Follow along as I set up Business, Quilt, Knit, Spin, Dye or Design a new pattern. I might take an Art Class or do a Photoshoot
Behind the scenes at Nancy Elizabeth Designs.
Ok, I just may be a little too “wide” in my product selection. Right now I am planning to offer hand knit articles of clothing and accessories for all ages, socks, blankets, shawls etc. (wide range, right?) PLUS hand spun yarn of any luxury natural fiber and size and my original design knitting patterns for anything I dream up.
So, I will probably have to narrow my focus quite a bit. Do I do that now or do I try to put up a selection bit of everything and see how it goes?
There really will be several things to consider but mainly it will be what sells and what I love to do.
So, here are some of the strategies I have decided to trySocial marketing, simply by having pages on and linking to some of the popular Social sites Watching what sells and what I enjoy the most and work on narrowing my focus get my work into the hands of some people who will really appreciate their value and help me to spread the word. Participate more on the Social Sites creating circles and jumping in on the forums Promotions? what and more importantly when (I want to have the handspun yarns and some patterns ready) put videos on YouTube maybe more handmade sites similar to Etsy?
I have some concerns which I have decided to share here. This should help me think it through and hopefully I can help someone else along the way.
How much should I charge for my handknitting and handspinning? Will anyone buy my handspun and handknit designs? How will they know how wonderfully soft they are? How will they be able to really appreciate the details, the expert workmanship with just a few photos?
or …. Perhaps what I should be asking is….. Why do I want to do this?
They have pretty big price tags because I choose the highest quality, softest and most luxurious fibres to work with. Cashmere, Silk, Alpaca, Merino Wool etc. are expensive fibers. It takes so much time, patience and experience to take a pile of fibers and turn them into a one of a kind garment with integrity, style and timelessness. I can’t possibly charge by the hour as they would be unaffordable. I can’t make a living at it even if I was the fastest knitter in the world. I couldn’t even put food on the table. So what is the desired outcome?
As an artist I am compelled to create what I love and to work with and feel the materials in my hand. To watch it become something beautiful. I could no more stop doing this than stop breathing and I want to be able to share my work with others and hopefully, to be able to “support my habit” financially. These exotic luxury fibers that I like to use are expensive so if I can sell some of my work I will have enough money to pay for the fibers used in that project and some to buy more. That would be a worthy goalSo how do I convey the quality of my products. The workmanship is excellent. I have had knitting needles and spinning fiber in my hands almost every day for most of my life and that kind of practice comes pretty close to perfect. I am a master knitter and spinner. The materials are the best available anywhere in the world. All of my designs are original and One-of-a-kind These qualities are what sets my handknits apart from the crowd so how do I convey this to my audience?
I’m refreshed after a week at Logos Land Resort. We had a very nice Condo and played at the water slide, water trampoline, paddle boats and just swimming off the dock. I took socks for my knitting and got most of one sock finished knitting in the evenings.
So It’s back to working on getting this business online and smokin’.
I’ve made some progress. I have 10 projects posted on Craftsy and 9 Hand spun and handknit Baby Sweaters and 2 Baby Blankets for sale at My Etsy Shop. I’ve been favorited and clicked on but no sales, not even a question. It’s just a week, perhaps I just need a bit more patience??
Now this is fun! And time consuming, WHEW.
I put up a quilt and a few of the things I made for the Jewelry Class at Craftsy and it was easy so I put some of my handknits up there too, as projects. Within 24 hours I have “hearts” and even some comments. This inspires me to go ahead and put some of the sweaters and things on Etsy and see what comes of it. It costs 20 cents per listing so it won’t be expensive to find out and I will only have to pay the final fees if they sell.One of my first jewelry designs. I love the turquoise beads with the silver nuggets and accent beads. My first double wedding ring quilt. Pieced by machine but quilted entirely by hand. Made as a gift to my son and his wife on their wedding day. This is such a sweet cardigan. An original design for baby in handspun Angora Rabbit fiber blended with Merino wool and silk.
It looks like the best way to get seen and then to get known is to have your products displayed and talked about in as many places as possible and to rank well with the search engines. Next we’ll talk about getting them clicked on and various ways to increase traffic to your pages. These ways include paid promotions but there are many more free ways to attract attention to your products and it’s going to take some studying to find them all. Here are a few I’ve found so far.My Craftsy create a profile page with lots of keywords upload projects with keywords comment on, save or “favorite” other’s projects follow other crafts-people take classes and join class discussions sell original patterns for free! My Etsy Create a profile Buy and Give Feedback Add people to your Circle Create Treasuries Join Teams Participate in Forums My Web Site the most important thing here is SEO Search Engine Optimization Add a Blog Make it Social with Facebook, Twitter etc My Ravelry Put up projects, yarns and patterns Favorites Groups Participate in the forums Become a Designer and sell patterns Other Social Sites My Facebook create a business page My Twitter My Pinterest More Places to Sell Patternfish Artfire iCraft (Canadian)
It’s been a long time coming but I’m ready to give this a shot. I’m going to try to sell my handknits, handspun yarns and maybe my pattern designs online.
Of course, I’ve got lots of concerns and questions but I have to start somewhere so today I am putting up some of the things I’ve been spinning and knitting over the last few years up as “projects” on Craftsy. Once I put myself out there I’ll probably post some of them on Etsy too.
I opened an account at Etsy several years ago and never did put anything up yet. I’ve got a web site set up also. Nancy Elizabeth Designs.
I’m concerned about Etsy, and the whole idea of selling online, when I started looking around at how many sales most of the vendors had made. Most of the sales are really low. How likely am I to sell my handknits on Etsy or anywhere online? They are made of the most expensive fibers in the world. I handspin most of my yarns then handknit them into One-of-a-kind original designs. That all makes them very expensive and when people can’t actually see and touch the real thing I’m afraid they would hesitate to spend the money.
So follow along to see how I progress (or not) and maybe we’ll learn something together.