Crochet is a PERFECT craft to sell. It is relatively easy, inexpensive, and immensely versatile. People have been crocheting for hundreds of years. Not only as a means of creating something, but for relaxation and therapy as well. Bonus: it is a very portable craft, that can be accomplished from virtually any setting. I have seen several facebook posts recently of people looking to start their own crochet business, and for that I applaud you! It is a fine endeavor to embark upon. As the crochet industry continues to grow and change, the support and encouragement is endless and vast. However, as with all crafts and businesses, there are some things that are necessary not only to function but to thrive at optimal efficiency. In response to all of those people looking to start, I have come up with a two-part series, the first focusing on the few things that you definitely need in order to start. And then, as your business starts to profit and thrive, the second part will expand on the additions and growth needed to there optimize your efficiency.
This seems kind of obvious to me, but I felt it needed mentioned anyways. You need the materials of your craft: hook and yarn. Thankfully, neither of these are very costly, with many hooks costing $2-$3 and while yarns can cost as much as $15 a skein, most range in the $3-$5 department. All you need to get started is one hook, and one skein of yarn.
I just recently became an amazon affiliate, so while I do get some profits off of these links, the deals are just so amazing that I couldn’t even help myself. I mean, a set of hooks for $2.00 plus shipping?! You cannot find better in a store! And all of these are GREAT deals that you really should take advantage of!
You’ve gotta know what you are making before you can make it: a scarf, hat, poncho, slippers, purse, sweater, doll, toy, pillow, blanket, wall hanging, etc. Virtually anything can be made out of crochet. Some things really shouldn’t be, like men’s shorts, I mean…really? Even in the 70’s those are pushing some serious “hippie” boundaries, but I digress. You can peruse Pinterest, google, ask your children, or maybe someone has requested something. You just need one tiny idea to get started with.
Again, duh! You can’t sell something is there isn’t someone willing to buy. Many entrepreneurs will encourage you to know your customers and cater to their desires. While this is very true for your success, to start off, you only need one eager person willing to support you.
Quite possibly the trickiest part of selling handmade goodies is figuring out how to price your work. There are lots of algorithms available for figuring it all out. My personal favorite is to get on Etsy and compare similar items. However, be careful not to price your items as the cheapest just to “beat” the competitors. You might suffer a huge loss by doing that. Yes, there may be a scarf marked at $5.00, but most likely, it is a very poor quality scarf with uneven edges, ends sticking out, and all manner of wonky-ness going on. Be fair to yourself, but don’t be afraid to ask for some $$ as well. I’ve seen a simple headband priced at $30 (and selling out like crazy!). Use your best judgment and don’t be afraid to change prices accordingly as your business grows and changes.
A necessity that is easy to overlook is what kind of currency will you be accepting, and how are you going to handle it? For your very first item, exchanging cash or personal check from the sellers hand to your hand is perfectly acceptable. Keep it local, deliver it face-to-face. No fees, no shipping, no concerns if the seller will receive within a reasonable time, no wondering if the card is going to go through on both sides. Keep it simple, and enjoy the full rewards of your time spent.
The last thing you need to sell your crochet is a place to sell it. Facebook, Etsy, boutique, craft show, your own website. The choices are vast and endless. Pick one, a simple one, maybe a free one. I think facebook is a great place to start. So you take a picture of your product, post it to your page, and get tons of interest…congratulations, you are now an entrepreneur and you only spent a few dollars to get there!
Now that you have sold your first product and are a business person, don’t forget to keep growing and changing to become better and polished and take over the crochet world! Check back tomorrow to find out what you need in order to do just that!