Sunday, July 17, 2011

Defining My Target Market - Plus Size Sweaters

One thing you'll hear a lot about is defining your target market. Who will your customers be and why?

I know that what I really love to do is to design and create high-end sweaters that use luxury yarns and that I don't want to make the same small items over and over. Again, the hobbyist rears it's head and I have to accept that I would rather create the things that I love than treat it like a serious business and make the things that sell well no matter how bored I get. At the risk of sounding artsier-than-thou, if my focus was on money I would un-retire myself, resume my career and be guaranteed a big paycheck. I crochet because I feel naked sitting around without a hook in my hand and I can't even imagine not doing it. I see patterns and textures everywhere and automatically think of materials and colors and sweater designs. It's almost like breathing after so many decades. So, the first target that I'm identifying are women who can afford to buy expensive luxury items. I like to make classic styles as opposed to current trends that will quickly go out of fashion so in general I'm aiming for women that are middle-aged or older.

I was very overweight for many years and although I had plenty of money to spend I had a terrible time finding clothing that was fashionable and age-appropriate, never mind gorgeous and exiting. Those were the days of "would you like your tent in black or navy?". Eventually lower-end stores started to carry their normal lines in plus sizes but those clothes were designed to flatter thin women, not curvy or overweight ones. Even though I'm thin now I love the idea of designing the sweaters that I would have wanted to buy when I needed them. All women deserve to have beautiful things, not just the skinny ones! Little things like having 3/4 sleeves instead of short ones, non-binding waists, straight lines and materials that don't cling make a huge difference for those that would like a bit more coverage and the ability to camouflage the parts that they're uncomfortable with. The more that I think about it the more I want to focus on plus size women over 40 with expensive tastes as my target market. What makes me nervous about this is that there is no way to get around the fact that making a size 2X sweater takes twice as much yarn as a comparable size medium and twice as much time to make. Crocheting isn't like sewing and it isn't just a matter of using a bit more material. Like it or not, they're going to have to be expensive unless I want to start working in acrylics and there is no way that I'm doing that!
Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at

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