Just take a quick peek at the #crochet hashtag on Instagram and you’ll find all the crochet trends happening in the maker world. But, as a seller, do those trends automatically mean profits for you?
So, before I share with you what is trending for Fall 2019 that consumers will actually buy, let’s talk about how following maker trends just might be undermining your bottom line.
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The Danger for Sellers who Follow Maker Trends and What to Do Instead
As craft-lovers, we tend to follow other makers on social media – to connect, to admire, and to watch trends. This year, some of the hottest trending crochet designs are shawls, wall hangings, earrings, unicorn everything, and garments of all types.
But what about sales? After talking with thousands of crochet sellers, I’ve found that many of them have followed maker trends to their own peril…some of them ending up with $0 profits and lots of wasted time.
OH, JUST AS AN FYI, THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, VIEW MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE FOR DETAILS. FAIR WARNING: IT'S LONG AND BORING, BUT IT DOES THE TRICK.
I don’t want that for you!
As a savvy Crochetpreneur®, if you’re wanting to build a business (which means making a profit from your sales), you’re going to have to ask some tough questions:
- Do trending crochet designs fit your brand?
- Are the finished products generating sales for other makers?
- Will your target customer pay what you need to charge in order to make a profit?
- Can you create a similar but more profitable product?
You see, without asking these questions, you just may be sabotaging your own success. Let’s take these questions one-by-one.
Do Current Crochet Trends Fit Your Brand?
Many of you know that when I do my yearly craft fairs, I introduce one or two new items into the mix – just to see how they’ll go over with my customers.
Last year, I took a leap and decided to introduce an entire line for little girls – floral beanies, messy bun hats, scarves, and scoodies – and, guess what, they were a huge flop!
My loyal customers know my brand and they seek me out at craft fairs. What they are looking for are modern, trendy, high-quality fashion accessories for women….not for little girls. In fact, they were confused by the addition and, you know what I always say, a confused customer doesn’t buy.
So, my caution to you, in this instance, is to consider whether or not a trending crochet product fits with your brand before you introduce it into your product line. If it’s going to confuse your customers and muddy the waters, just leave it out.
Now, if it does fit your brand, let’s tackle the next question…
Are Finished Product Made from Trending Crochet Designs Generating Sales for Other Makers?
Sometimes it can be hard to answer this question because not everyone is transparent about their sales and/or their profit margins. But, with a little work, you’ll get a general idea that can help you make an informed decision.
My first inclination, when I’m trying to figure out if things are selling, is to check Etsy. I’ll do a search for the product I’m thinking of selling and click through to some of the top items in search.
Once I click on the item, I’ll go straight to the seller’s page to see if their sales are viewable. In many cases, sellers have hidden their page of sales (for various reasons), but if the page is viewable, I’ll take a look to see if the product shows as having multiple sales.
If it has, I’ll go back to the listing, check out the materials used for the project, and try to determine if that seller is actually making a profit from that particular crochet trend. I take into account cost of supplies, guesstimate of the time it takes to make the product (times $12 per hour), and double that to get a sense of what I might need to charge in order to make a profit.
If the seller is selling the product for close to my desired price, then it passes the test. If it sells for significantly less, I move on and call it a “no.”
I recently saw, on Instagram, where a designer had a super-trending product. She asked something to the effect of “Hey, sellers, tell me, how many of <x product> have you sold since I released the pattern!”
Almost all of the answers ranged from 0-1. Most people responded with, “None yet, but I made a bunch!”
I’d love to know how those craft fair sales went but I haven’t heard any follow up yet. But you don’t need to stalk designers to find out if their trending crochet designs make for good product sales.
All you need to do is ask.
In the Crochetpreneurs® Facebook group, you can connect with other sellers and simply ask them, “Have any of you sold <x product> at a profitable rate?> or “What products are you finding to be profitable in your niche?”
I gave it a shot, recently, when I asked, ” How many physical shawls or ponchos did you sell at a true profit in the past year?” In that group of almost 1800 crochet business owners, the overwhelming response was 0-1.
Others indicated that they had sold shawls, but not at a profit. So, my determination about shawls is that shawls do not make profitable craft fair sellers and taking the time to make them could be costing your business money.
But what if you find that other sellers are making a particular product and selling it for a profit?
Will your target customer pay what you need to charge in order to make a profit?
See, that’s the rub. Even if others are selling a trending crochet product for a profit, will your customers pay the same?
The first thing you need to do is determine how much you’ll need to charge for the product in order to make a profit. If you don’t already have a pricing strategy, you can check out the formula I use in the post, How to Price Crochet Products for Profit.
Once you’ve nailed down the price you’ll need to charge, you’ll have to ask, “Will my customers pay that?” And the answer will be different for everyone. Some Crochetpreneurs® are selling to a high-end, boutique audience and others are selling to bargain-shoppers. And, depending on the product, some sellers customers will want/need that product and be willing to pay for it and others won’t.
Who you sell to will determine how you proceed.
If the answer to the question is “yes,” then great! You’ll add the design to your product line and your customers will be happy to buy.
If the answer to the question is “no,” you’ll need to move on to the next question.
Can you create a similar but more profitable product?
If you’ve found a trending crochet design that you feel will fit your brand, is a popular and profitable item for other sellers, and that your target customer will love….but it’s a little bit out of her price range…there are a few things you can do.
If you’re willing to get creative with a design, you just may be able to create a product that your customers will both love and pay for.
You could turn a poncho into a caplet or a shawl into a shawlette. Or make an earring design into a pendant. There are many ways to get creative and save money for your customers.
In the end, by reducing your costs in both supplies and time, you’ll be able to charge less for the finished product.
If you want to learn more about lowering the costs of your product line, check out my post, Radically Boost Your Bottom Line with Profit-Optimized Crochet Patterns.
So, now that we’ve asked all the hard questions and, maybe, eliminated some unprofitable options from our future product lines, let’s take a look at some profitable trending designs that can help you make a profit this Fall Craft Fair season.
Just remember to ask if it fits your brand and customer – other than that, they’re already profit-optimized!
Women's Fashion Accessories
Free Crochet Pattern: The Beehive Beanie
This hat is always a hit and, bonus, it's unisex. So, you can use it to sell to a larger target audience.
Chelsea Earflap Hat Crochet Pattern
If your target customer is looking for the cutest look for this fall, she's going to love the tassel earflap hat. While it costs a little more than a beanie would, it's totally worth the price and looks great on everyone!
Chunky Lace Cowl Crochet Pattern
So quick to make, this cowl is versatile, soft, and lovely. Customers love the texture and the fact it can be worn as an accessory for both casual and dressy outfits.
McKenna Women’s Beanie Crochet Pattern
With a stitch pattern that matches the cowl, above, this hat looks great with or without a pompom. Upsell the hat with the cowl and your customers walk away with a great set and you make a great profit. I love a win/win!
Chunky Buffalo Plaid Hat
This pattern comes with options for three sizes (infant, toddler, and adult) and includes an a messy bun hat version. When Jackie designed this hat, she sold 50 of them the first month!
Home Decor Items & Accessories
Free Crochet Pattern: Lil Pint Ice Cream Cozy
A great project for your extra scraps, this ice cream cozy whips up in about 15 minutes and is always a great seller.
Quick and Easy Crochet Coasters Pattern
Tie them with a bow and you have a great set to give as a hostess gift, Yankee swap, or gift for a friend who loves to entertain.
Free Crochet Pattern: The Hanging Basket
One of my most popular home decor designs, this basket is great for hanging on a door knob, coat hook, bed post, or stairway. It's so versatile and unisex, it's a great gift for anyone on your customer's list.
Hanging Basket: Teardrop Pouch
The teardrop pod is all the rage for air plants and succulent display, but when made with worsted yarn, they take so long to make! This design works up quickly with super chunky yarn and will make an amazing display in your craft fair booth.
Gorgeous Cone Shaped Hanging Planter
Along with the teardrop basket, above, this cone shaped planter will be a hit with your customers.
As you can see, while there are dangers to following maker trends and ignoring buyer trends, there are still trending crochet products that will be a great fit for your booth or shop. You just need to be wise about what your customer is looking for, what fits your brand, and how the design is profit-optimized. Then, you’ll easily find crochet trends that customers love!
The Perfect Product Line: Six Crochet Trends in One E-book
If you’re interested in more profit-optimized designs, I have an entire collection of some of my top-selling designs available in one handy PDF download.