Welcome to “Ask Ashley”! This is our very first Ask Ashley live and we will be doing them every Tuesday for the month of January.
Catch the lives every Tuesday at 6 pm EST.
Each month the day & time will change due to my family’s schedule.
If you are signed up for my emails, you will get an email at the beginning of every month with that month’s lives schedule. They will also be scheduled on YouTube so you can see them in advance and click the “Notify me” button.
Click the link below to sign up for The Crafty Newsletter so you will stay in the loop with all things “Ask Ashley”. You will get the 2023 Content Calendar, completely free, just for signing up.
As the name implies, “Ask Ashley” is a live Q and A session where you can ask me all the things.
You can ask me about my business. You can ask me about Crochet Boss Academy. You can ask me about your business, crochet questions, things about my patterns, or anything that you have in your mind!
I will answer it for you as truthfully and as transparently as possible. If I can’t, I will send you in the right direction to somebody who can!
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission, at NO ADDITIONAL cost to you, from purchases made using the links provided.
Hat Measurement Guide
Ball Bead Chains Keychain Findings
Crafty Loop Keychains
Favorite Keychain Findings
Crochet Boss Academy
Instagram Reel about the scheduling feature
Let’s jump into the questions!
How can I measure people’s heads for every size of bucket hat?
A: Look at a Basic head measurement chart. You can get them from I believe it’s called the Yarn Council. They have a chart of all these different head sizes.
When I first started crocheting and I was trying to make sure my hats would fit the head sizes that they were supposed to be fitting, I made mannequin heads in the appropriate size.
I had my own head that I could use, and I had my husband’s and daughter’s heads. That gave me three different heads that I could measure and test on.
I used foam heads you can get from Hobby Lobby, a male-looking head, and a female-looking head. Then I made some new sizes out of styrofoam balls.
I went to Hobby Lobby and I measured the styrofoam balls to see which sizes were in the range that The Craft Council chart said they should be in.
Another thing you could do if you are very social and you’re around friends and family all the time is be like “hey can I try this on your kid’s head”?
Make yourself a little chart and say “okay Nancy’s head is 20 inches. Next time I make a hat that should be about 20 inches, I will go try it on Nancy’s head.”
If that works, write down everything you did.
So if you’re making a bucket hat for Nancy’s 20-inch head and you use your H hook and I love this yarn from Hobby Lobby, you need to remember everything that you did so you can replicate it when you need to make another 20-inch hat. That would be my best advice.
What are your favorite keychain findings to use & how to attach them to your project?
A: This is the cheapest option, if you are a 90’s baby this was what lucky rabbit’s foot keychains were on. These are called ball chains I’m pretty sure.
You can make Crafty Loop Keychains by following the Crafty Loop Earring pattern and putting a keychain finding on them instead of earring findings.
It’s very, very quick. This is a great option if you’re trying to send out freebies.
Something a little bit more luxurious, are these and they are my favorite. These are what I used in the Essential Oil Rollers Keychain blog!
They come in two parts, a lobster clip clasp and the keychain bit.
You can put your work onto the keychain bit or you can just put your work right on the lobster clasp if you don’t want to use the keychain ring.
How to attach them, so this one depends on your item. You can watch the Essential Oil Roller keychain video to see how I attached mine.
You can use a staple remover to hold the keyring open and shove that opening right into your work.
Do you suggest making inventory ahead of time and marketing it as ready to ship or have things listed as made to order?
A: I make everything as Made to Order. I list everything as made to order but I make things that I know usually get a lot of sales, like my Linen Claire Bun Beanie ahead of time. That way you can underpromise and over-deliver!
If you say your turnaround time is 5-7 days but you ship that thing in two days, your customer is going to be very excited. That’s going to make them very happy, which will set a positive psychology in their brain, leading to more five-star reviews!
That is my best tip, make everything as made to order but have some stuff in your stash, already made up if you have time or space to do so.
I would start with your best sellers and go from there. Anytime you have downtime, make stuff in the background and when you make sales you will be able to ship it to them very quickly!
How to choose a Color Palette? How many colors can I use for my crochet items?
A: Not only do you need a color palette for your crochet projects, but your branding for your business should match said color palette.
We talk all about this inside Crochet Boss Academy! In module two, we build your brand. I give you a branding kit template and multiple videos to show you how to get inspiration and how to add things to your branding kit.
I suggest looking at Etsy and looking up color palettes or just google color palettes!
As for how many colors you should use in your items, I would say 8! I just like the number 8, because it gives you a nice variety of colors that you can have in your shop. I would have 8 colors of Claire Bun Beanies in my shop because I don’t want to offer too many options or your audience is going to get choice paralysis and they are not going to buy anything.
So I would say choose 8-10 colors, and then pull 3-4 colors from those that are your brand colors; to use in your logo, highlight cover on Instagram, colors you use on your shirts that you wear on lives, and things like that.
The yarn I use for my products has been discontinued. How do you pick a yarn with good color ranges?
A: When I first started my business back in 2016, I was selling things in all the colors! I used Hobby Lobby’s I love this yarn. They have 66 colors and I would say “Here’s a color chart with all 66 colors, please choose the color that you like and I will make it for you.”
That’s not good business, you should choose the colors that your ideal customer will like and have them on hand. We talk about this inside Crochet Boss Academy in detail.
If you only offer eight colors, you can have at least one of each skein on hand already.
I use to go to a Hobby Lobby every time I got an order and I was fine doing that. I was like no big deal but then I would try to estimate if I got more popular colors, I would try to have my popular colors on hand. But then I would be going to Hobby Lobby all the time, so it’s not really smart to do it that way.
It’s better to limit the colors that you offer and limit the product you sell. Try and have some on hand so you’re not running all over the place.
As far as what yarn you should use, you need to choose a color palette that your ideal customer is going to be attracted to.
If your ideal customer likes bright colors then you need to look at yarns that offer a nice range of bright colors. If your ideal customer liked muted colors or boho colors you need to look for the color palettes that will fit that need.
I like Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn because they have all the colors!
Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek is my favorite yarn brand to work with.
If someone said “Ashley you can only have one yarn for the rest of your life, which yarn do you choose”, I would say Hobby Lobby’s Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek.
That yarn is superior to all other yarns! It’s just slightly thicker than I love this yarn, but I like it better because it’s low pill, which means it doesn’t get as fuzzy which is really nice for crochet pieces like dolls or wearables!
Instagram now doing scheduled posts how do we find the feature?
A: Not everyone has this feature yet! I made a reel a bit ago sharing how to do it.
I still do not have this feature and it is killing me! I want that feature so badly, but hopefully, it will roll out to everyone soon!
How do you make a Youtube Channel?
A: You just make an account and start uploading videos! It is free to create an account.
If you want to make Youtube a part of your business model, you will need to be very consistent. You need to post Youtube videos regularly, on a consistent basis. So whether that looks like once a week or every other week or once a month, whatever that looks like for you, you need to do that.
Learn all the things like search engine optimization for Youtube because Youtube is a search engine just like Etsy and Google. That is how people find your videos, so you should do research on search engine optimization for Youtube, and how to do tags and make your own thumbnail photos which you can do on Canva.
I’m planning on opening shipping to Canada for my Etsy Shop any advice?
A: I was scared to death and I had a friend who was my guinea pig because I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know if it would get there, or how it all worked.
But Etsy is very easy! It will print an international label and you can sign it and date it but I think you can actually save your information in your settings so you don’t have to sign it every time.
Not hard at all, Etsy does it all for you!
Tell me about Dishie Cotton!
A: Dishie Cotton yarn is from WeCrochet.
The best way to explain how it feels is like your favorite pair of blue jeans, especially after you wash it. It gets really soft, not like silky soft but like how soft old worn blue jeans feel, that’s what this yarn feels like.
It is not rough like Peaches and Cream Cotton Yarn, that one is a little bit rough.
I like I love this Cotton Yarn from Hobby Lobby, but that and Dishie cotton are not the same. They are the same size, but if you need a yarn that is a bit more durable, I would suggest Dishie Cotton. If you want something that needs to be a little bit more silky soft like a blanket I would suggest I love This Cotton.
These are my two favorite cotton yarns!
If selling at craft shows and farmer markets, what do you think is the best way to collect payments?
A: I would definitely try and take a card reader like Square. You can connect your square to your Etsy shop! You can also offer Venmo or Paypal.
You don’t want to miss out on some sales. You might not do horrible if you only accept cash. But, if you offer cards, even if they brought cash they can save their cash for a different booth that doesn’t accept cards.
They don’t have to make the decision about which booth to shop at if they have a limited amount of cash.
I’m currently on the fence with my business. I am busy enough to make it full-time, but not making enough money to cover my nine-to-five income, how do I get over the hump?
A: I would probably need to know more about your specific business, but it sounds like you need to make more sales or add a new revenue stream to your business.
You could add more listings to your Etsy Shop.
You could try to collab with another person that has the same ideal customer but different products than you, and get introduced to their audience to help you grow your audience, which could lead to getting more sales.
You definitely need an email list! Every business needs an email list, we go into a lot of detail about building an email list inside Crochet Boss Academy.
An email list is a great way to get sales because you’re speaking directly to their inbox. You are not putting it on the internet in social media and hoping that the algorithm shows it to your ideal customer, you are going directly into their inbox.
You could also try and get your items into local stores/boutiques.
You can create a blog, but keep it ideal customer specific. If you sell finished pieces, don’t blog about crochet patterns. Your ideal customer that buys finished pieces, is not going to read your blog about crochet patterns.
However, a blog is like a two-year thing before you start making good money off of it, but you have to be extremely consistent so it is not a quick win. That is something you can do long-term if you would like!
You could hire a Virtual Assistant to do the computer work, like making Etsy listings and responding to comments, so that you can spend your time making more products. I highly recommend this when you have spare money.
And I highly recommend investing in yourself to grow your business. It’s invaluable and you can’t put a price tag on it.
How much does Crochet Boss Academy Cost?
A: This year (2023) it cost $365.00 USD. Next year it will go up. Every year I want that year you get in to be the cheapest it will ever be again.
Also, every year I add things so it makes sense to up the price when adding new valuable content.
This year we will be doing all kinds of fun things that I have not done before! Things like webinars, which is basically just like Youtube lives except there will be slides to share information!
Doors open on February 27th, 2023!
What will sell in your Market? We tried a few markets last year but only sold four or so items per show. How do you go about determining what will fly off the shelves?
A: You want to choose markets that your ideal customer will be shopping at. You want to create products around your ideal customer. So if you sell crop tops for college-age girls, you do not want to have a booth at an elementary school craft show. That would not be worth your time.
If your ideal customer is not going to be there, you need to go to events where they will be.
Don’t make products based on the market you’re going to. Choose your markets based on the products that you have in your shop. Which are based on who your ideal customer is.
Choose your products based on your ideal customer, because you want every product in your shop to raise the quality of your ideal customer’s life. We talk about this a lot inside Crochet Boss Academy, in Module one “Finding your Ideal Customer”.
I have worksheets, I have templates, I have videos, and all the things to take you through step-by-step of finding your ideal customer. I also talk about it in the January calendar walkthrough video that just went live. I give some examples of how to sell the same thing to different ideal customers.
That is it for today’s questions! Any questions that did not get answered tonight will be answered in next week’s live!
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