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Inside this Episode
Below is a breakdown of each section in this episode. Feel free to skip ahead to the parts that interest you most. Each section has the timestamp beside it so you know exactly when the subject starts and ends.
Welcome [0:00- 1:01]
How do you make the fuzzy ball Valentines? Are they made from Pom Poms? [1:02- 3:26]
What month is ideal to start prepping for the next season or holiday? [3:27- 6:09]
Would you recommend leaving winter accessories in your Etsy shop year round? [6:10- 11:07]
Pricing [11:08- 22:08]
Do you still sell a paid pattern after you made a youtube video which is free? [22:10- 23:03]
Did you always know what your niche was or did it take you awhile to discover? [23:04- 28:46]
Is there any Bravo yarn that is similar to Yarn Bee blush and to I love this yarn linen? [28:47- 29:42]
When is Crochet Boss Academy opening and what is pricing? [29:43- 31:04]
How do you find influencers? [31:05- 36:17]
What are something that you would do differently starting a business, knowing what you do now? [36:19- 41:41]
Hi friends! Welcome back to Tuesday Talks! This week it’s my turn to do Tuesday Talks. Taylor and I switch back and forth every other Tuesday, where we hop on Instagram live and answer all the things. All things crochet, yarn, business, pricing, Etsy, Instagram, Pinterest, social media- whatever you guys ask we are here to answer them for you! Taylor and I are like Yin and Yang. We are complete opposites, and we complete each other when it comes to skill sets that we bring to the table. So some of the questions I get I will refer to her, and say Taylor is the girl you want to ask for those questions- she can give you a much better question than I can and vice versa. She might send some questions my way as well- so if I do send one off as that’s one you want to ask Taylor that is only because she will answer it way better than I can answer it.
I popped up a question box earlier in the day so you guys could start asking me your questions, I am going to start answering them!
How do you make the fuzzy ball Valentines? Are they made from Pom Poms?
No, they are not. Those are the Bubble Bug crochet pattern that is free on my blog. That pattern originally called for “Spinella” which is brought to my attention has been discontinued from Lion Brand- but Hygge Fur yarn is a really nice substitute to Spinella. They work up just the same. You can use any kind of yarn that you want to make a Bubble Bug, the best ones are the textured ones. Anything with a little bit of texture does a good job. I’ve made them with faux fur yarn before. I’ve seen them made with blanket yarn. The Boucle yarn from Lion Brand works up pretty well. Just want to find yourself something thats in your stash that your like what in the world would I ever make with this?! Try to make a Bubble Bug, and see how it turns out! It’s just an amigurumi circle (ball) with eyeballs. That’s all it is, but kids absolutely love them. It’s one of my most visited blog post, it’s always my best pins on Pinterest. People just love them, I would definitely suggest making them.
For Valentine’s Day if you are going to get to send Valentine’s gifts with your kids this year- last year I made Bubble Bugs for Ava’s preschool and they were a huge hit. Not with just the preschoolers but also with their older siblings that were there at the Valentine’s Day party.
Good question- super easy! I like starting off with a super easy one!
What month is ideal to start prepping for the next season or holiday?
If you have seen the movie “Elf” with Will Ferrell, where Buddy sneaks into Santa’s sack and Santa’s back at the workshop and he’s cheering with all the elves like “Yay we had a successful season!” and they are all like WOOHOO we did it! And he goes- Now it’s time to get ready for next season! And they are all like WOOHOO yes!
That is exactly how I feel- it’s immediate. You don’t stop. I recommend making stock in your down time.
For me Claire Bun Beanies are a good car project for me to do, without looking without thinking, while riding in the car- not driving! I am not staring at it, I am not counting, my hands just know what to do because I have made some many Clair Bun Beanies. If we drive to Lexington, that’s like a 45 minute drive there and back, I am going to make some Claire Bun Beanies on the way, because that’s just free time that I am getting to myself that I can use for my business.
So anytime, maybe you just wind down at night and you want to have a project in your hands but you don’t want to make something new- I would be making stock. If you have popular listings during the holidays on Etsy I would make a bunch of those popular things. For me it’s linen Claire Bun Beanies. For Wild Grace, I have just given away all of my individual colors of Bitty Boho bags so in the evenings I am going to start making Bitty Boho Bags. Just so I can replace the ones I gave away to brand reps and for promotional purposes. That’s something I do to get the word out that there is a new shop available. So that’s what I will be doing, so if a customer orders the pink one that I just shipped out today, I can make another pink one and have it on hand- even though my listings are set to “made to order”.
I would do them as soon as you can! I would be very mindful about using your time very wisely, because the more you have on hand when the rush or market season hits the MORE MONEY you are going to make- the shorter your turn around time will be. If you have the space to store the things, I say do it now. If you are short on space that would be my only reason I would suggest to hold off. I keep mine in a giant tote!
Would you recommend leaving winter accessories in your Etsy shop year round?
That answer is going to be different for everybody, depending on your shop. For Wild Grace we only have 4 products right now. For those of you who don’t know, Wild Grace is my new Etsy shop that I just opened on Saturday. I am not promoting it to anybody- any of my crochet fam people- this is just for my finished pieces and it is a sample business for me to use as an example for everybody that I talk to as “A Crafty Concept”. Because when I say for my “A Crafty Concept” Etsy shop I just sell crochet patterns, that’s not helpful to you. If you sell finished pieces, me telling you the things I do to sell crochet patterns is not going to help you. Me telling you the hashtags I use on Instagram to attract other crocheters is not going to help you attract people who are going to buy your finished pieces. So I am using Wild Grace as my second business (as my sample business, but it’s a real thing!) to use it as an example when I am teaching about growing YOUR crochet business. So that’s why I have Wild Grace, and that’s what that is if you didn’t know. But I only have about 4 products in my shop right now- I have mommy and mini beanies, rainbow rattles, bitty boho bibs. I will be leaving my beanies up for now. Later down the road I might take them out, and put in headbands or something a little bit more spring appropriate but for now when I have such few products I am keeping them in there.
Depending on where people are, because it’s still cold in different places in America. So pay attention to where a lot of your customers are coming from. If you are getting a lot of folks from up north it would be beneficial to keep your winter stuff in there longer than usually. Even if you had them all listed as made to order and you don’t have any on hand- you just make them when you get the orders randomly.
For me Claire Bun Beanies are so simple for me to make. I get $30 for a Claire Bun Beanie, so if I just get a random one in the middle of July it’s nothing for me to crank that out really fast and then I get that $30 and that potential return customer, that potential 5 star review. It’s just good business. I think it’s totally fine- you don’t want to have a billion different products available in your shop. You want every single product that you offer to serve your ideal customer very well. You want each product in your shop to cater to one specific person and raise her quality of life some how. For Wild Grace I have my Mommy and Mini Beanies because my ideal customer is a boho baby girl mom- so her and her baby can match. Then I have the bibs and the rattle, obviously the rattle is textured. It’s got sounds, it’s made from cotton, it’s squishy so sensory situations. The bibs are good because they are machine washable- very cute, they are boho so they are going to match her outfits in her closet. Then the bags, very much like my little boho princess that thinks she’s a grown lady. Each of the things that I have in Wild Grace serves my ideal customer in a way that I know is specific to her. I am not going to have stuff in there that wouldn’t make any sense.
The less products that you offer, the more niche you are going to be and the more your brand is going to be known for something.
I am getting off on a very large tangent, so we are just going to say- leave the winter accessories in your shop if you want to. If you want to leave them in there, leave them in there. If you want to take them out, take them out.
I do like the idea of having seasonal things in our shops that is not permanent. Around Easter time I might be selling Ava Bunnies inside Wild Grace, because Ava Bunnies would make great gifts for girls ages 0-4, who is my ideal customer age range- like moms of those girls. So I might have Ava Bunnies available just for spring, and I might make up 10 of them and say hey I made these 10 Ava Bunnies they are $15 ($20) a piece- once they are gone they are gone this is just something I am doing for spring. That creates urgency and FOMO for your ideal customer. So I do think having season things that you say hey this isn’t a permeant statement piece in my shop so get it while it’s hot kind of situation I think is absolutely fine. But if beanies are apart of your brand, I would just keep them in there year round.
The age old question-
You want to price your thing in way that makes sense for your business, your brand, and your ideal customer.
I am pricing my mama addi beanies inside of Wild Grace for $34, which I feel like is more on the higher end because I am using Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek yarn so I am not using $40 yarn I am using very affordable yarn. I am using handmade tags from Angie and Britt and handmade poms- both of which I have to pay for up front. As well as the yarn, as well as making the and assembling the whole thing and then shipping it off. Now Julie my helper, will be doing some of that too. She pays for her own yarn- but I still pay for the poms and tags- and she will make and ship them to my people.
So my prices have to be high enough in order for me to not go backwards and to be able to give Julie 50%- and for me to still not go backwards with Etsy fees, paying for the poms and all of those things.
That’s the main thing I think, when setting your prices try and stay in the green. If you can stay in the green per piece- if you say I can get 2 and a half beanies from one skien of “I love this yarn”. I pay $4 for the skien. 4 divided by 2.5 is how much it costs me per beanie.
As long as what I am selling my beanies for is in the green- I’m making money I’m not loosing money- after my cost of yarn, my Etsy fees, listing fee, after everything is added up, am I still in the green. Then you are golden!
There are a few nit-picky things that I have with some of the popular said things within our community. People are like know your value, charge for your expertise, and people will say don’t charge your beanies for just $5 because that’s belittling everybody else in the community and talking about over saturation. These are all things I don’t agree with and I don’t believe in.
I think if you have a business/ hobby where you make $5 beanies because it brings you unbelievable joy to somebody who is maybe lower income be able to afford a handmade piece- and if that makes you happy and you’re making that person happy and that brings you joy and it’s you’re level of success then charge $5 for your beanies!
I know my Wild Grace ideal customer would turn her nose up at a $5 beanie. She’s a little hoity-toity my ideal customer customer for Wild Grace. She likes luxury things, she is drawn to them. So a higher price point will make her say hmm that is a nice beanie. She wouldn’t even look twice at a $5 beanie. It has nothing to do with the quality of the beanie at all, it’s just because it has a $5 price point- she would walk right past it. And that’s fine, because everyone’s ideal customer is as unique as you are! So if other people are selling their beanies at $5 and you think man they are taking all my business- they are not taking your business, those people would have never paid full price for your beanie if the $5 option was there or not.
If you want to sell your things for $5 go for it. If you want to sell your things for $35 go for it. You just need to go to places where your ideal customer is. If you sell crop tops and pot leaf wallets, and you had the opportunity to set up at a craft fair in an elementary school where all the customers there are elementary age kids and their parents- they are not going to buy your crop tops or your pot leaf wallets. That’s going to be more collage aged kids, music festivals- so just pay attention to where you are setting up in your craft booth and then those $5 beanies aren’t going to effect you. If you were selling crop tops at a music festival and somebody else was selling $5 beanies I’m sure you would do just fine.
Also when people say “know your worth, know your value” I agree. You shouldn’t have low self esteem or have zero confidence in your own skills- you can do something amazing! You can take yarn and turn it into something usable, wearable, decretive, with just a hook. No hot glue, no sewing machine, just yarn and a hook. That is very very awesome and you should be proud of that and you did learn that skill over years and years of time. This is all excellent things- but let me tell you, if you are trying to build a business your ideal customer doesn’t care that it took you 10 years to learn how to crochet. She doesn’t even know that you crochet. She might think you are knitting. People always just think knitting, I don’t know maybe it’s just more trendy.
Jasmine Star used to be a full time photographer, now she’s a photographer and business strategist. She started photography with a very inexpensive camera and youtubed it and go her boots on the ground. She taught herself everything from the bottom up. Now she is one of the best known photographers. She did full weddings for $200! She did a lot of work for free! She would be a second or third shooter for a big time photographer for free because she knew the value of being around that photographer for the time they were working that wedding. She could watch them, see how they interact with the bride, see what shots they made sure to get. As I mentioned earlier I gave away a lot of free product for Wild Grace just this week. I got 2 really nice boxes at Hobby Lobby when they went on sale after Christmas and I used both of those to spoil my “in exchange for promotion” people. I have two people- one I gave 2 beanies, 2 bitty boho bags, a bib and a rainbow rattle for free! I also gave her a free pack of Wild Grace coloring sheets. Then I packaged it up so beautifully so she would know how much I value her time to help me get the word out about my new business. There was a lot of money in that box, poms are $3.50 a piece and she got 4 of them. Those tags are $1.15 a piece and she got 4 of them. Not to mention the yarn and the time and all those things.
I think when you know you are investing in your future business, that it’s okay to give things away for free or do things in exchange for other things. So don’t think if you give it away for free that it is devaluing your things- it’s not. It’s just smart- it’s looking to the future. It’s setting yourself up for success in the long run instead of focusing on getting one sale now. Or saying hey I will give you 50% off if you want to promote for me on social media. I would be like no thank you, I got people to send me stuff for free all the time. That’s what I would be thinking if somebody came to me asking if I want 50% off deal. Also my second person I gave a free box of stuff to, I gave her 3 hats, a bitty boho bag, and a rattle- for free! Because those women are going to take pictures of their children wearing my hats, they are going to share about it on social media and then whenever they are wearing them throughout the year I am going to get tagged on social media because they are going to know she spoiled me- she sent me this gorgeous package with coloring sheets for my girls- it’s going to stand out in their minds as a good experience leaving a good taste in their mouth per say. So I am going to get promotions from them forever! It’s a good investment!
When you are just starting out- Wild Grace is brand spanking new! I have 75 Instagram followers, and all of them are crocheters that have found me on their own because I have not promoted Wild Grace at all. I would actually prefer NOT to have any crocheters following me over there just so it would be good numbers. I’ve had like two people come to and be like “it’s not really starting from scratch if you already have such a large following” and I’m like I don’t know what else you want me to do. I can’t make people not follow me, also it would beneficial for you to follow me because then you could see what I am doing on the business end- so I’m not going to tell you not to. I’m just going to not promote it and hopefully that will be enough. But 75 followers on Instagram, so I need to do anything I can to get the news out there about my new business. So giving out free products is one way I will be doing that.
Price what is true to your heart, and good for your ideal customer. Keep it fair for both of you. Do not worry what other people are pricing. You can look at other “competitors” for a range of things just so you can get a good idea of what would be fair- but don’t let it stress you out. Don’t think you will miss out on so much money, or that you will end up taking someones customers. Don’t worry, put on your blinders- focus on your business and your ideal customer and you will do great!
Do you still sell a paid pattern after you made a youtube tutorial which is free?
Yes I do! You can get the free pattern on my blog and my Youtube channel or you can get the paid version in my Etsy shop for $3. You can get it with or without photos depending on the pattern- like todays pattern I didn’t include the photo free one because there were only like 4 pictures. But if it’s full of pictures, like 50 pictures I will make a printer friendly version that you can get as well. The PDF’s are for people who want to support my business, for people who want to print them out and put them in their crochet binders that they use on a regular basis, people who don’t like to look at screens while they are trying to crochet, and for people who don’t always want to be on the internet when they are crocheting. Say you are going camping and you want to take your crochet with you. Maybe you just like to print it out and use a piece of paper, maybe looking on your screen gives you a headache. That’s why the $3 PDF version is available.
Did you always know what your niche was or did it take you awhile to discover?
I always knew I wanted to be like the business that had a niche, I just didn’t know what it was about them that I wanted. The first person that I like fan girled over for having a crochet business was “Southern Day Crochet”. I followed her back in 2014 and all she made was her southern style bows. She made bow clips, bow ear warmers and bow headbands and that’s all she made. She had different color combinations and she gave them each different names. In January of 2015 she had a bow made of some neutral creams and I said “Hey that should be called Champagne” and she took that and I fan girled forever! I told Gabe- she named it the Champagne bow because of my suggestion! Like it was the coolest moment of my life in 2015. I knew she was “the bow lady”, she was known for making bows. I wanted something that I made that was recognizable. I didn’t know that was a niche, I didn’t realize that I would have an ideal customer that would be attracted to that one thing. Like obviously someone who is going to buy little girls hair bows would have a little girl in their life. None of that clicked into place until after I got way into business.
I didn’t open my Etsy shop until 4 years after I started a crochet business. I opened my business in 2012 on Facebook, I didn’t open my Etsy shop until 2016 because I knew selling all of the things to all of the people in all the colors was not a business- I didn’t know why I knew that but I was like I can not open and Etsy shop and make a listing one for a shawl, one for a cowl, one for boot cuffs, one for Buzz Lightyear beanie, one for a nursery rug. I knew I couldn’t build a business around that so I didn’t open my Etsy shop. Also I thought other businesses on Etsy have 1 thing and I don’t have my one thing.
Then I did open my Etsy shop in 2016 with just my stuffies. My Mia Moo Moo and the Ava Bunny. That’s all I was going to sell! I had a banner for craft shows that had my stuffies all over it, all I was going to do was my stuffies. I had a graphic designer friend make me little images of each of my stuffies. I paid $65 to get 10 different stuffie designs drawn because I knew I was going to use them on everything. I knew I was going to be the stuffie lady. That’s what I was going to sell. I still didn’t know that I had an ideal customer, like someone who would buy stuffies but I did know that I was going to be know for just stuffies. That’s all I wanted to sell, all the different animals made in the same shape. None of them had tails none of them have arms, this was the shape that I would use to make all the animals.
So I was on the right path when I opened my Etsy shop, but I still didn’t know that I needed an ideal customer that would buy my stuffies and that I needed to talk to her directly. Then the messy bun phase hit and I was like UGH fine I will sell messy bun beanies. I didn’t want to at first because it wasn’t one of my stuffies and it didn’t match my brand but everybody was asking me for one so I was like freaking fine. I listed the Claire Bun Beanie and the rest is history. Everybody wanted the pattern after that then I started designing crochet patterns and selling them only and then it just snowballed from there. Now I have turned into crochet designer/ business strategist which is where I am at now and I no longer sell stuffies because I don’t have time to them. I have to make Addi beanies and then Julie makes most of my things. Which we may add Ava Bunnies this spring into Wild Grace. I think that would be be really fun, and I think my ideal customer would appreciate that!
It does take a lot of work to know your ideal customer. When I built Wild Grace (I have been building it forever, I have been building it in the background very very slowly.) but when I built Wild Grace from the very beginning I went in knowing my ideal customer and then I built products around her.
I knew that my ideal customer was most likely a millennial girl mom. She’s got 1 or 2 girls ages brand new to 4 years old. She drives some type of mid luxury vehicle, she cares very much about appearances and what people think of her. She never leaves her house without putting makeup on. She is very trendy, her house is decorated in whatever is the most popular at that time. She wants when people come over to think, wow her house is so pretty. She wants to think that with her girls, they are always dressed very cute.
That’s what I built for Wild Grace, and made products that would serve that person.
Is there any Bravo yarn that is similar to Yarn Bee blush and to I love this yarn linen?
No ma’am there is not. I have not found anything that is close to I love this yarn linen. I am using Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek Linen now but it is more gray than I love this yarn linen.
When my shop went viral and all I was selling was linen Claire Bun Beanies I was scared to death that if Hobby Lobby discontinued linen I would be out of business. So I have looked at a ton of different yarns and none of them are exact.
The only pinks that Bravo has is a blush pink , Sea shell which is like a neon coral, rouge which is a very dark pink, and I think that is it when it comes to pinks. They have a lot more fun colors than neutrals I would say.
When is Crochet Boss Academy opening and what is pricing?
I have lots to say about Crochet Boss Academy, all my current students know what is coming down the pipe for Crochet Boss Academy- but I have NOT announced it for everybody else yet. There are gigantic changes coming, good changes that will make it a higher quality thing for you guys! The price will be raised from what it was before, I would give you months and months before you would need to invest in it. I will put it on my to do list to get the info out to you sooner rather than later. I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to open the flood gate of questions I want to wait until I get a very clear easy to present my information to you guys so that I cover all my bases. It is coming, it’s just going to be a little while.
How do you find influencers?
Both of the girls that I sent stuff to are girls in my town who have little girls. They are two women who I feel are similar to my ideal customer. They also have gorgeous photography styles and influence in the community. Like other girls in this community think these girls are cool. That is why I sent them free things, because they can get me good pictures and people think they are cool.
I also sent some stuff to my friend who is in the next town over. I haven’t gotten pictures back from her just yet, but I gave her 2 beanies and a bitty boho bib for her little 2 year old girl. I look for people who are very similar to my ideal customer, and can take some good pictures, and have slight influence in the community.
You can also ask strangers on Instagram, I have done this multiple times. All I said was “Hey I love your feed, I love the colors of your nursery. I actually make rainbow rattles that I think would match really well. Would you be interested in exchanging free products for a shout out on Instagram and permission to use your photos?” That’s all I do.
I have sent it out, and I have gotten some “no callbacks” where they never said yes or no. But a lot of times they say yeah that’s so nice of you, thank you for thinking of us! Then I send them a well put together package. I think that’s important. You don’t just throw something together. You value their time that they are spending to help you grow your business.
To find them on Instagram I would look at hashtags. I would also look at influencers that your ideal customer might be following. For Wild Grace when I am bored I will get on Instagram and I look at #bohobaby and I look at people who have posted on #bohobaby and when I find a really pretty picture I click on it and go to that persons profile. Then I click on the “followers” button, to see the people who are following that account and I go through and like some of those peoples things and comment on their posts. If I find somebody that is smaller potatoes- I am not going to start with someone who has like 30k followers on Instagram when I have 75. I would start with someone who has 5k or less and message them. I personally have noticed when the accounts aren’t huge they care more about you and the free product you are giving them. So you are going to get higher quality content from someone with a smaller following in my experience. I am not saying everybody with higher followers wouldn’t give you high quality content, I am just saying they are more busy. If they have a huge following and they have a huge business they are running they are very busy. So usually the smaller following accounts will give you higher quality content because they feel honored to have been selected.
You definitely want to reach out to people who would be like your ideal customer, and that your ideal customer would be following that account. That’s the key. That way when they promote you, you will get an influx of followers that same day- and every time they tag you in pictures in the future.
What are something that you would do differently starting a business, knowing what you do now?
The very first thing I would do would be what I did with Wild Grace and that is finding your ideal customer and building your products around her-or choosing your products and then making up a person who all of those products would serve well.
Usually your ideal customer is someone similar to you or some version of you. My ideal customer for Crochet Boss Academy is people who were in my shoes in 2015. My ideal customer for Wild Grace is for someone who was kind of like I was when Ava was little. Some times your ideal customer is someone you think you are going to be in the future. I’ve got a couple Crochet Boss Academy students who sell baby things, and one of them is in collage and one of them just doesn’t have any kids yet. They want to have kids, that’s their goal to have kids but right now they are just young or it hasn’t happened for them yet- but they are already selling things to moms because they are thinking of that version of themselves in the future.
I would also pull back the reigns as much as possible. Just because something is trendy for a hot second doesn’t mean you should build your business around it, like Yoda babies or something like that. Claire bun beanies are a little different because it’s hat, a statement piece. It’s always going to be cold and beanies will keep your ears warm. I could build a business around claire bun beanies but I would probably add other things to it.
Just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean you have to add it to your shop. If you want to sell them as a seasonal thing and say I will only be selling these for a hot minute, that’s fine. I would say limit what you sell in your shop.
Wild Grace has 4 products that can come in 8 colors and that’s it. I have one listing for each color in each product and that’s my entire shop.
When I first started selling Claire bun beanies in 2016 I had 66 colors to choose from. I would go to Hobby Lobby and grab a few colors I hadn’t made yet and go home and make them. I would take pictures of them and list them in my shop. I would have ALL of the colors.
I think you should limit yourself if you are trying to grow a strong and long lasting business and brand. You should limit the products that you offer and then you should promote them regularly in a way that attracts your ideal customer no matter what season it is.
If I sold just Claire bun beanies, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner- I could take a picture of a Claire bun beanie, a chocolate bar and a rose and I could talk about how Claire bun beanies would make an excellent Valentine’s Day gift.
Instead of saying Oh what can I make now that it’s Valentine’s Day, you want to try and think of way to promote the things that you already sell.
Niche down, and find your ideal customer. By niche down I mean limit the things you make and sell in your shop.
Thanks for hanging out with me today, and for everyone who hung out live with me. I will talk to you later 🙂