A business podcast just for crochet business owners where we learn how to grow your crochet business and set it up for success!
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.
To get better business should you ever redesign previous items using different yarn colors? [0:08- 2:40]
If you make a sticker in Canva, can you sell it? [2:41- 4:03]
Summer crochet make ideas? [4:04- 9:48]
Best free website starter? [9:49- 10:15]
Is it better to have a wide variety at a craft fair or multiples of few items? [10:16- 16:10]
How do you serve your ideal customer when you specialize in toys and stuffies? [16:11- 18:58]
Would I be frowned upon because of my age to start a small business? [18:59-21:15]
Is it too pushy to send an Etsy customer a message for a review once they have received their product as a reminder? [21:16- 23:56]
What if I can’t keep up with demand? [23:57-24:55]
Do you think teaching crochet classes for a small fee is a good idea? [24:56- 25:52]
What is a mission statement? Why and how did you niche down to boho baby? [25:53- 29:52]
I have been getting some really good questions from you guys today. So I am going to go ahead and pop up the question box and go through them with you all!
To get better business should you ever redesign previous items using different yarn colors?
I am not sure if she is talking about crochet patterns or selling finished pieces. I think she means crochet patterns.
I don’t normally do a lot teaching for crochet designers because my ideal customer are crochet sellers (people who sell their finished pieces.) I can offer a few tid bits here and there.
For this one I would say yes! Anytime that you can spice up an old pattern and repackage it and deliver it to your people in a new way- that is going to be better for you because that is less work on your end. You don’t have to spend time designing a whole new pattern, you can just spice up the ones you have already created.
What I do in my business is I like to share and repost old patterns when they are seasonally appropriate. This year I was pushing the Ava Bunny and the Doxie Chicken for Easter because they were seasonally appropriate. The Ava Bunny was released months ago, it wasn’t a new release or anything like that- it wasn’t a new pattern I was working on, it was an old pattern. I go all the way back! The bunny slippers is a very old pattern I was sharing.
To spice up the Ava Bunny pattern for Easter I made another one with Bernat Blanket Yarn, so it was a giant Ava Bunny and I made an Instagram Reel showing it off. So that is something I did just recently to spice up and old pattern, and repackage it in a new fun exciting way to people that is seasonally appropriate.
If you are a crochet designer I definitely suggest promoting your stuff all the time. Your old stuff, your new stuff. I think that is really important at the bare minimum to send out emails once a week promoting one of your older designs that is seasonally appropriate or like a list of your older designs that are seasonally appropriate. It’s just going to save you some work on your end, and also lead to some sales or blog traffic (however you have monetized your business. ) So yeah, less work equals happy Ashley!
If you make a sticker in Canva, can you sell it?
Yes you can! If you make your own design in Canva you can sell it.
There is a Canva FAQ section in the “Help” area where you can ask about copywriting. I’ve looked this up a long time ago and I can’t remember exactly what it said, but my understanding was that it was okay.
It’s okay to sell things that you make on Canva yourself. They don’t want you to take one of their templates that they provide. They don’t want me to say “look at these 10 Pinterest graphics templates I am going to sell these on Etsy as Pinterest Graphics!”
They don’t want people taking the free templates from Canva and trying to sell them to people who could be getting them for free.
If YOU design something on Canva, you can sell the thing you make from it.
Summer crochet make ideas?
This one is a good question.
You are going to want to think about who your ideal customer is first. You don’t want to throw a whole bunch of spaghetti noodles at the wall and see what sticks. You want to be strategic about the summer makes that you sell because they are going to serve your ideal customer in a very specific way.
If your ideal customer has young children, up to elementary age like 3rd grade and down, maybe the reusable water balloons. That might peek their interest, or serve them well because maybe their kid is allergic to latex and you can say this is a no latex option for water balloons! Maybe your ideal customer is super eco- friendly and you say this is reusable, no more one time use water balloons. Maybe their kid has a sensory issue and the rubber feel of the balloon just throws him for a loop and you say no these are really soft and squishy, perfect for kids with sensory issues.
So you want to figure out who your ideal customer is, then think about what she needs during the summer time. What is different about her lifestyle in the summer time that it is not the same during winter, fall, or spring?
Maybe you sell coffee sleeves in your shop and your ideal customer is a coffee-holic, and you sell sleeves that are for hot cups- maybe during the summer time you start selling iced coffee sleeves! I think the designs that have a bottom to it is for iced coffee and then the ones that is just like a slip on and off sleeve is for hot coffee. (I am pretty sure! Anna from @TheKnottyBoss told me that before, but you can ask her and she can tell you!) Maybe you start marketing iced coffee sleeves to her in the summer. Some benefits you can share about iced coffee sleeves could be- your hands don’t get ice cold while you are holding it. Your hands won’t get soaking wet while holding it.
Another thing you can market- maybe your ideal customer is a new mom and you sell things like baby beanies, but it is not winter time so your beanies are not selling. So what can you promote to the new moms who are having summer babies? Maybe you want to sell sole-less baby shoes. They are just those little pretty things wrapped around the baby’s feet. Maybe you sell the nylon headbands with the bow instead of the whole ear warmer style headband with the bow.
You are trying to serve your ideal customer for the season that is happening right now! Based on her lifestyle and what you already know about her during the winter or whatever season you sell to her really well, think about products do really well for you then figure out who is buying this product. Based off the feedback you have gotten from your customers, like your five star reviews, your DM’s, your custom orders, based on all this information you have been getting. What are people doing with the things that you sell? Is it fan wear for football games, is it mommy and me hats so they can match with their daughter, is it really super warm hats they can wear when they go skiing? So think about who buys your stuff in the winter, what stuff they buy and who it is that is buying it, then how can you serve them in the summer?
That is going to be more beneficial to you than selling random summer items in your shop. You want to be ideal customer specific if you are trying to grow a business.
If you are not trying to grow a business and crochet is just your hobby and you want to sell some fun summer things to anyone who will buy it and it is NOT a business I like- hanging plant holders, faux cactus, faux dangly plants, farmer market totes, Crafty Facial Rounds , Crafty Boho Earrings, Crafty Loop Earrings, glass bottle cozies, Popsicle cozies.
Best free website starter?
I am not 100% sure. I have never started a free blog. I immediately dived all in and was like I will give myself a year and see how it goes so I immediately had a paid blog. Taylor would probably know some free options, so you may want to ask her.
Is it better to have a wide variety at a craft fair or multiples of few items?
It would depend on your ideal customer. Most ideal customers I would think their brain would more attracted to multiples of the same item. Also if you are trying to build a business you don’t want to give people too many options because they are going to get freaked out by having too many options and then they won’t buy anything because they will be overwhelmed. Or they will say I will walk around and think about it and then they will not come back because they will be overwhelmed and you have given them too many options.
You want a product line that serves one ideal customer, and serves them really really well by solving some problem or raising their quality of life.
You want to have multiples in different colors specifically, but you want to have a color palette that is geared toward serving your ideal customer really well.
For my Wild Grace shop I have a boho neutrals kind of with a few pops of boho colors like spice, dark olive, and camel, because that is the color palette I have curated that I think my ideal customer will be pulled into like a magnet when she sees that stuff laying out. Those colors are going to grab her eye and pull her in. Those are going to be what her nursery is decorated in, they are going to be colors her daughter is already wearing, because my ideal customer buys a lot of clothes- a lot of matching clothes.
If you think about it, where do you shop? When you go shopping there are a bunch of different colors of the same shirt, or a bunch of different sizes of the same shirt. We like those things, they are easy to navigate. Or when you go to places like T J maxx where it is just one of everything, it is a little bit stressful compared to “these are the 5 shirts we have. What size do you need? Which color do you need?”That is a little bit more curated. If I am a regular Macey’s shopper then I like the style of clothes that Macy’s sells so they know that and those are the type of clothes they keep putting out every season. Whenever they put something new out, I am most likely going to like it because it will be similar to the previous stuff that I have already bought.
I personally would do multiples of the same stuff. I would have 5-10 different products (10 is on the high end!) but as long as they all serve your customer really well like in a strategic way. I wouldn’t have two of the same thing in different styles like I wouldn’t sell a Claire Bun Beanie and a Kate Bun Beanie because they are both Bun Beanies that will serve them in the same way. The Claire Bun Beanie is a little more classy and the Kate Bun Beanie is a little bit more funky. So instead of saying “Hey I have a classy option and a funky option, and each one comes in 10 different colors!” That is overwhelming for me to even speak about! Instead of having all these options I am going to think really hard about who is my ideal customer? Is she drawn more to classy things or more toward funky things? Then I am going to pick one of those styles, and pick a color palette that she will be pulled into like a magnet when she is walking around craft shows and she sees my table with these 5 neutral Claire Bun Beanies that I have and she’s going to come running. Her mind is going to be at peace when she comes to my booth because my colors are calming to her and it’s what she is used to having in her house, and she feels most comfortable when she is at her house, right. Her house is decorated in neutrals and I know this about her because she is my ideal customer and my products are geared towards her specifically.
I would limit the products that you offer, but offer multiple colors or sizes depending on what it that you sell. Like if you sell crop tops, lots of sizes would be good, but if you sell beanies- Adult and Child. That’s what I would do if it was me, unless you have a baby shop specifically. Then I would sell the baby sizes because they grow out of them so dang quick! I wouldn’t get too carried away with having a million sizes, I wouldn’t be like this is for a small adult and this is for a regular size adult for like a hat. For the most part they are stretchy, you should be able to make or come up with a design that fits most people. Then if someone comes up and says they have a really big head you can be like cool I have 5 hats that I set aside for my friends with really large heads, would you like to try one of these on? You don’t have to have those hats set out, you can have your regular fits most people and then if you hear them chatting with their friend or if they come to you and say yeah I have a really big head hats never fit me you can be like that is perfect I actually have some hats that were made a little bit bigger just for you! Would you like to try it on?
How do you serve your ideal customer when you specialize in toys and stuffies?
It depends on who you want to serve. You could serve adults if you sold nerdy or geeky style toys, and you could serve adults that feel nostalgic when they look at your things. Or adults who decorate their homes in these nerdy/geeky things, like there is a whole niche of these people out there.
Maybe you sell all your stuffies in pastel colors or they are more baby oriented, like you have closed eyes instead of the safety button so you can market it as baby shower gifts, or nursery decor, or a soothing lovely for your baby.
It depends on what you sell, and who you want to sell it to, and you get to choose these things.
One of my Crochet Boss Academy members sells amigurumi makes and she markets them as book buddies! She is a book lover and her entire business is built around her ideal customer being someone who wants to create a love for reading in her children’s lives.
Another member who sells amigurumi is marketing them as like a best friend, kinda like those American Girl Dolls. This would be the toy they can take with them everywhere, they can tell their secrets to them, they can push them in the swings, they can take them up in the treehouse like these are their child’s best friend. She is selling best friends, and they come with accessories, and stories!
There are lot’s of different ways you can sell amigurumi. The best thing that I have found is if your ideal customer is someone similar to you. Who you have been in the past, who you are right now, or a future version of yourself. She would probably have similar morals and values that you have. The more like you she is the easier it is going to be for you to talk to her because you guys have the same passion, you guys have the same value systems, you guys get pumped up about the same topics, you guys get upset about the same topic. So it would be easier to market to her, and create a product that would solve and issue in her life because that product solved a problem in your life.
Would I be frowned upon because of my age to start a small business?
The answer is no!
I have no idea how old you are, or how young you are, I don’t have any clue. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you could be 107 or you can be 7 years old, it does not matter.
It is never frowned upon, because it is your superpower! If you are not in the main entrepreneur age of like late 20’s to maybe late 50’s- but if you are like 80 years old starting a new business, that is your superpower. That is going to make you stand out so fast!!
If you are 7 years old and you are starting a business, that is your superpower. There is no limit to your age, there are some legalities for under 18 for like Etsy shops and stuff so if you are under 18 you might need your mom to sign off on some things for you but don’t ever let your age keep you from opening a business, or following your dream, or from serving your ideal customer because she needs you really bad.
Imagine if I thought oh I am 30 already I shouldn’t have an online business, that is for younger folks. Then everybody who I am able to serve through my business would go unserved! Everybody who follows me and is able to learn well from how I present information and the way I create resources, like the people who can resonate with the way my brain works would be completely unserved because I wouldn’t be in this job right now because I thought my age was a factor.
Your ideal customer needs you start your business and sell your things to them in a way that they are going to be best reached and served. They need you to do it like yesterday!
Is it too pushy to send an Etsy customer a message for a review once they have received their product as a reminder?
I personally don’t think it’s pushy. You want to keep it very conversational and keep to your business tone.
If your business tone is very high energy and fun and like hey girlfriend we are best friends, remember that tone when you are writing to your ideal customer.
I think it’s fine to ask like “Hey I saw that your Claire Bun Beanie was shipped, I hope that you love it. If you have any issues feel free to reach out to me, I am happy to help out in anyway that I can. If you have a minute and wouldn’t mind leaving a review I would absolutely love that, it does wonders for my business. Here is a link on how to leave a review in case you don’t know.”
I don’t think that is pushy at all.
Now if you came out and said “Hey I know your Claire Bun Beanie was shipped 3 days ago. I don’t know if you know this but I am struggling with a life long disease and my children (enter problem with the children) and your five star review would really make my day. If you can take the time out of your day to leave a review I would be ever so grateful!”
Do you hear the difference in the tones? The first one I am being helpful to you because I am reaching out to make sure you don’t have any issues with the product they got, and you are giving them an article that tells them how to leave the review. You are being helpful! The second one you are being very needy, everything was me, me, me. You have to keep everything that you do in your business benefits lead. Everything that you do, everything that you ask, everything that you promote lead with benefits. That is what will resinate with your ideal customer, and what is most important to them. At the end of the day generally humans just care about their own needs and the people closest to them like their children or their parents so leading with benefits is going to be your quickest way to see what you need to see what you need to see from that.
So keep your tone and the words you use in mind, but I think it is totally fine to reach out to them. Sometimes they might not even know there is an option to leave a review, you never know.
What if I can’t keep up with demand?
I highly suggest getting helpers! I did that in my business when my shop went viral in 2017 and it was amazing! I made high 5 figures that year in my Etsy shop and I was able to provide financial relief to my 9 helpers. Some of them were messaging me saying they were able to buy all their families Christmas presents with the money they made by helping me sell beanies in my shop! Some of them said they were able to pay off some bills like you are going to be able to help these other people that are helping you sell your things. If that makes sense!
One of these podcast episodes on my blog talks about how I reached out to them and how I found them. You can find it here!
Do you think teaching crochet classes for a small fee is a good idea?
Sure! I think that is a great idea! People have art classes all the time. If you are in a community where crochet classes is something your community would value and would enjoy doing I say go for it!
I think that would be super fun. Not for me because I don’t teach crochet, my ideal customer already knows how to crochet and I am just teaching her how to sell her finished pieces and giving her new patterns to try. They are beginner friendly, she can be fairly new at crochet but she’s got the basics down already- that’s my ideal customer.
So if you are teaching crochet your ideal customer might be a little different. So keep that in mind when you are marketing your crochet class invites to people, that will help you reach the right people that you want in there.
What is a mission statement? Why and how did you niche down to boho baby?
For Wild Grace my ideal customer is a millennial girl mom, who cares very much about what people think, she drives a mid-luxury SUV, she is very active on social media, her feed is highly curated, very pretty, her house is gorgeously decorated, she decorates for every season/holiday. This is who she is, she has 1 daughter maybe 2 daughters and her daughter is young like 6 months- 4 years old- that is where she is at right now in her season of life.
That is who my ideal customer is, and the reason I chose that ideal customer for Wild Grace is because that was a version of me. She is who I would like to be if I had style! I don’t have style, so it is really hard to curate a product line that will reach people with style, but I am very aware of that. So I reached out for help for someone to take photos for me because she has style.
I chose my ideal customer then I built my business around her for Wild Grace because that’s somebody that I think I can talk to easily, that’s somebody I think I can market to easily, and I can serve well through my products. I can let her know how each product is serving her.
So you get to make it up. You get to make up your ideal customer.
My favorite advice is either look at your top 3 best sellers and imagine just 1 perfect human being that would like all 3 of those products. Or think of the person you would like to spend your time with, because you want to like your ideal customer. If you don’t like her and she aggravates you all the time when you are serving her you will be aggravated and you won’t be happy. So you want to make sure she is someone you would like to be around, and someone you can talk to and engage on an emotional level with.
Maybe you have older children, and you want to talk to someone who has younger children because you have been there. Maybe you want to sell things for younger kids because your kids are older and you miss making things for younger kids. You miss the joy younger kids have when they get new toys for the first time or when they are having pretend play and you hear them having conversations with their toys and they are like using different voices and giving different scenarios- you miss that as a mom of older kids. So that is why you built a business around a mom of younger kids, because you were there and now you miss it and you are a little bit of an expert because you already walked through that season of life so maybe that’s why you are able to serve that ideal customer.
Maybe you are a die hard spots fan and your whole family is surrounded by watching a specific sport, like basketball season is your favorite season ever and you guys get super pumped and it brings you joy. It brings your whole family joy and when you watch your sons or daughters cheering on their favorite team or yelling at the tv you just get so happy inside knowing they are so passionate about something. So you want to reach out to other sports fanatics and you want to sell sports fan things.
Try to think about who you would like to serve, who you would like to spend some time with, like imagine you physically spent time with these people on a regular basis- imagine that and think about how you could serve them through crochet products.
Thank you guys for hanging out with me tonight! Thank you for asking amazing questions! Have a fantastic rest of your day, I will see you in your inbox for Wrap Label Wednesday!