Can I go from designing to making?

I'm 29 years old and currently working as a digital designer, but have always had some reservations about the idea of sitting behind a computer for the rest of my career (nothing wrong with it in principle, I just don't think it's for me).

I have always enjoyed building things with my hands, and have gotten a lot of satisfaction from designing and making a couple of small desk lights in my spare time. If this was something that could provide me with financial independence I would jump at the chance, but I have no idea if this is the case, and if it is, I have no idea how I would go about making the transition.

If anyone has any suggestions or advice on the possibilities and practicalities for someone in my situation I would really appreciate it

— Jack

Expert answers

Simon Hill's reply:

Hi Jack,

That's a difficult one to advise on, because it really comes down to:

  • how good/sellable your products are
  • how much margin you would make on each
  • how you intend selling them
  • and more.

So my main advice would be to treat this like a business, rather than being motivated purely by doing something you love. Put a business plan together; there are plenty of resources on the web that advise on this. When you do this, it will force you to start thinking about manufacturing processes and costs, etc, and then you can see if it will work for you.

Regarding selling products, you could start doing this through marketplaces on the web to avoid having to get retail deals.

I hope this helps!

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