What goes into a handmade business besides the handmade product? Have you ever wondered? There are a lot of people who crochet and/or knit and I have been proud to be related to a few including my mother and grandmother. Is there a reason to knit or crochet besides making something useful and beautiful? I would imagine that the reasons for each person who knits, crochets, spins, sews, weaves, embroiders or any other handcraft would be different depending on your personality. So, how do you get from making useful products for your friends and family to selling to strangers? The only thing I can describe to you is my journey.
My knitting career started at my grandmother’s knee or rather on the floor in front of her as she did her own knitting. She patiently taught me the right way to cast on stitches, to make the rows, to knit and to purl. I enjoyed knitting for a lot of reasons but one of them was to bring my mother, grandmother, and I closer together in something that was common to us as a family .
It gave my hands something to do, and I think that was at least part of the love that developed. As I got older the love for hand crafts stayed with me. It was not as intense as it is now, but it was something that stayed in my mind and became part of my life. As I got older and married for the first time the knitting also became crocheting and counted cross stitch. There seemed to be a lot of time that I needed to use up while being an army wife in Germany. Even when we returned to the States the needle arts stayed with me. Even with a separation and divorce working 11pm to 7am at a hospital, the needles art helped fill the empty hours at the hospital and filled my heart with something good. That good seemed to need an outlet so I started selling some of my creations and had people ask about making specific products for them. By the time English smocking was added to the skills, I began entering area craft shows to sell my products literally on the street at local street festivals.
While selling what I have made and having strangers admire the products that are created is a fulfilling thing, there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that I am sure a lot of people are not aware of. Let’s start with this question. What am I going to display the products on and what is the best way to do that. There are other things to think about such as time it takes to make something, the supplies you need, how to figure what is the right price and what do I call myself. Locating supplies and finding ways to store supplies is a subject unto itself.
But let me talk a little bit about my business name and logo, My current name and logo went through many choices before it arrived where it is today. The one that I can remember that was not popular with others that I asked was Crafty Kitty but then the love of wool and spinning entered my life and a sheep was born. The sheep logo has changed a couple of times and started out as a logo someone designed for me in exchange for a project she wanted completed and then I found my current logo while using my Cricut. Just add a business degree with a concentration in marketing to all of this and an entrepreneur is born.
While this short blog might help you understand me a little better, I have an idea for you. The next time you are at your favorite market or fair or somewhere with craft vendors, take some time to observe what goes into the display that you are admiring in front of you. It is not just the product but a lot of factors to make the display as appealing as possible. There are table covers, various levels, extra additions that you might not have thought about before. With all of the frill and fuss over our displays there is one thing that we want to stand out most of all, the love. We as crafters all want to make sure that we get everything exactly right for you and our potential future customers!
What can you do for a friend or acquaintance that sells handmade products to the public? There are several things that you can do besides make purchases, although that is always appreciated. Here are some suggestions:
- Share a favorite social media post with your followers
- Add a like on social media to something you like
- Tell your friends
- Share ideas with them and/or support ideas they share with you.
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Until Next Week At The Especially For Ewe Blog, Have a great week.