While there are thousands of way to generate revenue or a little extra cash for your existing business as a freelancer, one great way to increase your cash flow is by releasing a product. While for obvious reasons most of us consider digital products as a digital artist, but we also have to remember the great opportunities that are available in today’s global manufacturing ecosystems that allow us to create physical products quickly and in smaller runs. The even better news is that there are many great options for products and listed below are 52 of my top products creatives can leverage and make with less than a $1000 investment.
Heads Up: With the ambition to create custom products and unique designs that require breaking the mold of what is traditionally used in the industry, it is recommended to do a little research on that industry to fully understand what the rules are in place for construction so that you can better understand and communicate what rules can be broken. Or you can just subscribe to our weekly downloadable guide that features a new product each week with links, illustrations, and insight into industry standards.
Assessing what can be improved: If you want to identify what can be improved on a certain product, I highly recommend purchasing a few of the top products and using them yourself to see what can be improved functionality and design wise. Everything has room for improvement, the key is looking for what can be improved. Also, if you want to speed up the process you can also read product reviews from amazon to see what the negative reviews say to make sure you do not create those same issues in your own product.
This is probably the most popular product group that most creatives gravitate towards, and for good reason. Its low price entry and consideration as art itself is perfect for creatives. While for a manual approach to launching your own t-shirt designs requires a heavy understanding of silkscreen printing with a healthy dose of garment manufacturing, you can easily forego most of the skill and technical issues by partnering with an existing manufacturer or DTG printing service like thePrintful.
01. T-shirts / Hoodies / Sweaters
Upfront Cost $0-500
The creme de la creme for the modern artist and for good reason as t-shirts in and of themselves is a work of art. When it comes to t-shirts there are only a few factors that heavily need to be considered when extending your artwork into a brand.
- The quality of your shirt – There is a lot that goes into the construction of your tee, but several factors that should be considered is the weight, colors, softness, and stitch quality. With those into consideration, it is why American Apparel is the most popular choice amongst our shirt peers as it has the perfect balance in terms of quality and color selection.
- The other important factor is the method in which your designs is applied to your shirt. There are currently 4 main methods for transferring your design to your shirt and those are silkscreen, DTG, heat transfer, and sublimation. Depending on what your design is, your target audience is and your method for getting your product created will in most cases determine exactly which route you should go. The great thing is you have options for every situation and thing means you can either DIY or leave the technical stuff to a manufacturer and just focus on your art.
When it comes to startup cost for getting a run of shirts created your initial investment can range from $0 using a fulfillment service like theprintful.com which prints and send your shirt off to your customers for a reasonable price of $14 bucks a shirt. But if you are all about the profit margins then you might want to consider getting a large order made which can take your cost per shirt down to $6-10 per shirt. This route requires you do a little more groundwork looking for a print partner unless you decide to print them yourself which requires some additional supplies and a steep learning curve.
Upfront Cost $0- 1000
Hats are simple and have become the big fashion statement of the past few years. Ranging from beanies, fedoras, snapbacks or high fashion for both men and women, this one requires a little more tech knowledge but has the same potential of generating cash flow by leveraging fulfillment extraordinaire theprintful.com to make both flatbill and beanies on demand for your customers. If you are interested in going beyond traditional hats into the more trendy you have options by contacting local manufacturers in the united states to collaborate on your custom design, or use Alibaba to increase profit margins and cheaper price to entry. Remember with going the larger manufacturing route you must purchase your items in larger quantities.
Upfront Cost $200-1000
Men’s accessories are really trending right now and one of the best markets to still get into is in the bowtie game. The great thing about it is that you have the freedom to be creative with custom prints and colors along with options ranging from making wood versions or other unique nontraditional materials. A great benefit of bow ties is they are also very small which decreases shipping cost and are really easy to pack.
04. Cut and Sew
Upfront Cost $200-2000
This is the category where your imagination can run wild! With cut and sew it requires you to put in the most work as this gets as custom as you can imagine. a few thing you have to consider when doing cut and sew garments which are products like button ups, dresses, jackets, denim jeans is the sizing and quality. Like all products that require some customization, it is suggested you learn all you can about the particular garment you are looking to recreate before you pursue buying requests. The reason is that when dealing with cut and sew you have to create custom blanks and measurements for the individual sizes you are looking to carry.
Upfront Cost $0-1000
While leggings in many ways fall into the cut and sew category, they are extremely popular and deserve their own category. For those who really want to create custom prints and even push themselves to pattern making this is a great way to create a product that brings character to the legs. The creation of the leggings is a fairly complicated process compared to t-shirt printing so it requires whoever you partner with when manufacturing to charge a hefty price per item that eats away at your profit margins. The great thing is that once again Printful provides the service for an artist to quickly load their design into the system and Printful will take care of all your printing and shipping needs for $35 each pair. This keeps you focused on designs and wearing your new threads while someone else does the heavy product creation lifting. My recommendation would be to validate your product using Printful to quickly get to market and once you gain traction and the confidence to make the larger order you partner with a manufacturer and get the cost per product down to about $5-$10 per item.
Upfront Cost $200-1000
Everyone needs them (or should wear them) and for so long they have been so boring with only a few patterned and colored options past white and black. The great thing is that global manufacturing has exploded and makes it easier to make your own customs socks with designs to our heart’s content. As with any garment, it is wise to read up to understand industry standards and to better understand what goes into quality but socks is a great business to tackle if you feel the t-shirt business is overcrowded.
Upfront Cost $500-1000
Sex sales and this is the closest thing on the list to it. While I am in no way saying focus solely on sex, I will say that selling lingerie is selling a story and an idea. Lingerie is experiencing an uptick right now in popularity and every one wears underwear so it might as well be nice underwear, and if they have to wear some it might as well come from you. Beyond just selling the experience, selling sleepwear is about comfort, and quality because when your customers feel comfortable they exude confidence not just in themselves but also in your brand. while this platform is a little harder to do unless you have experience sewing and because they are required to be comfortable and form fitting I recommend employing someone to help in designing the blanks to perfection and then moving forward with connecting with an overseas manufacturer to produce your product. If you choose to forgo custom designs you can also work with a manufacturer to slightly modify their current models to fit closer with your vision and brand. They have hundreds of designs to choose from and are more than happy to help you develop the perfect product for your client base.
We use them, we love them, we need them and, in my opinion, is the best category for creative entrepreneurs as there is just about no limit to what can be made. Due to the consistent release of new products from apple and the like, new accessories are reinvented, remade, and customized to our needs. When it comes to creation and manufacturing the news only gets better as we have rapid prototyping available in the form of 3d printers and software and the potential will only increase with the mass explosion of virtual reality products made available throughout 2016 giving us soon an ability to see our products in 3d space without having to actually manufacturing it. But enough futuristic talk lets’s get into the details of a few great accessories you can call your own.
Upfront Cost $0-1000
There is always the sun, and there are always cool people, so there will always be a need for sunglasses. There are so many options when it comes to the different materials you can make sunglasses in. The most common are metal and acetate, and recently there has been an explosion the past 3 years for wood sunglasses. There are also glass tint, polarization, and shapes to consider when looking to construct your own sunglass line. When constructing your own brand you can go as simple as painting over existing stock frames, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement in sunglasses to get creative and start integrating tech into them. I mean they are wearables, right? Now there are two approaches you can take when it comes to creating your own sunglasses line. You can purchase a box of blanks and hand paint designs on them and sell them as custom shades. You can modify existing stocks and use a service that prints on demand like printaura.com, or you can go big and spend a little more cash and get some purely custom frames constructed by going the manufacturing route. There are not a lot of options locally when it comes to making sunglasses in the states so I recommend getting the best bang for your buck by prototyping the master for your larger run here in the states, and then getting them mass produced overseas.
Upfront Cost $500-2000
Creating a watch allows you to get the best of both worlds in creating cool and unique designs while also learning to apply your art to a different canvas in the form of a watch.To keep this in the $500 and under price range, we will have to focus on great looking watches at a low price point as the cost for higher ends watches can get expensive very fast. The best brand I can think of that reflects a great target product is to slightly emulate what swatch is doing. They provide lower prices than average upscale watches while also focusing on unique designs for their watch faces and bands. When it comes to manufacturing a watch it is extremely important to read up on every single detail that goes into a quality watch to ensure you get suitable responses back when you create a buying request as well as ensuring you keeps your cost slim by not adding unnecessary features and materials to the watch that doesn’t fit your demographic.
Upfront Cost $100-1000
There are a ton of different jewelry items and a million and one ways of expanding past what others are doing to make your own unique product. We have now entered an era where you can create an activity tracking bracelet relatively cheap, to fancy jewelry using 3d printers to make your first samples. And if you have the patience and time, you can easily get access to a few great books on amazon discussing jewelry creation along with step by step guides online to help you immediately dive into making your own. The reason this makes a great product idea and should be entertained by creatives is because there’s almost no limit to what you can make, or how you can make it, and because of its accessibility it is extremely cheap to get started and to grow the business by transitioning from DIY to manufacturing.
Upfront Cost $200-1000
Scarves are just scarves until you put some art on it then it becomes art. That’s the best way for me to sum up what scarves are all about. They are very large blank canvases that are itching to have a little more meaning by having your print or work of art on them. The great thing is that there are so many types of scarves that the opportunity to turn it into a business ranges from making them yourself with some practice and a few supplies to going technical and digitally sublimating art directly to the fibers. There are a few people I know that make a nice supplemental income making scarves by hand and selling them via Etsy and word of mouth, but for those who are weighing options for a viable platform to feature their art on, I would definitely recommend giving scarves a shot.
12. Carryall / Backpack
Upfront Cost $120-1000
This category is one of my personal favorites as there again is no limit to what can be done. I actually loved it so much that I even had a series of custom bags created just for myself. Beyond deciding on what bag I wanted to create, I was able to create the series in about a month’s time via Alibaba and that included design and filtering through manufacturers to actually produce the final products. Like all industries, it is really important to do some research to best understand what should and should not be used when constructing your bag.
Quick tip: When constructing your own custom bag, I suggest finding a bag you really like and purchasing it. After you receive it mark the details that were put into the bag if it is of good quality such as the zipper ( I had one break on one of my custom bags as I went the cheap route to test the difference between the generic and quality), the type of stitching, the placement of the support straps, as well as the specific material that was used. You should consider going through 2-3 samples when making your custom bag as withstanding the tests of time and abuse is what really makes a great bag.
13. Dopp Kit / Carry Case / Purse
Upfront Cost $120-1000
Just like the carryall and backpack, a lot of the same principles apply. We are are in an age of stuff and the more stuff we have, and the more reliant we become to our stuff, the larger the need we have to organize said stuff and carry it around with us. Now traditionally we think of purses when thinking of a bag to carry our objects, but there are also shaving kits and pencil cases and camera bags that all fall under this category and with so many needs to hold so many things gives us creatives a ton of opportunities to create cool products. If you are looking to think outside the box when creating these products think about the organization for the end user, the different materials that can be used, as well as the creative ways of placing original art inside and outside the bag and you have a great product to sell to everyone.
Upfront Cost $50-500
While many have stopped carrying wallets I myself included, you should definitely look at this product with new eyes and see how you can either provide a premium product with style, or how you can rejuvenate the industry to making it popular, or, at least, functional to carry a wallet. Because there is a lack of competition in this industry compared to others listed it is still worth consideration as art on anything makes it a good thing. And if art doesn’t work, you can always strip it down to its bare minimal and create your version of what a functional wallet should be like for the digital wallet era.
15. iPhone Cases
Upfront Costs $0-2000
Everyone has an iPhone, and everyone loves their iPhone so everyone will go to reasonable lengths to protect them with cool cases. The preference ranges from many different needs for different people some like minimal, heavy protection, extra battery, or cool colors. The reason even with all the competition it makes the list is because there is an extremely low entry into creating a product by using several online services that allow you to print your own artwork on the back of durable cases with no startup cost. Anyone who happens to be a fan of your art is instantly a potential customer. You just have to let them know it is available and voila! Sales! If you want to move past the basic cases, you can go the premium route and produce cases using materials ranging from carbon fiber, rubber, leather, or fabric. Going the global manufacturing route will help to get started on a large order for a low per item cost. Remember do your homework on what is quality and what is not when creating the foundation for your product.
16. Tablet / Laptop Sleeve Case
Upfront Costs $500-2000
Creating a laptop/tablet sleeve has a lot of the same needs that an iPhone case has. There are many who need to protect their large investments from drops, scratches, spills, and theft, and those problems create tons of opportunities to create and sell your own case. Because of the product it protects, it also allows for a higher price point to sell increasing profit margins. If you have had to personally protect your own laptop or tablet, think about the things you would have liked to have had included in your last case and try to include those in your own. If you can’t think of ways to improve it functionality wise remember that good artwork is always an option as people love customization and individuality when covering protecting their investments.
17. Mobile Accessories
Upfront Cost $50-5000
Cord tacos, Bluetooth speakers, car mounts, selfie sticks, phone docks, wireless chargers, adapters, headphones, and mobile photography lenses are a few items that fall into this category, and the crazy thing is that there are tons more products made daily to further extend, simplify, enhance, and improve the functionality of our mobile devices. With almost all of these there is a small amount of technical skill required to really solve a product and due to its harder entry into this category due to a need for creative problem solving is why it is a perfect product to pursue if you have the skill or desire to tackle the mobile issues that millions of people face every day.
18. Digital Screen Cleaner
Upfront Cost $200 – 1000
With so many digital screens that need to be cleaned on a regular basis, creating a product that cleans them with style is the perfect product in my book to blend artistic talent, self-expression, market need and profit margins into one product. In my opinion, the best materials are microfiber and 10×10 inches to give a little size to quickly cleaning a screen. When marketing remember that your customer base is any user that needs glass cleaned, so that includes any consumer with a phone, tablet, laptop as well as professionals such as photographers for their lenses and anyone who needs to present content using digital screens.
19. Camera Straps
Upfront Cost $500-1000
Artist love cameras. While iPhone photography is here to stay and for good reason due to convenience, quality and apps, nothing will replace the need for a good quality camera. The issue is with all the features packed into these new mirrorless and superpixel cameras they avoid making a comfortable stock camera strap for the purchaser. The reason this is good for you is that it presents a perfect opportunity to create a strap that is comfortable and fashionable at the same time. As with most manufacturing options, I would highly recommend using Alibaba as you get tons of access to material options and a great price point.
20. Accessory Dock
Upfront Cost $0-250
With the need to run our digital devices on batteries nowadays and keep our work environment fancy it is no wonder that an accessory dock makes a great candidate for a low-cost product. While it requires a little tech knowledge to really enhance the features of current docks whether it be making them Bluetooth, or wireless charging or stuffing a speaker in one. With an accessory dock take the approach of solving a current problem you have with placing your phone or tablet on desk or nightstand. I guarantee you that if you have a problem then others have the same one, and are willing to pay to alleviate that pain.
Print / Paper
Canvas, paper, collections, calendars, books, there is so much we can do with print and paper that it has a great range of products to consider when thinking of a product to create. Paper and print go hand and hands with art and design as for the past few centuries it has been the main platform for communicating our ideas and showing our work. While digital has now taken over the general means of communication, it gives the print a little more value. It makes a statement when you see something in print which is one of the main reasons we carry large print objects in our store and are currently working on a few more print/paper related objects to be released this year.
21. Posters / Prints
Upfront Cost $0-250
Art and printing go hand and hand so you can imagine why posters /and prints are listed here as it has a direct connection to showing our art and selling it in a physical form. The best thing about prints is that due to its evolution and needs in all print forms the cost to print is extremely cheap. The quick rundown of the step needed using a fulfillment company just requires you to provide the artwork in the proper format and to select your options of what sizes you want the print to be sold at. That’s it! within 15 minutes and no upfront investment, you can instantly begin selling your artwork to audiences worldwide via online. If you wanted to take it a step further and carry inventory you will have to a little more digging but you can find great print deals of 2 dollars a print in full color via Alibaba if you look hard enough. The key in getting good quality is making sure you understand the quality that goes into prints such as the quality of paper, the weight, the thickness. Having a good understanding of those technical details will ensure you receive a great deal from your manufacturer and a great quality product to sell to you audience.
22. Vinyl Wall Decor
Upfront Cost $0-1000
Since the explosion of vinyl wall art, I have always been enamored with its potential of being able to quickly transform an environment by applying and removing pre-created graphics when and where you want. The reason it makes the list is because it is easy to produce and provides a ton of flexibility in terms of the artwork you can share and also has an extra bonus due to it being a DIY product by grabbing a good printer, some vinyl sheets, and a vinyl cutter.
Upfront Cost $100-400
Just a further extension of a print is the calendar which is made up of a series of prints bound together to make a calendar. If you want to see how big calendars are and who much people love them, consider that around the holidays for shopping all the calendar kiosks that display in the mall selling them hand over fist. Now I would challenge you to bring more to the calendar that just putting a picture on top and dates on the bottom while it is fine to do and many make cash doing that exact same thing. I think you can go beyond traditional to add more value to your calendar than just empty dates that need to be filled in. Regardless the demand is there and where there is a demand, there is someone willing to give you their money to have your product.
Upfront Cost $500-1000
I admit that Moleskine has this area on lock but even with a giant competitor it doesn’t mean you bow gracefully. This one is on the top of my list for tackling and the Getpapr team is currently working on a top secret project that fills a personal void for us and many like-minded individuals. The reason we can say with certainty that there is a market for it is because in our research and market testing we identified over 10 ways of creating a sketchbook that people would be willing to buy. When it comes to sketchbooks and getting these produced there are a lot of technical details that need to be understood such as paper thickness and weight, what type of binding you prefer as well as what the material your cover will be in. While you have to order large quantities for books, the great thing is the cost per unit is extremely low and allows you to enter the market with lower risk than most businesses.
25. Art Book
Upfront Cost $0-1000
Similar to the sketchbook, this one just provides the pages with art instead of blank pages. As an artist we have a responsibility to practice our skills every day whether that is sketching, taking pictures, or practicing new techniques. Beyond highlighting just sketches, we can also do a collection of our current work or pre-sell our future work as well as connect with creative peers to create a book that encompasses more than one artist. I love coffee table books, and most people I know love them as well. With the flexibility of options and the ability to push having your art live beyond the screen is why this makes the list of products worth considering.
26. Adult Coloring Book
Upfront Cost $250-500
I have to admit when I heard about this craze I considered it to be childish and the perfect identifier of people who might be ready to go off on the deep end. But the more I thought about it and the more I asked questions on why someone would even spend time as an adult coloring pictures I soon became enlightened to it being a stress releasing task for some and a creative outlet to express themselves with color for others. With those reasons behind the explosion of adult coloring books is why this is a great product to consider as it has a very low overhead for startup and provides relaxation to those that do purchase the product. That is a big win as spendings on personal peace and mental health has been big in the past few years and is only expected to grow going forward.
27. Greeting Cards
Upfront Cost $100-500
As the market shifts from more people focusing their efforts on what use to be physical mail products to digital products, It will and has already started a niche of premiere products that still need to be shipped via mail and need to be printed. Those things include greeting cards, announcements, and invitations.The niche that will be created will increase demand and its increase in demand will increase profit margins. One way that people really stand out nowadays good and bad is using traditional media to capture attention and differentiate themselves. Now the cost of these premiere products will increase the price from the $3-4 that we pay for a Walgreens card possibly into the $8-10 price as they will be for statements now. Just to give an example, they now have greeting cards that contain a 5-inch screen inside the card that plays a 5-10 min video when you open and press a play button. The integration of technology will allow you to use creativity to customize for your customer, or allow them to really send a message that they couldn’t send 2 years ago.
When thinking of products some of the best ways to generate ideas is by stepping out of your comfort zone. while I am sure the kitchen is not foreign to most, we should take the time to see every item in our kitchen as an opportunity to improve it or make it unique. A few items I have identified in the kitchen to be trend able and worth considering strikes the perfect balance of creativity, brand potential, and price point for entry.
28. Kitchen utensils
Upfront Cost $200-600
Flatware, Measuring set, silicone set, tongs the list goes on and on as new needs are being created and traditional options need to be reinvented. The next benefit to choosing utensils as your next venture is that they are extremely cheap to manufacture, which means you have a higher margin for error when creating your product and a great profit margin when you do decide to sell them to your customers. A few things to consider when looking for a partner to manufacture is to make sure their location is inspected by a trusted source, as you are dealing with objects that will encounter foods. You also want to make sure your silicone is high quality as porous silicone holds bacteria which is a horrible recipe for products made for the kitchen.
29. Cutting Board
Upfront Cost $ 500 – 1000
With the explosion of cooking shows and food blogs cooking has now grown to become relatively big and since it is so visual the items that are used in the kitchen are occasionally featured in media content. For this reason, it has a very strong viral factor as making well-designed cutting boards is a recipe to get featured and shown to your target audience. The next benefit is that it is a great product to source in America at a relatively low price in comparison to overseas markets. If you also want to forego manufacturing you can go the DIY route by grabbing the wood yourself and using someone’s workshop to get your first few products created to test the market and get sales.
30. Graphic Mugs
Upfront Cost $0 – 500
Simple, cheap and profitable is all great qualities that make a product worthy of being considered when deciding on what product to make and sell as an artist. For that reason alone it makes this list and goes on the list as the best $0 startup option as it has less competition compared to prints and apparel. The one negative I find with this product is that you have to deal with quality packaging to ensure that all products are being sent to your customers unbroken. But in my opinion that is a good problem to have as there are many solutions available to alleviate that pain point. As for sourcing this product you have several options ranging from purchasing blanks in bulk and using sharpies and your own home oven to bake your designs directly into your mugs, or you can use fulfillment partner extraordinaire theprintful.com to print, and ship your designs to your customer for you.
31. Coffee Products
Upfront Cost $500-2000
Caffeine and creativity go hand and hand. For this reason, alone coffee products make the list. When trying to identify exactly what coffee product should be created, I was able to quickly make a list of about 10 things that could be sold and just figured I would wrap the top 5 into this listing and leave the rest for you to brainstorm yourself. My top 5 products are a slow drip system, coffee grinder, French press, insulated mug and coffee set. While all of these are beyond DIY, I know that there are great deals to be found with manufacturing partners on Alibaba. Coffee products are extremely hot in popularity and it would be best to capitalize on these products now as people are just now starting to disrupt the market and saturate it with a bunch of me too’s.
32. Salt Pepper Shakers
Upfront Cost $400-1200
I absolutely love this product in terms of fit, creativity, production cost, and viral potential. With shakers, this category requires a degree of spatial visualization and practical function with a dash of cleverness. With the accessibility to 3d printers, you can quickly draft up a few samples and test them out to perfection and once you choose a final design work with a manufacturer to mass produce a large quantity of about 500 for about a dollar a piece. The fact that this requires a little more upfront work means that most people will forgo ever making such a product and gravitate to others on this list. Another bonus with this category is that there is not much you can do to really disrupt the industry as shakers have been simplified to about the bare minimal so style plays a very large factor in producing a product that others would want.
Office / Home
There are home offices and large offices. If we can consider the environment of our peers, the ones that are working away at their art desk, or computer we can quickly identify the pain points that we can address. Where there is a problem there is an opportunity to create a product to solve that problem. The office in many cases is a place to get work done. Due to it being a production environment it is often void of style, character and comfort. While the sky’s the limit for the type of products you can create ranging from desk, chairs, decor items this is a list of products you create with an investment of under $500 so we will keep the product listing simple.
33. Home Decor
Upfront Cost $500 – $2000
A coat rack, clever bookends, unique picture frames and monitor stands are a few options that come to mind but in reality there is absolutely no limit to the type of products you can create that fit the home decor category. With almost all home decor, you can go the DIY route but it is just as feasible to go the mass production route and focus on profit margins. the benefit to those that do not have the technical skills is that you only have to make the product well once and then get your product in the hands of someone that can repeat that product at a very large rate while still maintaining quality.
Upfront Cost $200 – $2000
To make furniture feasible on this list by staying under the $500 starting price you must have to start with the DIY route first for any large items such as tables, and chairs. The reason this product is perfect for creatives is that it is a creative product in and of itself. The 2 things that give your product value is creativity and quality. If you have creativity in spades, then all you have to focus on is quality which would entail the type of materials you use on your product and the process in how those products will be assembled together. If you decide to do smaller furniture items, you can easily find great starter products via Alibaba that fits within the $25 per item range while also having a low MOQ of 40-50 units. But going this route, you wouldn’t have much to differentiate yourself from what others are selling. The only way to differentiate your product on stock items would be to integrate customization into your product by hand painting, laser etching designs or emerging technology such as wireless charging stations or USB ports in furniture like coffee tables, or nightstands.
35. Light Fixture
Upfront Cost $50 – $100
Whether you decide to make lamps yourself or manufacture them you will have a lot of options when designing and finding market fit for this product as lighting will be merging function (lighting) with technology and style. Everyone has different styles and their need for style means you making something for yourself that others will like. While there is nothing new with stylish lamps, the big selling point on why this is an emerging category is that the integration of new technology whether it is Bluetooth integration with your smartphone or tablet, or led lighting that can be controlled and programmed is what really enhances the product. Also because the tech industry is so freely giving like the art industry it is extremely easy to learn how to integrate those technical aspects into your product with a little google research and a few emails for support.
Upfront Cost $500 – $2000
As creatives, any opportunity we can get to display our artwork is a win in my book. While wallpaper is nothing new it is a safe product as all it requires is turning your artwork into a seamless pattern and partnering with a manufacturer to provide you rolls and rolls of it in the form of wallpaper. The simplicity of what is required is what makes this product a top product in the list. The only negative that would be highlighted is that the product requires you to deal very heavily with a good manufacturer to ensure good quality as it is a semi-permanent product that displays your art and carries your name.
37. Wall Murals
Upfront Cost $50- $100
These have made a giant leap in popularity the past 2 years and due to its unique value and flexibility for customers, it is a perfect product for an artist to capitalize off of. A lot of what a wall mural is is just wallpaper, but the greater value lies in it being restricted to a specific size. Since you have to deal with a size constraint you are able to control the final look of the product as well as maximize the printing dimensions and space which increases profit margins. Its delivery format also allows you to potentially work with your manufacturer to drop ship from their warehouse to a specific location as your sales come in.
Upfront Cost $500- $3000
There are a few ways to tackle a product like speakers. I have identified that high-quality speakers with a healthy dose of technology such as Bluetooth and/or lighting with a good foundation for design catering to the minimal/mid century modern crowd are a start as well as desktop products that have portability and multi-location use with good battery life is also a great option. Due to the lack of technical constraints and access to 3d printers, and more sophisticated manufacturing process the foundation technology wise is extremely easy to identify and replicate. To get started, you can even go as simple as purchasing a few cheap Bluetooth speakers from amazon or AliExpress and the taking the tech out and finding a new way to rehouse the internals in a new and stylish way.
Upfront Cost $50- $100
These little houseplants are exploding everywhere. I see them on Instagram, my creative peers offices and cubicles more and more often. The reason being… they are easy to maintain, they provide life and character to a creative environment and they are just plain cool. I have never been a plant person but even without being one, I want one as it is an expression of individualism, and creativity and any opportunity to allow someone to express themselves in a unique and creative way is pure gold and a great product to consider investing in. The capacity of what type of products you can provide range from kits including the plant, dirt, misting bottle and any extra decor or just the containers. When doing a cost analysis of both they have a good profit margin for quality and unique designs. One caution is to make sure you build a design that is not extremely replicable for the DIY crowd (unless you sell DIY kits) as with searching terrarium, the next highest search is DIY terrarium which includes cheap ways to get a container.
While I like to consider any business venture to be fun, these fall specifically into the fun category as they involve products that produce and enhance an experience by putting a smile on someone’s face. They focus on interaction and communication whether in the form of emotional expression ranging from love, comfort, humor, excitement, and triumph. When considering these fun products allow your mind to be opened to escaping and letting every idea run free. Each of these product suggestions are built on a foundation of human interaction that connects us, and what you are passionate about will connect with your audience more than anything else.
40. Stuffed Animals
Upfront Cost $500- $1500
With the explosion of social media, just about everything gets more exposure than before. I see women taking pictures with 6 foot stuffed bears, and kids cuddling up with images of stuffed rabbits and bears. Any product that sells an image of love or peace is a product that has already done half of the battle in your marketing message. The hope is that when you pick a product to focus on you find a product that makes your job easy and allows you to do the things you are great at or prefer to do. With that said the most challenging thing about stuffed animals is making the stuffed animal and making sure it is made with quality and attention to details as damage to those products on accord of craftsmanship is a hit in reputation and satisfaction from your customers. Your customer doesn’t boast about bad products.
41. Board/Card Game
Upfront Cost $100- $1500
Cards against humanity happen to be one of the greatest modern games you can play and the premise of making a game from cards that can consistently generate evergreen content is the goal for any product. The balance of game mechanics, quality cards, and pieces will go a long way to making your game popular as long as it can entertain and keep the players addicted and competitive in gameplay. While mobile entertainment is great in a personal setting gameplay among family and peers will still trump digital games as we still are human and need to make real social interactions with one another. At least for now…For production at the minimum you might only need a few dice, or a deck of cards, or even a board and a few plastic game pieces. Most of these pieces are even reasonably priced here in the united states but require larger quantities than what may be required overseas. but even an investment in a 3d printer to produce game pieces and a printer is all you would need to create the play mechanics of your game to make sure it is enjoyable before you make a larger investment in pieces.
42. Vinyl Toys
Upfront Cost $50- $100
I love, love, love this category as it means no limits in terms of imagination. As long as you can think of, sculpt, or just communicate an idea and commission someone to create it for you is all you need to make a dream a reality. Beyond the fact that there is an avid culture of vinyl toy collectors, or that the potential when considering what the proper integration of technology with vinyl toy manufacturing will look like in the next few years means that while this industry has been consistently steady it will hit a massive boom for artist and entrepreneurs in the very near future. The reason being everything is being made and originating in the digital space and that will cheapen the creations and experience. But the physical representation of that product will hold a lot of weight and value as it can withstand the test of time. When it comes to manufacturing, make sure you read up on what is required to make a quality product to make sure you are dealing with a reputable manufacturer that will use quality materials to make your product.
43. Gift Baskets / Monthly Box
Upfront Cost $500- $2000
Monthly boxes have exploded on the scene the past 2 years and for good reason. 1. People like when others do work for them. 2. People like when they receive stuff in the mail. It makes them feel special and anytime you can provide a positive experience to someone’s life they are more than happy to pay for it. the reason I choose this product is because it requires no custom manufacturing to be successful. It does not require you to design a custom product, or even have a significant technical skill. All it requires in its simplest form is that you shop for products for a large group of people and put them in a box and ship it to them monthly. This product is about understanding your audience and letting them know you exist.
44. Prank Mail content
Upfront Cost $50- $100
This is one of the lower priced items on the list as it requires very little startup capital depending on what you send. The value to the business is that you provide a quick laugh to your customers in the form of a prank. With the creation of a heavy youtube audience that loves watching prank videos and documenting any and every humiliating thing to their friends and family members, this has the potential to catch fire via social media to give you the boost you need to really make a large profit off your business. While I believe this business is a fad, and will not last past the next 5 years, the market is ripe to generating cash immediately. All you need is funny content packed in a package and an organized system to fulfilling orders and your are well on your way to your first product.
The super billion dollar industry that has no projections of ever slowing down. While beauty encompasses so many products, we will only focus on the top ones that have a low entry to market, have room for improvement and best fits the creative/artistic culture. The key for all of these products when considering it as a viable product is to make sure you feel comfortable getting your hands dirty as almost all of them require you to go a DIY route initially to cut cost and to provide you with a knowledgeable base for quality product manufacturing.
45. Bath Bombs
Upfront Cost $50- $100
Bath bombs have a very low startup cost and are very easy to make. All of the ingredients can be found in a local grocery store, and other than the casing to make that perfect round shape, the tools used to construct them are all things that you find in your own kitchen. To get a bomb case you can either order via amazon or pick one up from your local craft store. This made our top picks because it is easy to get the basics equations down on what makes a great bath bomb and the subtle variants that give it extra benefits depending on the oils, and fragrances you use. Once you understand the basics of bath bomb construction you are free to get creative with very little limits. The fact that this you can be creative and experiment with so many things ranging from shape, color, scent, and benefits makes it a product that any creative would love to play with.
46. Bath salts
Upfront Cost $50- $100
Very similar to bath bombs bath salts are more branding and packaging than it is an experience as bath salts don’t fizz and swim around your tub like bath bombs do. But it does still provide a very unique value as it still sells relaxation to your customer so more than anything. If you can convince them they need it, then you have a dedicated user as long as you produce quality products along with a story. Going the bath salts way will be a practice in branding and marketing and if that is your specialty then you should highly consider this as your product with its flexibility and very low cost to market entry.
Upfront Cost $50- $100
Soap is a very interesting product as it has been around for ages, it doesn’t present a unique way to add technology to it, and it won’t evolve from its main function which is to clean and make others smell fresh. But because it is consistent and unevolving, it allows you to only have to focus on branding and marketing to produce a good product. When checking the trends of soap and it potential of increase and demand in the future its forecast doesn’t look too promising. But when you search natural soap, that is when you discover a heavy increase year after year with solid projections to keep climbing in the future. When it comes to products that touch our bodies, consumers are more aware of what they bring into their lives and they are looking for creative alternatives that use natural elements to keep them clean and smelling fresh. Because they won’t abandon their cleanliness, they must find a solution, and the one that can best tell their story, and provide a great product is the one that wins the race. another value to choosing soaps is that you can also DIY by reading up online a few guides to making custom soap as well as picking up a few books. The process is relatively easy but it is chemistry and requires a good knowledge base to producing quality soaps.
Upfront Cost $50- $100
Candles have had their time in the past and people made a killing off of them over the past 10 years. The interesting thing is that candles hit a peak in 2004 and declined the next 8 years but has now increased by 10% in google search popularity each year since 2013. Since this is an increasingly trending product I think this is the perfect product to invest in as it has a very low overhead, can be done by yourself with very little technical expertise, and has a massive pipeline using global manufacturing to increase profit margins and order request once your product takes off. For me what makes the product perfect for an artist is that candles just need some creativity in scents, marketing, and packaging design. If you think you can tackle those things then this is one you should definitely consider.
49. Fragrance / Cologne
Upfront Cost $50- $100
There are many different platforms to distribute fragrance-based products ranging from cologne and perfume in both liquid and solid form to incense and air fresheners. The main platform I will recommend that is receiving an uptick in trends would be solid Perfume and cologne. If you have not heard of solid perfume then you are in for a little knowledge as it seems there is nothing new about the delivery method. It was recently put back into popularity through boutiques and independent brands looking for a differentiator and with reason as when I first heard about it, the first brand that had a decent rating and some reasonable packaging was the first to take my cash and I have been hooked ever sense. The main benefit to solid perfume/cologne is that you can apply it on you with the swipe of a finger better controlling where the cologne is dispersed and because it has a higher oil base, it last much longer than traditional spray versions. The next great thing about it is that it is extremely easy to make at home. with very little startup cost. All you need is a unique signature scent, some clever packaging, and strong branding and you are well on your way to your first profitable product.
50. Natural Hair Products
Upfront Cost $50- $100
If you are a person who loves their hair and have done a lot of research on what natural hair products to use versus heavily chemical products that do harm to your hair then natural hair products are a great product for you. There is an increase of people searching for natural hair products and for good reason as we are becoming more conscious to the harmful chemicals that we eat and ingest that do more damage to us in the long term than the minor benefits we receive in the short. With that knowledge you already have the foundation of your product. Natural… While the industry is only going to grow and you will be faced with a lot of competition upon entry and over the years, getting in early is always the safest bet as their is still a ton of room for identifying a specific target audience and only focusing on that group. when it comes to learning how to make natural products the recipes for hundreds of variations are available online as well as in book form.
51. Makeup / Lip gloss
Upfront Cost $50- $100
Makeup/ Lip gloss may be a saturated market but if you have something unique that you think you can bring to the market then this could be the product for you. Naturally makeup/ lip gloss is a big thing and is extremely easy to get access to in bulk. Makeup popularity has been increasing since 2013 and with it being in the beauty sector should have no plans of stopping. especially with the explosion of youtube and Instagram makeup tutorials fueling the growth. When considering a specific product to select in the makeup category try to think about what you use from start to finish as well as your friends and family. Because makeup is so popular you have a lot of options to choose from and the options is what makes it such a great product to have. When considering makeup remember that there are almost no rules as makeup is an art in itself. That means the tools such as brushes and applicators can be enhanced whether it means being repackaged with a unique personality, or sold directly to customers while cutting out the middle man to provide a great product at a low price.Another approach that can be taken is to enhance the quality of the pigments for a specific demographic that is underserved such as ethnic groups or starting makeup artist. While you can also make your own Makeup, it would also be worth consideration to have it manufactured in larger quantities to increase the already slim profit margins.
52. Gold leaf tattoos
Upfront Cost $50- $100
Temporary tattoos are a seasonal thing as most people are too cold to think about even showing one off in the winter months. But as spring arrives the search for the latest and greatest skyrockets to immense popularity. The great news is that this is a seasonal product that drastically declines in the fall and winter months allowing you to develop and enjoy family around the holiday, but on the downside keeps you busy in the summer months fulfilling orders and connecting with your customers. Tattoos are made to be shown and with great design and value to the customer, this becomes a great extension to what you naturally do as an artist. You focus on making great art that gets displayed on bodies instead of a screen or canvas. That alone is what makes it worth being on the list.