So happy to announce a new addition to Dear ELK Studio! Are you interested in turning your crochet hobby into a business? Lorene, from Cre8tion Crochet, and I would love to help you. We had our first Crochet Business Chat Live session this past Monday and had a great time. Several people joined in and had great business questions about the crochet industry.
Every Monday at 11:00 cst, Lorene and I will meet you in my ELK Studio Crocheter’s Group. All you need to do is click the events tab at the top of the group page and find us. If for some reason you can’t make it, don’t worry. I’ll be creating this blog post with our chat notes weekly to catch you up!
Listed below are the questions and advice given from me and Lorene:
1. I’ve been selling here and there per order by family and friends and I was considering making a Facebook page or opening a shop on Etsy. What would you say the first steps are or some important things to take into consideration?
- Establishing a business Facebook page is a good start to begin getting your name out there. If someone wanted to buy from you from your FB page, you can sell via Etsy or PayPal and just send them an invoice. Look at the thread of Lori’s and see the comments about driving sales to Etsy.
Make sure you do not sell through your personal Facebook page because they (Facebook) can and will shut you down. Open a business page of your own.
Be very careful with your prices from the start. Do not under charge!
- When you are selling local, you may need to consider your area (still not under charging) but take a look around Etsy and find products comparable to yours.
My perspective: The advice given on this question is a good place for someone wanting to branch out. You want to already have in mind some sort of direction and path for your business. I see too many times people getting into the crochet business without any real direction. Remember the keyword is BUSINESS here. I know it’s a great way for stay at home moms to earn some extra money, but it’s still a business and needs to be conducted as such. Find out the Facebook rules for sharing and getting people to “like” your page. Facebook is making many changes and baiting people to “like” your page is something frowned upon. You can read this article HERE for more information.
2. I have a lot of books that show how to work a “pattern” stitch, like an arcade stitch. If I’m using a pattern stitch from a book, would I be able to use the instructions for that specific stitch in a pattern that I write, or would I need to reference the source of the stitch and then provide the instructions for my specific use of the stitch?
- Stitch patterns are not copyrighted. However I use my own wording because that is what my followers are used to. You do not need to site the source for the stitch if you use it IN a design.
- If you are selling finished items than you don’t ever have to give anyone credit, though it is nice when people do give the designer credit, it is not mandatory.
- Take, for example, the design in the picture below. This was a stitch pattern I found, but I made a pattern with it… so there is a lot of different information besides just the stitch. Stitch patterns are the same as a dc, or sc… etc
My perspective: Stitch patterns, designs, copyright law, infringement….Oh how confusing sometimes. If you want in the crochet business, then know this stuff. Research what you can use, what legally right and decide what is morally right too. This topic could be an entire blog post of its own, but I’ll give you one designer’s perspective and how it affected her. Read what Kim Guzman has to say about it.
3. I have an Etsy shop and blog set up in my business name, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Should I concentrate on one over the other right now, and if so, which would you recommend? I also have my Facebook business page and want to get myself more out there in social media too. I just don’t know where to start.
- Before you get yourself out there… you need to have a product. There is nothing more detrimental than inviting people to like your Facebook page or follow your blog if you don’t have anything there for them to see.
- I have found that blogs are not that helpful for selling finished items, although they are great for pattern designers. (This is from Lorene’s personal experience). We aren’t say that it can’t be done but it just may take longer for success.
- Focus now on building up stock, taking great images, and posting them on your business Facebook page. Once you have a decent amount of posts of items for sale then start to promote your page.
- Do not promote your crochet product in crochet groups… crocheters do not buy crocheted goods. (At least most of them don’t).
My Perspective: Remember, social media isn’t just Facebook! It’s Pinterst, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Does that sound exhausting? It can be at times but it will be the key to your success. You need multiple ways to reach your audience and what works for Facebook may not work for Instagram. Each social media site draws in potentially a different audience. You need to learn how each works. (That’s an entire different blog post too).
Lorene has great Crochet Business advice on her site too. Go check it out!
There were other questions listed with great answers from me and Lorene, but these were just a few to get you started. Do you want to join the Crochet Business Live Chat? Don’t miss out! The next one is scheduled Monday, October 27th at 11:00 cst. Click HERE to join the group!
Hope to see you there!
Kathy and Lorene