If you’re looking for a unique and fulfilling way to start your own business, crochet may be the perfect option for you! It’s a great creative outlet and can be used to create a variety of beautiful items, from clothing to home decor to accessories and more. Let’s look at some tips and advice on how to start your own crochet business – whether you want to make it a side hustle or a full time gig!
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual financial or business advice. Consult an attorney and an accountant to discuss business structures, licensing, etc.
How to start a crochet business
First, you’ll need to choose what type of crochet business you’d like to start. Are you interested in creating and selling your own original designs? Or would you prefer to work as a freelance crochet designer, creating patterns for other companies?
There are pros and cons to both options, so it’s important to do some research and figure out which one is right for you. If you’re reading this article, we’ll assume you want to go for starting your own product line (but keep in mind freelancing is another option).
The first step is to come up with some unique and marketable designs. Keep in mind that there’s a lot of competition out there, so it’s important to create something that will stand out from the rest.
Once you have some designs ready, the next step is to start producing and selling them! I recommend you do not make a ton of any one item to start – instead, put feelers out there and see what the market responds to. (More info about selling and pricing below!)
You may find that you’ll do best by focusing on a particular niche of products within the crochet realm. You want to create options that people are searching for, but that don’t have a billion cheap competitors on the market.
Lastly, be sure to check legal and financial guidelines for getting started. In most places, you can conduct business as a sole proprietor under your own name. If you choose a different name for your crochet business, though – like “Stitches by Samantha” – you’ll need to file a “doing business as” certificate in your town/city. Luckily these are pretty reasonably priced (the DBA in my town costs $40 for 4 years).
You’ll also want to start a separate bank account for your business. It makes it much easier to clearly account for business expenses and income, which you’ll need to fill out on a Schedule C with your taxes.
Pricing and Selling Your Items
Be sure you keep track of your business expenses (like yarn, hooks, etc) and track your time on each project so you have an idea of how long different designs take to make.
Use this information to then calculate your sales price. It’s also important to set a price that addresses material costs, shipping or packaging costs, as well as profit for your time.
Of course, you also need to consider the market in your area and choosing a price that will still appeal to customers. Many people are used to prices in mass market stores, and sometimes there are also folks who crochet as a hobby and sell for barely any profit. It can be tough to persuade people to pay more, but that’s where having styles that standout can be helpful.
When it comes to how to actually market and sell products (besides just to friends and family) – there are a few different avenues. You can:
- Create your own e-commerce website
- Utilize a shop platform like Etsy
- Sell at craft fairs or markets
- Approach local brick-and-mortar stores about carrying your line
- Sell directly through a strong social media presence
Wherever you start selling, be sure to carefully track sales and income. After a few months, analyze which products make you the most money for the least amount of time. These are the ones you want to really focus on!
Pros and Cons
Here are a few pros and cons when it comes to starting a crochet business:
- You can work from home, which can save on overhead costs like rent and utilities.
- Crochet is a relatively low-cost hobby to get started with – you just need some yarn and hooks!
- There are many different ways to sell your products, so you can choose the option that best fits your needs.
- You are able to use your creativity and skill to produce beautiful designs.
- It can be difficult to stand out in a crowded market.
- Pricing your products correctly can be tricky – it can be tough to find people willing to pay enough that adequately covers your time and effort.
- As with any entrepreneurial pursuit, this side hustle or full time gig will likely take more time and effort than you may expect.
- Similarly, you’ll need to invest time and effort into marketing your business – not just creating the products.
Tips for Success
Now that you know a little more about how to start your own business, here are a few extra tips to help you be successful:
- Start small and gradually expand your offerings as you get more comfortable with the business.
- Be consistent with your branding, from the colors you use on your website and social media to the way you package and ship your products.
- Make sure the quality of your products is high – customers should be happy with their purchase and want to come back for more!
- Develop a marketing plan and stick to it – this can include social media, email newsletters, blog posts, or regular appearances at local craft shows.
- Utilize search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to ensure potential customers can easily find your website or online shop.
- Make sure your pricing is competitive, but also covers the cost of materials and your time investment.
Resources for further learning
Feel like you’re ready to roll? Awesome! Here are a few extra resources that may be useful on your journey to entrepreneurship:
- Crochetpreneur offers paid courses targeted specifically at those looking to start a crochet business. These are probably some of the best resources available if you’re looking to truly make this a business!
- Your local small business association or small business development center may offer free classes, workshops, and 1-1 business consulting. This is a great way of learning more about things like marketing, legal regulations, bookkeeping, and other small business issues.
- Etsy features a number of resources about how to start a successful shop. Even if you don’t plan to use their platform, there is still a ton of value in their articles!
- The Crochet Guild of America is the only national organization dedicated to crochet. They have an annual conference, networking opportunities, online education, and more, all geared towards helping you become better at the art of crochet.
The Bottom Line
Starting your own crochet business can be a great way to use your creativity and make some extra money on the side. With a little planning and effort, you can turn your hobby into a successful small business! Just remember to start small, be consistent, and focus on quality products and marketing. You’ve got this!