Over the past 4 years I have been trying to make a career out of knitting. I’m far from an expert in the knitting field or in owning my own business but, I have discovered a few things along my journey I would like to share. In this blog post I’m going to list the top 5 things I’ve learned so far about the business of knitting.
- The Internet & social media is your friend – Familiarize yourself with and use sites like Craftsy, Etsy, Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube If you don’t know what some of these sites are or how to use them correctly, simply Google it. Try searching for phrases like ” selling on Etsy” “tips for Twitter” etc.
- Be open to doing “odd” jobs – If you want to sell your knitting, consider making both custom made to order and pre-made (ready to ship) items. Custom orders can be time consuming but, it allows you to work one-on-one with customers. Pre-made items attract those customers looking to ‘buy now” but, you usually don’t interact with customers beyond the actual transaction. When considering items for sale, a higher percentage of your products you offer should be pre-made. You want to make a profit and build income but, also have customers you can build relationships with.
- Don’t forget about other knitters. – Learn to write and sell patterns, teach knitting either online or in person, offer to test knit for other designers or become a tech editor for patterns. Some knitters work for a yarn or knitting company and some do it all through their own business. Don’t be afraid to explore opportunities. This is where you can really end up making a steady income.
- Learn, learn , learn. – Be open to new ideas and new techniques . Read books about knitting, take a knitting class, watch knitting YouTube videos and check out magazines and on-line newsletters like knitty and handmadeology.
- Don’t rely on craft fairs for an income but, don’t count them out either. – Because of the nature of knitting , items can take a while to produce. Local craft fairs are always a shot in the dark in terms of customers. Some weekends you might not sell enough to cover the costs of your spot, other weekends you can make the big bucks and go home with $1000 in your pocket. Either way it’s very unpredictable. You can spend all year preparing for a Christmas craft show and only sell a few hundred dollars. From a profit stand point that’s a really poor way to do business. If you going sell your items consider sites like Etsy, which is online marketplace that is open 24/7. You add items as you choose and customer can purchase anytime. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate in your local craft fair but rather, use them more as a networking opportunity to attract customers to your website or online store. Be sure to have a great display, plenty of samples, items to purchase and stack load of professional business cards complete with your website link.
This is just a really brief list to inspire you to consider turning your hobby into something you can make an income off of.
To become a professional at anything takes a ton of hard work and a lot of trial and error. My goal one day is to be making a full time income from knitting . I’m not there yet but, I am well on my way. I hope you find these tips inspiring and useful as you consider knitting for profit.
I will be blogging more about the business of knitting in the future so please subscribe and check back often.
Thank you for reading.