Crocheting has become immensely popular lately. While it has been around for a few hundred years, it seemed to go out of vogue for a while after it hit its peak in the 1960’s and 70’s. But now it’s back and everyone seems to be doing it.
If you’re a craft business owner and you want to sell your crochet products, you’re probably already aware that there’s a lot of competition out there. A lot of people are making similar products, even from the same patterns much of the time. How do you make crochet products that actually sell?
There’s a definite need for crocheters to create unique products that no one else has. And yet, this can be hard to accomplish because these products also need to be desirable and attractive. Just because something is unique doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to sell.
As a seasoned crocheter and craft business owner, over the years I’ve discovered some tried and true ways to create crochet products that will actually sell. Here are some of my tips. I hope they help you increase your sales.
1. Use modern patterns.
Modern patterns are ideal if you want to create crochet products that will actually sell. Modern patterns are readily available and you don’t have to break the bank to buy a few good ones.
You have probably noticed a trend in crochet lately–there are a lot more books of patterns being published, as well as crochet magazines coming out, than there were 15 to 20 years ago. You can also find a lot of great patterns in PDF form for sale online. Ravelry is a great place to look. Or, for free patterns, try visiting your local library.
“What’s wrong with vintage patterns?” you might ask. After all, isn’t vintage in style right now? Well, some vintage patterns are great, yes. But others will produce a range of tacky, outdated products that no one really wants.
When considering a vintage pattern, ask yourself if you would personally use or buy the item you are thinking of making. Would you feel good about giving it as a gift? Do you think someone you know would actually use it or like it? If you can’t answer yes to any of these questions, ditch the vintage pattern and go modern for sure.
If you’re at all inclined, you can also learn to write your own patterns. This will naturally ensure that you have products that are completely unique.
2. Create desirable products.
Creating desirable products goes hand-in-hand with the use of modern patterns. Modern crochet books and magazines will give you ideas for things that people actually want.
There’s no point in trying to sell things that no one is interested in buying, like those dish soap cover ‘dolls’ that were everywhere in the 1970’s. I’ve seen a lot of those at craft fairs over the years but I’ve never actually seen one in use in someone’s home. That’s pretty telling.
So, what are desirable products? Some of the best selling items for crochet are wearable items, useful items and cute items.
Wearable items can be anything from hair accessories and jewelry to sweaters and hats and scarves. Choose modern patterns to create fashionable, trendy items that people will love to wear. You can even get ideas for your own patterns by browsing catalogs and fashion magazines.
Useful crochet items include things like purses, shopping bags, bathroom rugs, dish clothes and towels, baby blankets, sofa cushions and anything else that can be crocheted and that people will actually use and enjoy in daily life.
Cute things are very salable right now too. Blame the sub culture of Japanese Amigurumi dolls if you like but the time is definitely ripe for the sale of anything adorable. Search any handmade marketplace, such as Etsy or ArtFire, and you’ll find thousands upon thousands of cute crochet toys and dolls for sale.
Yes, there’s a lot of competition: but they do sell. And with crochet narwhals, zombie bunnies and Lovecraft’s cthulhu out there, it seems like the weirder the better. Make your cute items doubly salable by making them useful or wearable.
3. Create high quality, attractive products.
It may seem like a no-brainer that your products should be high quality. However, even if you’ve been crocheting for years, as I have, you may be surprised by how much you don’t know. When I first learned, for instance, Youtube didn’t exist, so if I didn’t know how to do something, sometimes I just fudged it.
If you want to sell your crochet products, you absolutely cannot fudge. Respect yourself and the handmade industry enough to dedicate the time and effort needed to each product to ensure that it’s of the highest quality you have to offer. Spend that extra bit of time to learn the right way of doing things.
Making your products attractive is also important. The difficulty here lies in the fact that everyone has different tastes and personalities, so the popularity of certain colors and patterns is not always something you can predict. However, there are a few rules of thumb to follow that should help.
Work with color schemes. Use colors that go well together and either match or contrast. If you don’t feel comfortable making color choices, ask some fellow crocheters to help you decide. You can also use a color wheel to determine contrasting colors, or look up color families and schemes in art books. You can also choose color themes based on existing products you have seen and liked. Nature is also a great inspiration for attractive color schemes that don’t clash.
4. Refuse the temptation to copy.
Everyone starts off their crochet business meaning well. We all have plans to sell great, unique products that will fly off the shelves. But what happens if you see an idea someone else has made that is selling really well? After all, you know you can make the exact same thing, so why not go for it?
There’s a fine line between inspiration and stealing someone’s idea. However, I can guarantee you that if you cross that line, you will get called out. If you want to maintain a good reputation in the handmade world, do yourself a favor and only sell your own, unique ideas or work from copyright free patterns. This way, no one can question your ethics and you can always be proud of your work.
These are some of the things you can do to ensure that you create crochet products that will actually sell. The main things to remember are that you want your products to be modern, desirable, high quality and unique.