Thursday, June 30, 2011

To Sell or Not to Sell...

I learned to crochet as a child way back in the dark ages so I've been doing it for about 45 years now. (Yep, I'm that old.) I started up with making simple basic things followed by afghans, blankets and then many years of making lace. I eventually found that what I enjoyed most was to design and make sweaters using wonderful natural fibers. It never occurred to me to sell any of it until I took off on Grateful Dead tour after college and found that I could easily make a happy hippy kid living by selling the sorts of tapestry crochet tams and pouches that you can still see in my shop. I never really tried to sell the sweaters but I worked on them in public and in coffee shops and someone always talked me out of keeping whatever it was that I was making and selling it to them instead either for their own use or to put in their boutiques.

After I retired an old friend with a tiedye business asked if I would make a few of the sorts of tams that I used to sell at shows so that he could put them out with his own work at craft fairs. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I quickly realized that I was getting bored with the repetition of it all even if the money was good. I had a few left and since I had heard of Etsy from a friend I decided to try to get rid of the last ones there and before I knew it I had an online business. Well, I had some bad pictures on a website anyway. Of course no one knew that my shop even existed, my items were buried on page gazillion in the Recency search and I was off making the sweaters and occasional blanket that I really loved to make as a hobby and selling off enough of them to keep paying what was becoming an astronomical yarn bill. Yes, I'm one of those dreaded 'hobbyists" that you hear so much about - we don't want to get rich, we're too old to have day jobs to quit and we just want an excuse to make things that we love but don't need any more of.

Lesson Number 2 Learned the Hard Way:
Tossing a few items that you don't want to make any more of onto a page and then ignoring them for months is not a good business strategy, at least not if you ever plan to sell something. Allowing your hobby to eat up most of your pension check isn't such a brilliant idea either.

Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at


  1. goodness, I have been crocheting as long as you too, but not nearly as well. I am your first follower 8-)
    I would love for you to visit and follow back

  2. YAY we have a follower! This is so exciting :).

    I'm off to visit yours now and see if I can figure out how to follow something...

  3. Great blog girls! Look forward to hearing more of your experiences along the way.