Monday, May 23, 2011

My Quest To Crochet For Profit


My Quest To Crochet For Profit by TAMMY RICH
Any hand crafted item displays a unique talent. Crocheting has been my first love since I was four years old. In sixth grade I crafted an original duck pattern on top of a plastic egg to make for all my friends. My first tablecloth was completed at age nine. My first granny square print blanket was completed in second grade. It came as no surprise when I decided to explore crocheting for profit.
My initial considerations included costs, profit and time. The deciding factor was the time involved in crafting a handmade print blanket. The market will only bear a certain sale price. By the time you subtract thread costs, labor equated to less than minimum wage. So I tried smaller items that were usually seasonal. Now you are talking inventory and lots of it. You can never predict what items will sell. When you find out, there is usually not enough time to replenish the stock. Such is the dilemma for seasonal items. It becomes difficult to keep up with demand while other items in inventory will be overstocked. Hiring help was not feasible as I did not know anyone with my level of talent. And the cost would be prohibitive.
Next I explored the idea of special order print blankets. First, it was hard to set a price because everyone wants a different pattern in a different size using different colors. Special colors require a search and are always more expensive. A little differentiation to a standard pattern may also require research and purchasing new design materials. Money, costs and more time are expended. Before you realize it, there is no profit.
And the biggest issue that most craft entrepreneurs overlook is the copyrighted design market. You simply cannot reproduce any copyrighted design for profit. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit. And everyone desires a print blanket featuring their favorite copyrighted sports team logo or cartoon character. Additionally, patrons sometimes feel they have complete artistic control over your creation since they are paying for it. It is extremely difficult to change a design midway through the creative process.
So I choose personally to crochet only for fun and enjoyment. If someone asks me nicely, I will usually craft them anything they desire. Sometimes people see my talent and demand one of their own. They feel money always talks and simply forget to ask me if I will do it for them. This mistake usually determines whether or not I do anything for them now or in the future. A demand for an item or a duplicate of a print blanket I am crafting will not generally work.
I do my best work for auctions and raffles for good causes I support. I purchase print blankets for my own personal use because I can always make anything for myself later. My crocheting time is better spent crafting one of a kind items for people who would otherwise never be able to own and enjoy a homemade print blanket. This ensures crocheting will continue to be my first love and favorite hobby.
Tammy Rich is an internet niche marketer who enjoys spending time online in internet forums, bookmarking sites and social sites. She is an advocate for female business owners. Visit My Inflatable Air Bed for a selection of inflatable air beds.

Re-printed with permission from Amazines.com

Pam Wylie says: "Thank you Tammy for your interesting look at crochet. I am sure our readers will benefit from your experience"

Are you looking for ways to profit from your crochet? Come sell online with us at HandmadeCatalog.com - we've helped so many crafters get started!
Pam Wylie ~ HandmadeCatalog.com
Life-Long Crafter and  Professional Internet Marketer, Pam Wylie has helped 100s of professional crafters  and artisans sell their handcrafted work online through her successful website,HandmadeCatalog.com for over 10 years now. She also performs website design, SEO training and is a full-time, loving care-giver. 
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