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Topic: Few questions about local selling....  (Read 1196 times)
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« on: January 14, 2011 10:02:10 AM »

I've brainstormed multiple times and can't think of how to start. I crochet a bunch of things. My husband suggested that I sell. I'm wondering if anyone knows how to advertize and actually get noticed.

Also, anyone have any favorite fashion design books that show how to create patterns and drawing techniques?

Help would be so much appreciated!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011 04:31:21 PM »

I am currently in exactly the same situation.  I love making kids' hats - animal-themed, funky colors, whatever.  I've sold things to friends, but you can only do that so many times!

I'm on a local moms' website and advertised under the "buy and sell" folder, but that has only netted me one lead, which fell through when the weather turned crummy.

I e-mailed a local kids/moms consignment store, but have yet to hear back from them.  This is probably a good thing, as I don't actually have all my ducks in a row yet.

From what I've seen on here, the professional way to approach a business about carrying your product is to do two things.  1) make a "look book" - photos of your product, rather than carrying everything around with you, and 2) what I think amounts to a price sheet - what you make and what the price would be.  I'm not sure if this is the prospective selling price or what you want to get out of the item, and then the store tacks their percentage/whatever on top.

For my product (and my schedule) I think placing my hats in a local store would be the best option for me.  It would depend on what you make and how much time you have to devote to finding/meeting customers.

I have a full time job, two kids, and a schedule that is opposite my husband's.  So either I'm at work, or I have a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old with me.

If I had enough time, and I think I will try to make the time, I would try to participate in a craft fair.

Placing ads in local papers and stores would be a good idea - as long as the ads look professional and aren't all hand-written (unless you can make that look good!).

You could always donate something to a local charity or silent auction, and place your business cards along the item, with the hopes that whoever doesn't win the item would come to you and buy something similar.

And there's always the notion that you can advertise your own product - wear it always!  Get people to notice YOU and ask "where ever did you get that *insert item here*"...

Those are all the things I've brainstormed lately...good luck to you!

« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011 05:10:02 PM »

Thanks for the info! I was thinking of putting an ad in the newspaper, but it costs money and I'm in a financial rut (just using yarn I already have). Then I thought etsy, but I have to crochet lots of things first. Plus that isn't loal per say. Someone mentioned Craigslist and I might try that, but I don't know. I was also thinking put ads in store entryways, but not sure if people really look at those. I'm trying to figure another way. I do like the idea of wearing it. Look book/price book is better. Someone mentioned craft fairs and markets, but I don't know how to find out about those.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011 03:24:26 PM »

Craftlister is a good site for finding local fairs... the local events tab on craigslist may also have groups looking for crafters for their fairs.
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011 03:59:00 PM »

My boyfriend's mom sells felted knitted mittens, and she started out just working on them on her lunch breaks at work (as Christmas gifts). People at work asked her about them, she did some figuring, and now she takes orders starting in August Cheesy

For myself, I'm getting ready to launch my own business via Weebly for my personal website, and I intend to link in my signature here, advertise myself through my blog, post flyers at various venues around town, talk about it on my Facebook wall (which I've made sure to set to "everyone"), and post on a local buy n sell group on Facebook. I'll likely also post a listing on a local classifieds website, possibly on bigger classifieds sites like Kijiji and CraigsList for my area, but I hesitate to post in the paper because free classified ads are only once a week, and it's rare that I read the classifieds section, so why would my customer base? I'd have to take out a "proper" advert to even get noticed, and there's no way I can pay for one!

One thing that everything I've read says is very important is to wear your own gear. A LOT. And don't forget to tag your products in some way (a permanent tag, not a paper tag).

It's alot to think about, but if you're really serious, I'd recommend reading everything you can on Fashion Incubator in regards to starting a sewing-based business. I think it's just as pertinent to any other "home craft" as income.


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