8.11.2017

Design Your Biz: Selling at Craft Shows (Or Not)

Ah, the constant requests on Facebook....

Can you make me one? How much to make me that shawl? Do you sell this online or at craft shows?

My answers: No, nothing because I'm not making you one, and nope. :)

I've said it many times before in the Design Your Biz Blog Series, everyone navigates through this industry differently. I sell patterns online, write books and teach. Other people knit or crochet and sell finished items. Some might start selling kits, yarn and the like. There's no right way. Everyone should do what feels right to them.

Today I'd like to talk a little bit about why I don't sell finished items.

Design Your Biz: Craft Shows or Not
Can I Get Paid Fairly? I think you can find the right market to get paid fairly for selling your finished hand-knits, but it's hard to find. I'm a math kind of gal, so let's get straight to the numbers. It probably takes me 16 hours on average to knit a small-ish 500 yard shawl. Ok, so let's say I charge $10 an hour for my time, that's $160. Then the yarn might cost another $40 or something. Am I really going to find someone to pay $200 for a shawl? Maybe, but it's going to take a lot of work to find that customer. You may be thinking - now, Jen, come on, $10/hour for knitting? Yep, this is my full-time job. And, honestly, $10/hour is pretty low.

It's Not Just the Cost Of The Finished Items! If you're selling your finished items at craft shows or online, there's a lot of work that goes into those things. You have to write up listings and take photos for your online shop. Organize everything for your craft show booth. There's all the marketing and social media that you need to do to help your business grow. Thinking about getting paid to get these non-making things done needs to be taken into consideration when pricing your items.

What About The Old Samples? I have been considering selling off some of my old samples, like some of the shawls I made when I first started designing. Why? I've already made my money off of them with the sale of the patterns on Ravelry. I'm willing to price them a little bit lower, because I've already covered my costs of knitting them (and all the other costs that go into producing a pattern). It's a great way to make room for new samples! I find myself wanting to keep the majority of my samples though - I constantly take them with me when I'm teaching.

There are lots of people who are successfully selling their finished items online and at craft shows. Good for them! I'm so happy that they figured out a way to make that work. For me, it's just not something I'm willing to put the time and effort into to find the right customer, grow that part of my business, etc. And that's ok!

Do you sell online or at craft shows? I'd love to hear about your experiences!

1 comment:

  1. I don't knit for hire; you can't pay me enough to do that!

    I don't usually sell samples, either, but last December I was part of a gift show, and sold off a bunch of older samples. My sample bins were overflowing, and I needed to make room. There's no way I could charge what it really cost me to make these items, but I gained room for...more samples!

    ReplyDelete



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