Your Crochet Business in the New Year

by Alison Stapleton

If you have a micro crochet business the New Year is always a good time to plan your growth and direction for your venture.

It is at the turning points each year, and for most of us that is the start in January, that you can assess what you hope to achieve in your crochet business for the next twelve months.

You can also do a review of how things went during the past year before you start the plan for your new year in crochet.


Questions for You

Ask yourself the following questions and they will help you find your path in the New Year.

These can be answered towards the end of December each year as your business naturally slows down after Christmas.

Personally I do this in the week between Christmas and New Year. I take these seven days off from the main business of selling and interacting with my clients.

I spend this time with my family and friends. But there are now hours in front of the TV and this is when I consider what I’m doing and where I’m going.

With your crochet journal in hand consider the next 365 days of your crocheting life.


In the New Year

What will you do more of?

What will you do less of?

Who will you partner and collaborate with?

Which yarns will you choose?

Which items will you continue to make?

Which items will you never make again?

Do you need a better hook?

Do you want to do more designing?

Will you start a square-a-day blanket?


Honesty

Be honest. Write it down you can always go back and change things later.

You can use your crochet journal to capture your thoughts and plans for each new Year.




The 3 Types of Crocheter

by Alison Stapleton

Are you the type of person who only has cable TV in your home so you have to watch adverts and a canned newsreel?

Do you ever buy the specialized channels and perhaps pick up the BBC or the science channel even though you have to pay for them?

How about Netflix? Would you pay $8 a month for a vast array of movies and no commercials?

Value

You can see straight away if you appreciate the value in paying for something, over getting it for relatively nothing (but with strings – the ads).

Value is the difference between what a casual crocheter, or hobbyist crocheter and a professional crocheter provide.

You can get a crocheted hat at your dollar store for $1, or you can pay $30 for a similar hat at the mall, or you can pay $75 for a well-known designer hat.

But the expensive hat probably does the same thing, it keeps your head warm and looks trendy, or does it?

If you can see the value in buying better things, made with better materials and crafted in a better fashion, and having good, or even the best things in your life that you can afford, why would you settle for the bottom of the range?

Do you choose basic or do you want something else?


The 3 Types of Crocheter

There are three types of crocheter; the casual crocheter, the hobbyist crocheter and the professional crocheter. Each of the three types can be clearly defined if you look at how they handle money and value

You can see which type of crocheter you are by reading below.


The Casual Crocheter

The casual crochet is where we all start when we begin to crochet. You start with one hook and a ball of yarn. Over time you make things and you enjoy the process. That’s why you do it.

You may leave crocheting for a time and then come back to it. There is no pressure to complete things it is simply a leisure activity.

As a casual crocheter you:

  • Buy your own yarns
  • Pick and choose what to make as it takes your fancy
  • May use the finished item yourself or
  • Give it away to someone as a gift
  • No money changes hands and you do not make a profit

The Hobbyist Crocheter

If you are a hobbyist crocheter you buy your own yarn and make items or garments. These items can be to order if say, your sister wants a hat just like the one you are wearing.

You buy the yarn and make the hat and your sister gives you money to cover the cost of the yarn, and perhaps also covers minimum wage (around $8.50 and hour) for the labor (this is “for your time”), or your labor is free.

Your sister pays you, but it just about covers the yarn and maybe an hourly rate.

As a hobbyist crocheter you may barter your skills and maybe make a hat to swop for babysitting your kids on Saturday night or some other trade off.

If you are a hobbyist crocheter you:

  • Do not advertise or promote that you crochet
  • Make a few crocheted items each year
  • Sometimes you get reimbursed for the costs
  • Make things at cost
  • Get a nominal amount “for your time”
  • Barter crochet for other services or goods

Although some people will give you money (and you may tell yourself you are in “business”) you are not in business, and you do not make a profit.


The Professional Crocheter

The first two types of crocheter (casual and hobbyist) are entirely different to the professional crocheter.

As a professional crocheter you are in it to make money and not just cover the cost of the yarn and your time.

You keep accounting books and know what it has cost you and what you have taken in each day or month.

At the end of the month you have profit. The money that you have over when you have paid for your overheads (computer, phone, advertising, materials, postage etc. and your labour costs) and all business related items is your profit.

You are a professional crocheter if you:

  • Have a crochet business name
  • Have your own crochet business cards
  • Own your crochet domain name (YourCrochetBusinessName.com)
  • Run a current website and post every week
  • Promote to all social media channels that work for you (examples: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram)
  • Have a growing mailing list of clients and potential clients
  • Have a fan base of readers, clients and followers (weak fan base = less than 200 fans, medium fan base = less than 2000 fans, strong fan base = more than 2000 fans)
  • You know your niche, stay in it and own your niche
  • You know who you are (and who you are not), what you do (and what you don’t do) and can recite your elevator pitch in less than thirty seconds and under one hundred words
  • Have multiple income streams from your crochet business
  • Buy yarns carefully (wholesale and online) to maximize profit
  • Price your goods fairly for wholesale, retail and your custom work (bridal etc.)
  • Have a crochet business plan for the next 12 months
  • Use an editorial calendar
  • You keep financial records (this can be as simple as money in vs. money out)
  • Your income covers your business costs (web hosting, printing, labels, postage etc.)
  • You make a profit each month and each year (of course this profit can be small but it is still a profit)

 

Do not confuse yourself between a hobbyist crocheter and a professional crocheter. This is why hobbyists charge so little for their garments it is because they can.

A professional crocheter is in business to feed their family and will charge more because they typically have a much large setup and can provide continuity in their items and inventory.

 


Your Year in Crochet – A Review

by Alison Stapleton

Your End of Year Review

As the year comes to an end it is a great time to see where you are in your crochet micro-business and do a review.

Looking back over the highlights of your year can help you plan for the next twelve months.

In December there are often many things going on both in your private life and in your business life.

If you have a small crochet business make time to look back at the year your have just lived and see how you have improved since January.


Take a break

For us Christmas is a time for family so I like to rest and spend my time with my husband and family.

I like to take a break from my crochet business in the week between Christmas and the New Year.

This week is also a slow time for business and many customers have switched off and are doing the same.

But in December before The big day hits us there is time to look back at the year that just passed

Keep records

Running a micro business does mean you have to do some paperwork. In your notebook on January 1st list the numbers of:

    • Your business bank balance
    • Cash on hand
    • Completed items not sold yet (as a dollar value)
    • Your social media presence; Facebook page fans, Twitter followers, Pinterest followers and Instagram followers etc.
  • Your mailing list subscribers

These are all numbers that should grow every year.

Social media

Not all social media works for everyone. You may find you got into Facebook early on and you simply love it and maybe you have not yet explored Pinterest or Instagram. If one of your social media channels is doing better than another I suggest you drop the weaker one.

It is better to do one or two things well than do many things poorly.

I have concentrated on Instagram in the past year. I expect the time I spend on social media is much the same but I have developed a better understanding of how Instagram works.

In the next year I may try to understand another social media channel as we don’t know what will be the next big thing.

Time

You only have one or two hours a week for administration of your business. That means:

    • Website maintenance (clearing spam and general updating)
    • Buying stationery (bags for your items, tags and labels)
    • Invoicing and emails with customers
    • Maintaining your Etsy or other online store
  • Going to the post office to post your sales

Limit the time you spend on maintenance and put more time towards creating.

100% of your time

You don’t spend all your time doing crochet. You may have one or even two other jobs, but of all the time you have available to put towards you micro craft business it represents 100% of. your time.

Your hours available could be 5, 10 or 40 hours a week. For some of you it will be 50 plus hours a week.

How much time do you spend on your micro business was each week?

A percentage of your available time can be put towards your micro business. Whatever that time is, it represents the full amount of the time.

If you have a day job you will have less time each week for your micro business.

If you are a stay-at-home Mom your will likely have time in the day, but it may be in small chunks as your day unfolds and the kids nap and play.

There could be half an hour in the early morning as you have that first cup of coffee before your wake you family and the day begins.

There could be 15 minutes as you sit in the car and wait for the kids to come out of school.

There is likely to be time after dinner when you catch up with your family on their day or in front of the TV at night.

Weekends can be very different as your family has other needs and demands on your time.

I like to crochet in the park on a Saturday afternoon. I may take my notebook and sketch as well but it is a time for ideas and shapes to form. I can also jot some pattern ideas and diagrams in the fresh air. I have a notebook for creative ideas and buy a new one each year. I like the Moleskine A5 size with plain (no lines) pages.

On Sundays I take it easier and will try new stitches and yarns that I have not used before. I call it my free crochet time. I’m still with a hook in my hand, but I leave my weekly projects and try something new. It keeps my mind fresh and open to new things.

Have a good look at your day and find the time in hours, half-hours and fifteen minutes slots. Then add it all up.

Once you know your available time each day in hours you can calculate how much time you should spend on each activity.

How to use the time available

Of the 100% available time you can break it up as follows:

    • 5% maintenance
    • 15% business promotion on social media
    • 20% writing your blog, books and articles
  • 60% crafting and creating your goods

If you let your creative time slip to less than half of your time available, you can lose the magic. Always keep your creative crochet time to more than half of your available time.

Weekdays are different to weekends.

If you make your crochet in the evening when you are watching TV do the social media and promotion at the weekends.

This method makes sense if you have a day job as you may be weary after your day at work. And if you have kids to look after there can be quiet times in the evening after the kids have gone to bed.

Preserve your creative time

Preserve and reserve your creative time. As it is what you love and the creative work soothes. Keep doing to creative work this is important.

Don’t let the running of your micro-business rob you of your love of crochet as this is what got you started in the first place.

A Little Exercise for You

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help you fine tune your motives for doing the crochet in the first place and the reasons that you will continue to do so next year (or not).

You have to be honest with yourself and the answers will help you discover your inner drives and show a reason to continue.

Running a micro-business is not for everyone. To have a crochet micro-business may be something that you have done for a couple of years.

You may find that the need has passed and you can go back to just crocheting the odd item as it takes your fancy, without the pressure to craft at a high standard suitable for resale.

Ask Yourself

How do you feel about having to make goods on demand instead of whatever takes your fancy as before?

How many sales (by item) did you have this year?

Did you make any money? Did you lose money? Do you even know?

Did you like doing it?

Will you continue next year or will you choose to let your dream of having a crochet micro-business go?

Did the crocheting make you happy?

Do you complain all the time about weak sales or lack of sales?

Do you resent having to constantly be thinking about this business?

Who are you doing it for, yourself, your partner, your mother-in-law?

What are you doing it all for, money, status, independence or respect?

Are you looking forward to a prosperous New Year?

Next Year

We will have a look at your next year’s crochet micro-business goals in another post.


You may also like:


Own Your Niche

by Alison Stapleton

Own Your Niche

Your niche is the special segment in your industry that you know well and where you are skilled.

In the large world of craft, crochet is a section of craft. Hats are a section of crochet in crafts. Baby hats are a section within hats in crochet and in crafts, and writing patterns for baby hats, in hats, in crochet, in crafts is a niche.

Your niche is the place where you are good and can do, whatever it is. You could call it a passion and if you can – then you know.

Millions of people craft and thousands of them crochet. Many individuals make hats, some folks make baby hats and a few of them write patterns for baby crochet hats.

Maybe you make crochet baby booties and that is your niche. Perhaps you create amigurumi animals and that is your niche. Or you produce cotton bohemian tops and that is your niche.

Your niche is not only the actual item it can be the type of crochet

You may be a specialist in tunisian crochet, Irish crochet or filet crochet. Perhaps you only work on freeform crochet like hyperbolic crochet and the Mobius. These are examples of techniques that could be your niche and you may make various items within these segments.

Your niche is the thin area within your main industry where you excel.

How to find your niche

Look at your stash

Do you have many yarns? What thickness of wool and cottons do you have? Only thin or only chunky yarns? Only natural fibres or some acrylics?

What is your colour palette? Do you mainly have brights, darks or pastels. Or maybe only neutrals? Which colours appeal to you? Are you a fan of variegated yarns?

My stash is very different to your stash and your stash will be different again to the next woman. Individuality is shown by the type of yarn and colour combinations in your stash.

What do you usually make when you crochet?

Blankets, scarves, doilies, kids stuff, bags or what?

What about size? Is your work often in little projects that can be finished in a day or big afghans that take a month to complete or are they something in between?

How about the methods you use. Do you work top-down so you never have to sew seams? Do you do circles and work in-the-round, or squares like granny squares or log cabin? Are you likely to create projects with tonal stripes like light blue, mid blue and dark blue or color blocks? Do you love intricate stitch patterns or plain repetitive stitches?

By a simple consideration of what you normally buy in yarns (as shown by your stash) and what you usually make (in item) and the techniques your employ all suggest the direction of your niche.

Your niche

If you can say “I make baby hats in natural cotton which I market online,” or “I specialize in lacy wedding shawls which I sell to local bridal boutiques,” then that is your niche.

Bear in mind that you niche may be wide for example, if you crochet kids fun clothing in primary acrylics, then that is your niche..

Your niche does not have to be narrow but it typically becomes so. Over the years you may slip into making a certain thing in a particular yarn with the same hook for a definite market.

Embrace your style and hone your skills to become the best within your niche.

Take ownership and own your niche.


Know Your Dream Customer

by Alison Stapleton

You start to crochet the day you pick up your first hook (the day before that you had never held a hook and knew not of this captivating craft).

From that day onwards (we shall call it Hook Day) you can say you are a crocheter to some degree.

Although it may take weeks, months, years (or never) for you to turn your crocheting into a micro-business.

When you decide to set up in a crochet business there are many things to think about before you get-going and start to sell, because selling something is what being in business is all about.

You may produce crocheted goodies, designs or your skills or a combination of these options. It depends on you and what interests you enough to keep you going through the early tough days of your business.

Your Dream Customer

I used to think that my dream customer was anyone who bought my stuff. Maybe you think this too, but take that thought another step forward and tune into who exactly your dream customer is and could be.

If you know who your dream customer is, it is one way to decide on the thrust of your creative and promotional effort. This is important as we, as crocheters, only have so much creative effort each day and it is best not to waste it.

They say you can make more money but not more time and this is very true for creative types which I’m sure you are as you are reading this article.

You need to work out whether you will sell:

  • Crochet supplies bought wholesale
  • Your handmade crochet goods
  • Your own crochet patterns 
  • Crochet classes that you teach
  • Crochet books and videos
  • Kits for beginners with a hook, yarn and pattern
  • Other – because you never know

If you are going to sell your hand-made crochet goods like hats and scarves you can sell them:

  • By word of mouth and thus in your local neighbourhood only.
  • At a local shop (kids shop or kitchen store for example) – locally
  • At craft fairs – locally and regionally
  • Through an online shop like Etsy – globally
  • On an auction site like eBay – internationally
  • Other ways you can think of

If you are going to sell digital goods like patterns, eBooks or videos there is no choice, like above with your actual physical crochet hats and scarves, you will sell your digital products online and globally to an international market.

This means all of these types of items need to be very clear and use standard crochet terminology and easily understood by all.

Your Dream Customer has two facets

The thing is, who is your customer and more importantly where is your customer.

There are four areas in where your customers are found:

  • Locally – In your neighbourhood where you can walk, cycle, bus or take a cab to reach them and you sell face-to-face
  • Regionally – In your area around 200km tops and it takes a bus or car ride to get there and you sell face-to-face
  • Nationally – in your country – you send the goods by post in the mail
  • Internationally – Anywhere in the world and you send the goods by post in the mail

It depends again who they are:

  • Individuals
  • Businesses (shops and retailers)
  • Wholesalers (who buy in bulk and sell to retailers)

Examples of who is, and where to find, your dream customer

Your dream customer may:

  • Live in your neighbourhood
  • Live near regional craft shows where you have a stall
  • Live in your country and buys one item for personal use and to give to friends.
  • Live anywhere.  Likes your style, your goodies and your message.

It may take some time for you to decide who your dream customer is. But the benefits to you of this simple exercise are immense in saving time, money and effort. Not to mention the agonising over why things are not working if you are pitching to the wrong people or madly crocheting things that they don’t want.

“When you know who your customer is it tells you where to expend your creative and promotional effort.”

If you have an online store

There is no point making twenty winter hats if you live in a warm place unless you have an online store selling to cold areas like, north America, Canada or northern Europe and you sell winter hats all year round.

If you have an online store you can sell all items both physical and digital all the time.

If you sell locally or regionally

There is no point in stockpiling multiples of the same item if they are not selling.

Be aware of seasonal changes (summer and winter) and adjust your stock of made-up items to suit. Don’t carry winter hats through the summer if they sit on your shelves waiting to be bought and don’t carry summer lacy vests through the winter.

Rather have a sale in the spring (and move your winter hats) and a sale in the autumn (and move your summer tops)  and reduce them to a lower price. This will free up your cash so you can buy more yarn and make what is in demand in the next three months or so of summer. This is known as cashflow.

Some crocheters like to have made-up items of whatever their speciality is neatly folded and in plastic bags ready for shipping. Whilst this is good (to be organised so you can find thing when they do sell) it does not make sense to carry stock over the wrong season because you have money invested in these items.

These are some ideas to think about as you craft your next project. they are points I wish someone had told me way back when I started selling my crochet goods.

I hope you find them of use as you grow your own crochet micro-business by knowing your dream customer.


You may also like:


Your First Crochet Sale

by Alison Stapleton

Your first sale is defined as the one where you sell a hand-made crocheted item to someone you have never met.

When you make your first sale it is one of the five steps towards building your prosperous crochet business.

That initial sale can be the hardest things to do or you can fall into it naturally.

Below I share with you the story of my first crochet sale which was the one that started the ball rolling so to speak.


We lived in a small town outside a large city which was about a thirty minute drive in the car. It was a seaside town and had two little shopping malls. Each mall had several line shops and one large supermarket.

In the Bayside Mall was a small wool and craft shop. This was a convenient place for me to get my yarns and crocheting supplies.

At that time I had just given birth to our fourth child, a daughter, and I was at home for several months looking after her. The two older children were at elementary school and the third child was a toddler at home with me all day. My husband was at work.

My days as a housewife were typical and there were many chores to be done each day. I organized my life so that I only left the house on a Friday to run errands and to buy the weekly groceries and Friday was my “day out.”

Because I was at home so much of the time I picked up crocheting again and began to make soft jerseys and tops for the children. My patterns were simple squares for fronts and backs and the sleeves were again straightforward with a slight increase at the shoulder. Over time I developed these patterns into complicated top-down no-seam garments as well.

I bought the wool from my local yarn store and it was usually 4ply on a 3.5mm hook. I used pastels for the girls and primaries for my boy.

By visiting the yarn store each Friday to buy more wool and because I took the two younger children in their newly made tops the store owner Shirley started to chat with me about the wool and the patterns I had used for the kids jerseys.

I explained that I only ever used my own patterns for items that I made. She asked me if I would crochet her a cardigan for which she would give me the yarn and the pattern from a magazine that she wanted for herself.

You see, she was a knitter and not a crocheter but she had found a lovely lacy white summer three-quarter length cardigan that she wanted to be made but she could not crochet it herself.

Well, of course I would do it, why not?

I duly took the white light yarn and the pattern and said “See you next Friday.” At home that evening I started to make her pattern and it went really well. I have always been a firm tension crocheter and so could crochet to gauge. In that week I completed her garment and sewed it together.

I folded it neatly in tissue and wrapped a ribbon around it to make it look nice for her.

During that week I couldn’t work on my own creations and I did feel that, but the challenge of a lacy pattern kept me interested in the project.

Friday came around and I took the cardigan into the shop for Shirley. She was really pleased and put it on immediately. It fit her well and looked just like the image in the pattern book.

I was pleased that she was pleased. I mean you never know…

She paid me $5 per ball that was made-up . The cardigan took five balls which came to $25 in all. I was excited about that. I saw it as bonus money for our family.

Shirley and I started chatting about yarns and crafts in general and then she said that if I had items that were already made-up she would put them in her window to sell. At that time she had some booties and other baby knitted items in her window but no crocheted goodies.

She wanted little blankets and baby items to promote the yarns that she sold. Her shop window was not big and in fact was quite small but suited a yarn shop.

The deal was that I had to buy the yarns from her for the items she would sell in her window and I set the price and she took half. This was a good deal as I was buying wool from her anyway, and I was crocheting anyway, but now I had a chance to make some cash for the work.

I went home with new wool and a blanket pattern forming in my head. Because I’d done baby blankets before I knew about the colours that sell so I had a soft baby blue, white and a dark navy contrasting ball and well.

Over the next week I made a blanket for a baby boy in blue stripes. It was simple and a generous size. At the weekend I visited the shop again and she was pleased with the result. Shirley felt the quality of stitches and the regular tension was good and she loved the colour combinations.

I told her my price was $50 and she agreed we would split it fifty-fifty each. She must have put it in the window for the Saturday shoppers as it sold the next week. I arrived back on the next Friday and was excited to have sold my blanket. My first item to a stranger. My first crochet original design blanket. For cash. This was good.

She told me the woman who bought it was a crocheter herself but did not have time to make something ‘handmade’ for her new niece but that she would pass it off as her own work!

Amazing!

That other crocheters would buy my goods and say it was their own (not that I cared what they did or said) but suddenly I saw a market for my goods, to women who knew how to crochet and were known for their crocheting but had no time to do it. The perfect customer.

That was my first sale.

I sold a blanket, through the wool shop, to a customer I had not met, for cash.

Since that time I have sold many more garments, blankets, bags and other things but I still remember the feeling of that first sale.


You may also like:




 

5 Steps to Your Prosperous Crochet Business

 by Alison Stapleton

5 steps to your pros crichy bix COVER-page-001

These are five of the most important steps you can take to begin your prosperous crochet business.

As you transition from being a hobbyist crocheter, and you are on the road towards having a prosperous crochet business, your approach to your craft and money will change.

The day you sell your first hand crafted item to a stranger (not your Mom or Granny) that is the day you become a micro business owner.

Here are the five steps that will guide you towards building your prosperous crochet business.

Step 1: Make your First Sale

The first step is the hardest and that is to make your first sale. Whether it is your first pair of baby booties or your first scarf, the important things is to make the sale and to be in business.

Sell your first item. Make your first sale. Take the cash and bank it.

Do not buy wine or new shoes to “celebrate” your first sale. The money that comes in from your first sale goes into the business and can be used for more supplies (wool and hooks), or it goes towards the purchase of stationery for your business cards, website support, or sheets of tissue to keep your garments clean.

Step 2: Know Who is Your Dream Customer

Know who your customer is. Is he or she in your neighborhood or nationwide? If you are offering goods that you ship, you have to approach your sales to a broader audience.

If you are making baby goods pitch that way, if you are doing women’s acrochet-1151378_1920ccessories like scarves and hats pitch that way.

You are not selling crochet but dreams. You are selling possibilities of how good someone will look after they have worn your items.

You are selling hope for your customer to feed a need in them to look good, tren
dy or sexy. You are not selling crochet.

Step 3: Own Your Niche

Your niche is the little spot where your goods lie in the general crochet market.

There are people making all sorts of crochet items but you will make one type of items and become the best there is in that area. This is your niche, a slim section of the broader market.

If you can crochet to a quality level that you can sell, and by that I mean it is good work technically, with a steady tension, and quality yarns, and your finishing is excellent with no hanging threads or knots, then that is quality crochet.

You may make amigurumi and this is your niche. You may craft hats and this is your niche. Your niche does not have to be a particular item although it often is. Your niche can be that you work in Irish crochet or using only fingerling. So the item is not the niche but the yarn or technique is your niche.

Step 4: Love Your Art

Crocheting is art. You have to love what you are doing. Some women will only crochet with top quality yarns because they believe “life is too short to use cheap wool.” Maybe so, but you have to love what you make.

You have to love the texture, the color, the way the item drapes and the end result.

As you make each hat or bag you are putting something of yourself into each piece. You have to love it. This makes a difference to the finished item. Believe me.

People shop on emotional impulses. They purchase things that speak to them either by the colour, texture or the item evokes a feeling of nostalgia and reminds them of what their granny used to give them years ago. Whatever the reason you have a better chance of selling goods that you craft if you love them from start to finish.

If you imbue love into your products the person who buys it will love it too, in fact you want her to love it and then want it.

Shopping is an emotional investment not just a cash exchange. Know that your potential customers have to fall in love with your hats or scarves before they will hand over the cash. In this way they feel better about buying from you and they don’t feel bad about the purchase when they get home.

Only make things you love and with yarns you love in colors and textures you love and others will love them too.

If you love your work you can talk about it and sell with passion and pride, and it becomes easier to sell. You have to believe that it is your best work and know you are being true to you art. Love your art.

Step 5: Be Generous of Spirit

You could spend one whole day making a hat and sell it for $10. So the hourly rate is weak at about $1 per hour. But that is not the point. Ignore the hourly rate and focus on the craft. If you buy your wool all at once and have a decent stash of good yarns you can plan your production of hats.

Every $10 you make has to go somewhere. Some goes back into the business to buy more supplies, some goes to tax (yes it does), some will come to you as your ‘pay’ and some can go to your giving program.

Your giving program is simply the plan you have to give to others. Those of us lucky enough to earn money can give something back to those less fortunate. It does not have to be much perhaps 10c on your $10 but it is important to be generous of spirit.

I give a percentage of my profits to local charities. I don’t do this every day or every week but towards December I have a sum that I give to people and causes I like to support to help them over their year end.

You need to have a giving plan otherwise you could be giving too much away if someone catches you for a donation in the shopping center car park. You may think you can afford to give $5 because yesterday you sold two hats but this will be an emotional give (and we all do it me perhaps more than most) not a planned give. Make a plan to be generous of spirit.

All businesses and big businesses do give to others. Look at the big companies and you can see their giving donations and the types of places they choose to support. You can’t help everyone so choose a sector in your community that appeals to you and make a giving plan that suits your income and your interest.

These are the first 5 steps to a prosperous crochet business. They can be used for any micro-business start-up. People all over the world have little businesses going on in their basements and backyards making things that they love and sharing their art with the world, and you can too.


 




 

Craft Business Card Design for your Micro-business

by Alison Stapleton

Clarity and colour is key in your business card design

This week I’ve been playing around with my new business card design.

I’m going to keep it simple and use good design practices.

I love the Helvetica neue font so that’s my choice. It can be bold or super thin and always looks fresh.

My only colours are red for the rose and black. Choosing only two colours keeps the printing costs down.

Having “white space”  (the gaps between the logo and the words) makes it easy to read.

The four elements in my new business card are:

  • Logo top centre
  • My name in capitals in the middle
  • My website address
  • My tagline

These four elements are really all that is needed.

You don’t need a phone number no one phones anymore, and if they want to contact me they can Tweet or email from the information on the website contact page. I’ve had experience in other online business where people call me on the phone at 6am on a Sunday like they were my friend but I’ve never met them. be wary of too much information. If I do give my card to a customer I may handwrite my phone number on the back if they insist.

First draft

So it will look like this:


cropped-Rose.png

ALISON STAPLETON

OldEnglishCreations.com

Creative Crochet Design

 

Logo the Red rose of Lancashire

I got the logo I am using sorted out earlier in the month, it is the red rose of Lancashire.

There is a story behind this choice as well all about how I chose the name Old English Creations way back.

Lancashire in Merry Olde England is my home county, and some days I feel old as well.

Lancashire rose

I am creative every day of my life and I wake-up in the morning with ideas and inspiration for crochet patterns, writing projects or craft, gardening or cooking recipes I plan to make.

Thanks for reading and please join our mailing list (below) so you can get all the good things on Old English Creations straight in your inbox. And we love it when you like, share and tweet our message.

Live your creative life everyday.

Alison

 





[contact-form to=’[email protected]’ subject=’Business card designs for craft micro-businesses’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]


 

 

Crochet Items for Sale in Vancouver

Now selling selected crochet items in downtown Vancouver

imgresWe are happy to meet you at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza, that is just below the steps that lead up to the Art Gallery Cafe. When you know what you want contact us.

How to contact Alison and Lynn

  • Tweet to @OldEngCreations

We will get back to you asap to set up a meeting. we are usually available before work, lunchtime and between 6pm and 7pm. You can see what is currently available as listed below and on the new Old English Creations Instagram page.


Crochet items for sale today

All crochet items are handmade by Alison from brand new yarns, created from her original designs, and crafted in her pet free home.



Boho tops Festival wear – for sale

Black Boho Top $30

IMG_2162
Boho top black $30

Tweet “I want to buy black boho top now! Can you meet at noon (or your time)” to @OldEngCreations

Hand made by Alison from brand new cotton ease yarn.

Black boho top size medium, 100% cotton for comfort. With crossover back and adjustable straps. Suitable for festival wear.

Cash price of $30 each.


Boho Tops Festival Wear

White Boho Top $30

IMG_2161
Boho top white $30

Tweet “I want to buy white boho top now! Can you meet at noon (or your time)” to @OldEngCreations

Hand made by Alison from brand new cotton ease yarn.

Black boho top size medium, 100% cotton for comfort. With crossover back and adjustable straps. Suitable for festival wear.

Cash price of $30 each.


 

Instagram – Quick and Relevant

We are now posting on Instagram so if this is your preferred channel follow us over there. I’ve gotta say it’s new for me so I may be slow but I’m learning all the time.

I hope to connect better with my customers with Instagram.

 

Instagram


[contact-form to=’[email protected]’ subject=’Crochet items for sale in Vancouver’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]





Selecting Colours for Soft Home Furnishings

by Alison Stapleton

imagesColours for soft furnishings

Soft furnishings are cushions, afghans, throws, rugs, exposed tapestries and things like that.

At a stretch you can add table cloths, place mats and napkins in fact all table wear (napery).

Furthermore you can consider beautiful bed sheets, embroidered pillowcases and lacy trimmed lampshades as soft furnishings and in the bathroom, all the mats and towels with trims can be seen as soft furnishings.

Crochet is very good for all soft furnishing items for your home. either as the main component or as a trim.

50 Shades of Beige

Using brightimgres colours on soft furnishing like afghans, blankets and cushions should be done with care. This is why neutrals and beige are popular home furnishing colours.

Think IKEA and 50 shades of beige.

You want your home to be relaxing and not jangly all the time.

Managing your style and lifestyle is about managing color

Selecting colours for soft furnishings

Neutrals are best and white, cream, taupe, beige, grey and brown always look good.

Although you can make a statement cushion in red to add a pop of colour to a room, the best rooms are decorated in soft neutrals like dove grey, soft blues, pale pinks and light greens.

Do not use primary or secondary colours for your soft furnishings. Stay away from orange, purple and turquoise.

Instead use soft heather, sea foam and light apricots. Soft hues work best and will be attractive to many people.

If you make soft furnishing to sell in your store or at craft fairs you are likely to sell more if the colour is appealing.

Consider your colour choices and enjoy crafting.

You may also like: