Friday, 30 September 2011

How to start a crochet business. Here are some top tips..


Over the last few months I have met many crocheters wanting to start their own business and I've come to realise that there are some key ingredients to not only making your business successful but also to keeping you sane.

Baby Wash Cloths Crochet Pattern
www.happyberry.co.uk
I think the first and probably most important thing to remember is, dont try and do everything at once.

You may have looked at other crochet businesses and thought that's what I need to be doing but you will only find that you quickly become over-whelmed and over-worked. Instead take a more relaxed approach and perhaps, sitting down with a cuppa and a notebook, write down your strong points, what you enjoy crocheting the most and start from there.

Start thinking about your target market. You may want to do everything for everybody but sometimes its best to just focus on one area, even better if no-one else does much of it, such as boy's clothes or teen stuff. Start a folder on your computer named ideas and start saving images on google of the things you like or save items you like on Etsy for inspiration.

Once you have your planned projects written down, start thinking about a name. Perhaps this could be something personal to you, or related to the items/patterns you wish to make. If you plan to move on to different things in the future, think about if your brand will move on with you. Perhaps design a logo if you have some technical skills.

You don't need to worry about a website but it's a good idea to start setting up a PayPal account if you don't already have one as hopefully you will want to take payments. Open up some accounts on Ravelry and Etsy, these will also require a PayPal account. And start a Facebook page if you havent done so already.

The next step which I find is where most beginner crochet entrepreneurs are at is they get this far but now they start worrying about how many Facebook likes they have. Sadly these don't come over-night and people with lots of likes have probably been around for quite a while and have worked up a good network around the various social media sites.

Some good tricks though to think about to get those numbers up is to promote free patterns. Not everyone can afford to do this but it is an incentive for people to join your page. You could sell patterns on Ravelry and say they are free on your Facebook page if they like your page or offer discounts and coupons for items you sell.

Show off your work on other people's pages, share your ideas and thoughs on a blog, tweet your thoughts and ideas on twitter and link everything to your Facebook page.

But when it comes down to it, Facebook isnt the be all and end all. Your work is and the more you design and make and show off, the more people will find you and the more likes you will get so get working! (^-^)

Photography is another sore point I find. Many people assume they need a professional photographer to show off their work. This is a fantastic opportunity but isnt necessary. It can also come with many pitfalls such as photographers taking your work and not supplying you with images. Just get yourself a good camera, find some natural sun light and work up your own photo shoots. You will be amazed at how well you can do with just the basics. If you know of children or babies then ask if you can take some photos with then. If you don't, perhaps pick up some poly heads to show off your work, even dolls. The most important thing to remember though is a good shot and sometimes just laying your work down in a pretty setting is just enough, without the need for models. There are hundreds and thousands of photos on Etsy that just show the product without a model. The above picture is a fun way off showing off some wash cloths, all types of objects can be used as props!

As you build up your portfolio you will soon get used to how you want to work and what works best for you. Do get ideas from other people's work but don't fret about needing to copy everything they do. Think about your work, your style and before you know it you will become one of those you use to envy. Good luck!

8 comments:

  1. No problem! Hope you find it useful (^-^)

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  2. Lovely advice - especially like how you ease people's fears about getting professional photography.

    Gloria, the hat factory, built her entire business on FB w/out professional photos. She is a sweetheart and promotes other craft business owners. I think it is he willingness to help others that makes her shine.

    Another business owner got creative and made pottery vases into models for her hats.

    One more example - one lady picks up discounted beauty shop mannequin heads and adds a stick (like a broom handle) to the bottom of the Styrofoam ones and displays her hats at craft markets.

    Again, thanks for the article (2013 already).

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    1. Aww thank you Sara!

      I love the idea of the lady who used sticks to prop up mannequin heads, brilliant idea.

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  3. Thanks!! Nice advice! So you think starting a blog is a good idea..I'm just a beginner at crochet, do you think I can do this as a small business??

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  4. Thank you for your patterns and your advice, I have been toying with the idea of starting up a small business, but now with the advice and encouragement I am ready to roll.

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  5. Great advice! I'm starting a business...Great tips!

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