Dear Monarch – Narrowing down to a niche


Monarch male showing its wings to attract a mate
Monarch male showing its wings to attract a mate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Monarch Butterfly,


Okay! I’m so loving your articles about crafting, but I’m having a hard time with the niche thing. My customers ask me to make a range of different things and I’d like to just focus on one thing or so. For now, I’ve been doing ties and bow ties and I like that I can sell them for a cheap price and make money on them. So ,do I change over to just that? I love making other items. I don’t want people to be confused though. What I had planned to do was kinda give up the baby item theme and just make some patterns on how to make my products and sell those instead of the actual product. When I started bow ties I liked the idea of doing those with matching girls skirts or dresses. I’m so confused.


Sincerely, successfully selling since 09 but trying to pick a smaller niche.


Dear selling since ’09


It can be very difficult to narrow down to a niche after you already have such a wide range of products and a following that is interested in those products. I am actually struggling with a similar problem with my own shop. The idea of changing niches is tricksy, complicated, and time-consuming at best. Time-consuming not with the idea that it takes up a lot of time, but rather that it will take a lot of time to change your niche over. I think that your method of handling it is perfect…offering more of the items that you would like to sell and letting the others kind of just die out.


Don’t be afraid to turn down orders. I am all too familiar with that little twang of guilt that nickers in the back of your mind for a few hours during and after you decide to turn down an order. But it is ok, I promise. Remember, big chain stores often discontinue a particular brand or style all the time, and you are basically doing the same thing.


English: A blue bow tie.
English: A blue bow tie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you are trying to make the sell, you post pictures on your blog, you comment about it on your Facebook you are excited about it. So, do the opposite and stop advertising those products that you wish to discontinue. If you sell online, just don’t relist it. Don’t post pictures on your Facebook page, don’t talk about it on your blog. Let it fade away. If you dont ever want to make that product ever again, I would even go so far as to delete any remaining information about that item that you can.


Personally, I like to keep some proof of its existence around, and if someone is really interested they can contact me and we can figure it out. If I don’t want to make it at the time I just turn them down, but if I am up for handling another order we then hash out the details. I don’t, however, make it public knowledge that I still sell certain items.


-Monarch Butterfly


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