, you will get a few orders to start just by making some things and sharing cool pictures on your personal social media. Then as word spreads more people will be interested. You may even get to the point you could sell some items online, but keep in mind Etsy and similar sites, really selling anything in those pre-made listing sites, you end up driving most of the traffic there yourself these days, again from social media, because the algorithms on those sites have changed so much over the years that it's really difficult to get views as a new seller. So much work has to be done on great photos, keywords, item descriptions, etc.

Anyway, point being, social media is a great tool to sell work especially if you already have a lot of friends in the group you'd be marketing to.

Carshon makes a good point about the paratack, if something is already a really saturated market it can be hard to sell. For example, jewelry is a very saturated market right now but I still do it because there is enough variation that chances are my stuff is going to be different than someone else's stuff at a sale, and some people LOVE to collect jewelry (I'm one of those!) So, if there is something that can make your paratack unique from others I would focus on that. But you still may get orders from folks you know simply because they know and trust you, especially if you can offer custom colors.

I really love the belt. I can see how others might really be interested in custom painted tack and wearables, maybe a belt that matches their horse's halter, etc. My question is (because I don't know that much about working with leather!) do you use a process that makes the paint secure on the leather? For example, will it rub off over time and how long? We all know everything wears out over time, but if you haven't yet I would suggest testing your own product. Wear it and wear it and wear it, make sure the paint isn't going to come off easily, etc. Like I said, I don't know a lot about painting on leather so this may be a non-issue.

I think if it's something you enjoy doing, it is worth a shot especially if you can just get a few pieces at a time. The belt theme is nice and I could really see marketing matching belts and halters or bridles, etc. There are some bigger companies already doing that to a degree.
 
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