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.
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.