...So what to do? So often I’d go into stores and see things that were really expensive and I’d think “I can make that”, and would trot home, and ta daaa! It was really frustrating, I could see that there was a market for the things I was making, but just couldn’t compete with the mass produced, Primani’s of the world.
I did sell a few things; I managed to find a store that wanted to sell sock monkeys, but after the first 5 I really was fed up of making them, and after the store had taken a cut I was left making around £6 per monkey. That worked out at my earning around £1.50 an hour after materials.
The ever encouraging Rose at Butler’sEmporium encouraged me to make and sell hats, she was a proper business woman and insisted I sell them at £40 per hat. Now this is much more like the value of my time and materials, I ended up making around £20 per hat, but after number 5, again, I was getting itchy and wanted to make something else, but also that I'd saturated the local market with massive pompom hats.
I learned to crochet while on maternity leave with the littlest, about five years ago. I followed some on line tutorials and took to it pretty quickly, and then set to finding cool things to make for the beasts. I’d come across patterns and had that same “I can make that” thing. In particular I was looking for a skull & crossbones appliqué patch, and I just couldn’t find any that were any good, so I made one up myself. Then there came a whole run of appliqué things, and then dressing up stuff – bathats, cuffs, helmets. (You can tell from these pics that this is before I learned how to take pics and Instagram!)
Simple little skull applique, first pattern I ever wrote.
Little T-Rex, the second pattern I wrote.
It was Mr. Steel&Stitch who encouraged me to put them on line. He’s MUCH better at finance than me, and he pointed out that all I’d have to do was write it out once, and then just email the pattern whenever someone bought it. So I finally got it on Etsy, and started selling two a week. So I put more on, and just kept going.
That’ll have to do for now, the big beast needs help with his pyjamas, but I’ll get the next instalment on soon.