A business podcast just for crochet business owners where we learn how to grow your crochet business and set it up for success!
Press play to listen to episode 9!
INSIDE THIS EPISODE
Welcome [0:00- 0:14]
What do you do when the thing you hate to make is your best seller? Do you limit the size of orders? [0:15- 5:47]
How to adjust a pattern to a different size yarn? [5:48- 8:02]
How to correctly market knitting machines? [8:03-13:00]
How much to make for Market Prep? [13:01- 17:31]
What is the Etsy SuperStar Program? [17:32- 23:38]
How to start designing my own crochet patterns? [23:39 – 27:38]
How do you build an audience when you have a full time job? [ 27:39 – 31:54]
How do you find time for market holiday prep/ custom pieces? [31:55- 36:33]
How to get my items in a consignment shop? [36:44- 42:46]
What essentials do you recommend for a new shop owner? [42:57- 43:37]
How to get seen on Etsy in an oversaturated market [43:38- 57:07]
Hello, hello, welcome to our first Tuesday Talk in a very long time! I am so glad you guys are here to hang out, ask some questions, and learn about some business-y things!
What do you do when the thing you hate to make is your best seller? Do you limit the size of orders?
I have a few different options for you! First thing I would suggest is raise your prices! If you are getting an unbelievable amount of orders, that usually means your prices are too low. I would look up that same/or similar item in other shops, not just crochet shops, to see what their prices are. Then be on the higher end of the range of those prices, and that will help slow down the orders.
Another thing you can do is offer restock, where you will make as many of those as you want in the timeframe that you want. Restock them, and say hey there are 10 of them that went live today- when they are gone I will not be restocking them until next week. This way you are making them on your own time and you restock them as ready to ship pieces and don’t take “made to order” anymore.
Another thing is to remember why you started selling crochet pieces in the first place. Why you have a business. Is your product really benefiting your customers? Imagine if your customers had really thick hair and you made a Claire Bun Beanie with an extra large hole in the top specifically for thick hair sisters. Then those women with thick hair who can never find hats to fit them, but you make hats specifically for thick haired women and they got to be apart of a trend. They would feel heard and represented, and that is something you did through your shop. So that would be something you can look back on that you are doing something good for these people through the things that you are selling.
Or maybe you are supporting your family and that is what gets you through the mundane-ness of making the same thing over and over. You know every time you make a sale you are getting closer and closer to your goal of Disney tickets, for paying off your house, for retiring your husband- what your goal is, whatever your “why” is for your business, remember that. Say it everyday when you wake up to get you in that mindset.
If you are taking in a lot of negative energy like on social media on a daily basis that could be mentally draining you. Make sure you are only following people who inspire and uplift you.
How to adjust a pattern to a different size yarn?
I am a very weird crochet designer, I don’t do things like most crochet designers. I am 100% trial and error, I have to make something 15 times before I get it right. I am sure there are ways to math it, and Taylor would have better information on that. She is the complete opposite of me and she can do sizing and stuff by doing math. My brain just does not work that way!
For me, if I wanted to make a pattern with a different yarn and hook size, I would have to just try it!
Typically if you want to make amigurumi pieces and you want to try a thicker yarn- I made a Gracey Doll with blanket yarn and she is huge! For amigurumi you want to use a smaller hook then what is recommended on the yarn. Go down a few hook sizes, just to make sure your stitches are really tight. If you get started and it is really hard on your hands, or too hard to get your hook through, just frog it and go up 1 hook size. That is my advice because that is exactly what I would do.
How to correctly market knitting machines, to not offend anyone?
The best thing to do for knitting machine made items when you are posting them on Etsy, I wouldn’t use the phrase “hand knit”. I would say “knit beanie” because that is the truth.
I would be very transparent! Everything that I do at A Crafty Concept is transparent, because that is who I am as a person.
If you talk about it from a positive light, and not a shy/scared point of view and you are like I got this knitting machine and now I am able to crank out more orders in a day, I perfected my tension- things like that. Talk about how you are still making these items BY HAND you are just not hand knitting them. They are two different crafts. Just like crochet and knit are different, machine knit and hand knit are different crafts.
Just talk about it from a positive light. You will tell people who to respond to you, by your tone, actions and mannerisms. If you are posting negative or unconfident things like “I whipped up this turban style headband on my knitting machine. I know it’s not hand knit but it’s the best I can do. I don’t know how to knit. What do you think?”
That is a WAY different tone than- “Look at this new awesome headband I just cranked out with my knitting machine! Isn’t it beautiful!”
You need to talk and present yourself with a tone that you want people to see you and respond to you. If you want a positive response you need to have a positive message. That needs to be your tone across your business all the time.
How much to make for Market Prep?
I would teach market prep a little different than others, but if you are trying to grow a crochet business that will stand the test of time. Your full time crochet business- your goal is building a brand into this business so it is something you love and can do for a long time- my answer for you will be different than if you are a hobbiest.
If this is your business, my answer would be:
I would everything single thing that you do as an opportunity to grow your business. Your Etsy shop should be set up to grow your business. Everything you post on social media. So your markets, and market displays need to be set up to attract your ideal customer like a magnet so you can turn them into a true fan of your brand. Even if she is not able to purchase anything that day, she will take a business card and sign up for your email or follow you on social media so you still have the opportunity to turn her into a true fan. This is the mindset we have to get in for markets.
When it comes to how much stock to bring, I would limit what you have to offer. I would have a curated product line and a curated color palette. In my Wild Grace shop I have 4 things that I sell in the same 8 colors.
So if I sold Claire Bun Beanies at markets I would make multiples up in the color palette I chose. I would make up 10 in Linen because that is always my best selling color, and then make 6 in the next color. You don’t have to make the same exact amount in each color! You want to make more in your best selling colors, and at least 1 of each of the colors that you offer.
If you are in a hurry and the market is last minute my advice would be different.
Every item you have at your market should be products that you curated specifically for your ideal customer.
What is the Etsy SuperStar Program?
The SuperStar badge on Etsy means you answer all direct messages within 24 hours, you get 5 star reviews, and you ship items out on time.
These are 3 qualities we want in Etsy shops! We want fellow Etsy shop owners to get their items out on time and get 5 star reviews! These are good business practices to make sure you are always doing.
If you are getting a lot of the same questions in your inbox you can create saved responses to be able to respond to those frequently asked questions in the blink of an eye!
As of now, having the starseller badge does not help you show up in search, and that is what really matters is showing up in search. The badge is not needed to make sales, so I would not loose sleep if you do not have it. I would strive to answer all direct messages in a timely manner, and ship out all items on time just to make sure you have a successful well balanced business.
How to start designing my own crochet patterns?
(Question continued- I have a lot of sketches of crochet items that I want to make, and my husband says I should design my own patterns.)
I would like to refer you to Taylor and Sierra’s Pattern Design 101 E-Course! You can use my affiliate link to enroll in their course here! They walk you through step by step of all the things you will need to know. If you click the link above it will take you to their class page that will show you an overview of everything that is included before you enroll so you can see if it is something that would benefit you!
How do you build an audience when you have a full time job?
My best advice for that would be pre-plan as much of your content as you can! If you only get sunday evening to yourself, maybe that is the set day/time you take to make all your social media posts for the week. You can have them all saved as drafts or use a site called Trello it is a free site and that is what I use to save and organize all my instagram captions.
Batch working will help you grow your audience and help you stay consistent. You want to stay consistent- that is KEY!
Make a schedule like posting 3 times a week and stick to it. If you find yourself making more posts in one day if you get extra free time, don’t post them just draft those posts up and save them for later! That way you can stay consistent.
Another thing to help you grow is by serving your audience well! Everything that you do should be in the mindset of serving your ideal customer very well! That it why it is important to niche down, find out who your ideal customer is and build your product line around that person. Make sure your tone and energy you put off is something that would pull her in like a magnet.
How do you find time for market holiday prep/ custom pieces?
To-do lists help me! You can also pre-plan- say you want to have your products drop on a Friday like a restock. I would plan out a task that you need to do everyday 5-7 days before that restock date like send out emails, draft the listings, that way everyday you are only doing 1 small tasks that will lead up to the 1 big task/event.
Try and break up those big events by doing short/small tasks to help build and prepare for it so when that day comes it is not overwhelming for you.
Prioritize yourself as much as you can! Look at your schedule and see if there are any spots that you can squeeze in a little more work time.
I personally like to use a planner because if I put it on my phone I will get a notification and I will get distracted. I like a paper planner, but that is my own personal preference. You can grab the planner I designed on Amazon!
How to get my items in a consignment shop?
My advice would to make it as easy as possible for the shop owner to say yes to putting your product in their shop. You can let them know that you will have all your products tagged, you will provide your own displays, etc. You want to make it as easy as possible and give them all the information up front so it makes it easy for them to say yes!
Physically go in to the stores and show them your product in person! Let them know how or why your products would be perfect for their customer base. Let them know you will promote your items at their shop on your social media.
Figuring out the payment situation is probably the most difficult because it’s different for each owner/store.
Typically for wholesale things they are 50% off the retail price. So if I was selling Claire Bun Beanies for $30, if I sold them wholesale they would be $15. The person buying them at wholesale would sell them in store for retail ($30).
The pro to selling consignment is you get all of your money up front. So you won’t have to try and sell each item on your own, you make it all for the shop and they handle selling it 🙂
If you are trying to build your own brand and business I don’t think wholesale is the way to go. Most likely the store you are selling to will want to brand your items as their own. So if that bothers you, wholesaling probably isn’t for you.
If you just love crocheting and not worried about branding this is perfect for you!
What essentials do you recommend for a new shop owner?
I recommend watching my “Is selling on Etsy worth it?” youtube video because I go over all the things you should have to set you up for success.
I would recommend getting poly-mailers, a scale, and a printer. All this stuff I go over in the video so definitely check that out! 😉
How to get seen on Etsy in an oversaturated market?
I am a firm believer that oversaturation is a myth. It is something other people say to scare off people from opening up shops because they think those new shops will take away their customers.
You are a unique human being. The way we see the world is different. The words we use are different. So the things you do and say will attract a different person then the people that I attract.
Even if we did an experiment where we made the same exact thing- the way you take photos and I take photos will be different. The way you come up with search terms is going to be different then how I find them. Your descriptions are going to different then mine. How you promote your items will be different. Your tone will be different. Because of all of that we will attract two different type of people!
Also people don’t just buy one pattern or one product. They buy from different companies/brands!
Your ideal customer needs YOUR product!
That is it for this Tuesday Talk! Taylor has our next one in our Ash & Tay Facebook Group so be sure to hang out with her there!