Why I don’t sell finished crochet items

selling finished crochet items and amigurumi blog post titleSince releasing Harry the Moustache I have received a couple of comments from people mentioning that he would do well as a stuffed animal on Etsy or even wholesale in stores.  These comments made me think more about whether I want to go that route or not – but in the end I decided to stick with my original plan and not sell finished stuffed animals.

From the get go I knew I wanted to design patterns and not sell already completed items.  I had been listening to podcasts about other designers who often started off selling their finished crocheted projects, but then switched to only selling patterns.  The reason for this change?  Most often it was because they got tired of making the same thing over and over again. When I crochet, I like making one item from a pattern and then move on and try a completely different one, a pattern from which I can learn something new  – and I knew I would be the same with my designs.  While I love my patterns and will be making more stuffed animals from them for friends and family, I do not want to make a ton of Harry’s all the time!

Another reason people often switch to designing patterns is that once the pattern is out there, you can make multiple sales on that one pattern without having to do much else (besides provide customer support).  Yes, there is a lot more work that goes into designing a pattern than crocheting a finished stuffed animal, but in the end I think it is more efficient to make the pattern.

While these reasons are great and a large part of why I don’t make finished projects, there is another reason I am hesitant to crochet and sell stuffed animals: I want my patterns to inspire people to pick up a hook and learn how to crochet themselves, not take out their wallet to buy what I have already made. I want people to experience making a cute plush themselves, seeing how their creation comes to life when the face is complete, and then either admiring their work within their home, or giving it to someone else as a gift knowing they had made it themselves.  I think anyone can learn to crochet, and if you are making something you think is adorable, it makes it that much easier and more fun!

I am not saying that you should never buy handmade goods, because I buy them myself, but I think in this case, with these amigurumi in particular, making one yourself isn’t that tricky if you really want one.  There isn’t any crazy equipment or artistic skill needed, just a hook, yarn, stuffing and a bit of time. As my husband likes to say, “you can make that“, and I want others to be inspired to make things, too!

I try very hard to make my patterns uncomplicated and easy to follow so that no one is frustrated with crocheting their amigurumi.  I want people to truly enjoy the experience.  It is my hope that people won’t give up when making their animal (or moustache) because they are confused or maybe don’t like assembling and attaching all the pieces.   I want people to enjoy the experience from beginning to end – so if you don’t, let me know, because I want to help!

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Until next time,


Podcasts on creative designers and makers

Podcast recommendations blog post title by hookabeePreviously, I discussed two yarn related podcasts that I enjoyed listening too while commuting and jogging.  This week I am sharing two more podcasts, but these two are more general craft related shows.  Again, these shows may appeal more to other creative business owners, but everyone can enjoy the behind the scenes look at designers they love – and discover new designers!

You can listen to both podcasts on either iTunes (for iphones) or Stitcher (for Android phones).

Etsy Conversations Podcast

Etsy Conversations craft podcast recommendationI don’t currently run an Etsy shop, and don’t know if I ever will, but I still enjoy this podcast.  Each episode, the host, Ijeoma Eleazu, interviews a different Etsy shop owner to learn more about his/her store and business. Ijemoa hopes that her podcast will help new and not-so-new Etsy store owners increase traffic to their Etsy store and make more sales by learning from fellow Etsy shop owners.

Each interview is structured much the same way with the same questions, but sometimes Ijeoma will follow up on an answer and ask different questions more relevant to the artist she is conversing with.  While it is a bit predictable how each episode will play out because of the repetitive questions, it is neat to compare the different answers by different artists to the same question.

This show is very inspirational.  You get to connect and learn about other normal crafty artists just like you that are trying to build and grow their business.  You get to learn what worked for them and what didn’t, what inspires them and why they keep going despite the difficulties.  You also get to discover some great Etsy shops that you otherwise would not have found on your own.  Give it a listen!  There are so many past episodes already released, you won’t be running out of episodes to listen to anytime soon.

While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg

While She Naps craft podcast recommendationI love this podcast.  Abby Glassenberg is a stuffed animal designer like myself, but instead of crocheting hers with yarn, she uses a sewing machine and fabric.  Her podcast is not all about sewing, however; it is about the creative and craft industry in general.

She usually interviews one (or more) creative business owner(s) per episode and asks fantastic questions to get at the heart of their business.  I really like Abby’s interview style, which is both professional and conversational. She asks excellent questions and obviously does a lot of research into her guests before each interview.  I learn so much from her shows, even if she is interviewing someone who isn’t in the yarn industry.  I often find myself pausing the show to make a note somewhere to look something up later when I get the chance.

Abby also brings something new to the interview – at the end of most episodes both she and those she is interviewing share something they recommend.  Their recommendation could be a book, an app, a recipe, a website, a product – anything really!  It is something that is not necessarily related to running their business, just something they are loving at the moment.  I really enjoy this part of the interview.  I think it adds something fresh and you can discover some pretty neat things!  In some episodes she brings back past guests and the entire show is filled completely with recommendations – love it!

If you are thinking of starting up a craft business or already have one, don’t miss out on these podcasts!  Now I am on the hunt for more great shows to listen to while on the move.  Any suggestions?

Don’t forget to sign up for my amigurumi newsletter to receive emails filled with ami fun. You can also follow me on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest to keep up to date on all things hookabee.

Until next time,