Thursday, February 28, 2013

Find Your Passion- Crochet


What's the Passion: Crochet

Your Customers:
Crochet is a technique that can fit almost everyone's tastes.
New mothers who want cute props for baby photos, people buying for new mothers.
If you can write your own patterns then you'll have a large market of crocheters to sell too!

Price ranges:
The highest selling (actually being bought items) are in the $35-39 mainly baby photo props.
But the prices of baby props do range from $15-39.
Crochet patterns being the highest seller (numbers, not price wise) range in prices of $1-10
^This information is based on Etsy's research function by searching "crochet".

Etsy Market:
The most selling crochet items on Etsy is patterns- which makes sense because most Etsy shoppers are crafty anyhow.
There is a market for finished crocheted goods because not everyone can crochet, and not everyone has the time to crochet.
From what I see the biggest sellers are patterns, baby props (blankets, hats, etc); adult hats and scarves are also selling.

I'm guessing the reason items that are priced higher (blankets, clothing, etc) are not selling (as much or at all?) on Etsy because of the economy?
Those who make more involved crochet items may want to offer them on other markets, markets where the buyers are less crafty themselves.
^This information is based on Etsy's research function by searching "crochet".

When I search "crochet blanket" only patterns are selling.

Summer is great time to sell crochet "barefoot sandals". Fancy beaded, but comfortable versions would be great for summer and beach weddings! Also crochet bikinis, crochet cover ups, crochet wide brim sun hats.

Promotion Ideas:
*Learn to write patterns! At least that's what I gather from the Etsy market.
Also make baby crocheted items because adorable sells!! Of course that's a given.

One key is using the words "Hand-made by design" as opposed to home-made-- hear the difference? Market like you would anything else. Be proud of what you've done.

Offer basic colors, and basic color combinations for your main inventory. Most people stick with the norm when it comes to colors.
But also do colors that aren't usually made, but make less of these. Because there are quirky, cool people like us too.
Don't forget about the folks who like the darker, gothy, side of style too.

Different and new designs are great (think mohawk hats), geek related motifs are great (think video game characters and Dr Who, etc). But to capitalize also offer general patterns and motifs (think basic designs and shapes we're familiar with).

The corporate world does better with sales of crochet clothes, I think because they stick with basic clothing shapes, and colors.
Not too many people would wear a yellow and orange shirt.
See this site as an example of basic crochet clothing shapes etc

Be sure to think about sizes- petite and plus sizes tend to be ignored the most. I noticed this at a craft fair, an older larger woman liked the crochet shirt, but it wasn't big enough for her.

In the corporate world crochet shorts, swim coverups, sweater dresses all did very well last year and I believe will this year too.

It seems there is no way to "make a living" on selling finished pieces alone. If you design a few key pieces that are cute/beautiful/unique, easy to make in quantity and with a reasonably priced yarn, then you can turn a nice profit.
Besides that, a full-time crochet biz definitely would need to include designing and selling patterns and teaching crochet lessons/classes, or offering kits and other supplies.

Although fully crocheted items aren't selling due to high price (proper price due to labor involved), remember that crochet details on sewn clothing or decor can do really well in the market.
Just be sure to emphasize the hand-crocheted-ness as hand detailed or hand crafted/made {not home made}.

In depth research:
"Crochet Shorts" on Etsy Market
33% of sales $15-29 range
19% of sales $45-59 range
15% of sales $30-44 range
8% of sales $60-75 range : mainly bridal shrugs

"crochet top"
38% of sales $3-5 range- infant tube tops

Check out my Pinterest board for tutorials, examples of shops, and inspiration.

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