For weeks I've been threatening you with the secrets of how to make money from crochet, and have yet to deliver the goods. Partly this is because I wanted it to be a neat little list, a ten point guide of cute little soundbites that made it all sound easy and obvious, and partly because I don't want to be condescending and every time I've tried to write something that's how it sounds.
Finally I’ve settled on sharing my experience, and the journey I’ve gone through to get to this point – the point where I’m officially a ‘crochet designer’ and making money from it. And for the sake of keeping things web-page readable it’s going to be in installments
Are you sitting comfortably?
Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to make things (don’t worry, I won’t keep this up, oh, it seems important to tell you at this point that I’m an identical twin, because we’ve got the same making and lifestyle ambitions, but have gone very different ways about, and it has some relevance to how things turn out), but I’ve always made stuff, fabric and soft materials are my favourite, and while I have had a go a most things, sewing and stitching are always my fallback – the same goes for my twin.
This is us.
When I left school my sister and I went to art college, but I left after the first year to follow a more academic route, my theory was that I’d always be good at making and drawing so I didn’t need a qualification in it, I might as well get a qualification in something else. My sister went on to do fashion at university (more of that later) I did Philosophy and then a post grad in Museum Studies.
I fell in to urban design (don't ask) and have been there for ten years on and off, but have literally never stopped wishing that I had followed a more creative path, and have never, ever stopped making things. It’s a compulsion – soft critters, sock monkeys, crazy jewellery, and eventually our house got too full and I had to start shifting it, so I opened an Etsy shop on the side.
What you learn very fast is that you’ll never make enough money from selling things unless you’re prepared to charge what your time and what the materials are worth. I think this is actually really hard for most of us (especially us British chaps, we start with an apology and hope for the best). But if you’re charging $60+ for a soft toy, unless you’re a master of branding or HRH Kirsty Allsop, it’s unlikely you’ll sell it, but charging any less isn’t a viable business option. So, what to do?