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Crochet Business Interview: Get Hooked on Crochet

Today’s crochet business interview is with Ali of Get Hooked on Crochet. 

Did you set out to make money with crochet or was it an afterthought? How did you get started?

Crochet class Get Hooked

Get Hooked Students

Not initially, but then someone asked me to teach them to Crochet and after a successful few lessons with them, I thought “I could teach crochet professionally” so I did. I had my own office space at home, which I used as my “crochet room” and I advertised in a local magazine for the area, set up my own website, mentioned it on my blog and the phone started to ring!

I am really passionate about crochet and I love to teach. I also love to teach myself new stitches and follow more complicated patterns as regularly as possible. I am rarely without a crochet hook in my hand.

What is the main income stream from your crochet?

Teaching is my main income from crochet although I have just started to design and I now have my first commission for a Crochet Magazine. Due to space, I was only teaching private one to one classes but now that I have moved home, I have persuaded my husband to let me have the dining room as a workshop/crochet classroom where I can hold group classes for up to 6 pupils. I am teaching both beginners and intermediates in 4 week workshops that last for 2 hours per time, which is a good amount of time to hold a class for.

How do you market your crochet business and/or crochet blog?

I promote my crochet one to one classes and group classes on a tab on both my blog and my website. I also promote it daily on twitter and I have designed some colorful and eye catching posters which I put up locally on Village Hall notice boards (I live in the countryside now,  not the city anymore)  and at a few local shops and wool shops too!

How long was it until you really saw your financial goals being met?

It has taken about 12 months to recoup the initial advertising costs plus then there are the hooks, yarns, books and other sundries that you have to buy to make your classes work. As I have moved home, the advertising has had to be re-visited and expenditure is impossible to avoid. However, I am a great believer in “you have to speculate to accumulate”.

Any advice you’d give someone new to starting a crochet business?

If you are teaching then you have to know that you can teach – it’s not a given that if you can crochet, you can teach crochet. You have to be a very patient person to teach crochet.  You have to be passionate about it too – it’s more than just a hobby once you start to teach, because you are committing yourself to your pupil & you can’t let them down. If you are a crochet designer then it’s finding the right avenue for your work, which means putting in a lot of research and knocking on a lot of doors.

About Ali and Get Hooked on Crochet:

Get Hooked On Crochet – Crochet Classes for Beginners & Intermediates is based in North Dorset UK.

Website | Blog | Twitter |

About I Love Crochet

Sara Duggan is a Wife and Mom enjoys crocheting and writing. She joined the crochet blogging community in 2007 as Momwithahook. In 2008 she toyed with designing patterns and shares her creations with you. Connect with Sara on Twitter and Pinterest.

  • Iris

    Nice interview! I’m in the midst of trying to decide which way to go in terms of growing my crochet business.

    Because I do not have the patience, I do not plan to teach crochet, except to my daughters. Designing patterns is a very strong interest and I think it would be a very good way to generate some income. There are a lot of free patterns online so I would have to compete with the “freebie seekers” and hope to make myself known to those who don’t mind paying a few dollars for a pattern.

    Outside of designing patterns, I’m also seeking other ways to generate income. I am currently crocheting some items for another Etsy store I’ve set up. I’ve had my currently Etsy account for over 5 years but I’ve only bought things from other Etsy sellers. My daughter listed some feather earrings last year but they didn’t sell. Etsy is not as easy as it seems. You really have to market and make sure you are using the right keywords in the right places.

    My target date to get things listed and receive sales is March 1st, 2013. I”m trying my best to not spend too much money in preparation of the launch of this new Etsy store. However, I have spent more than I planned on more yarn. I’m hoping things take off and I’m able to make my money back … and then some!

    Pricing items so that you’re able to recoup your cost is quite a dilemma. The items that I’m working on take me a little more than an hour to complete one item. However, pricing it at a high enough price point to recoup my costs and make enough for my time may decrease my sales.

    When you think about it, you can put in a lot of time crocheting or knitting an item. Finding a buyer who appreciates your skill, time, and quality product is a major concern. About 70% of the crocheters and knitters on Etsy are pricing their items far below what would render a decent return for their investment of time and costs for materials.

    What are your thoughts on this issue of pricing our crocheted items???

    • For Etsy store specific help I highly recommend Handmadeology. When I sold on Etsy I too bought more than I sold. I totally agree that most crocheters undersell their items. I think it might be because they are hyper focused on getting the “sale”. (an important part of business right?)

      To get started in designing crochet patterns I’d first go to Crochet Guild of America. Become a member if you can.(Less than $40/year) Once you are a member you can ask specific questions in the forum on how to get started. You can also visit YarnStandards.com for information on designing patterns.

      Good luck on your shop. My main advice for anyone in business is to build your community. This means blogging, interacting with people on Facebook and/or Twitter. This can include local people too.

      Pricing crochet – I wrote an article about this for YarnObsession.com (Sedie) and she just published a book on this too. I like her book as it shows you how to set a wholesale price (a profitable wholesale price) and then work from there.

      You should visit her site where she shares more of her tips on this. Sedie is a professional small business marketer and I believe she does consultations so you might consider hiring her to guide you in your business.

      One more resource you might invest in is the Crochet Business Mastermind group on Crochetville. It is a monthly group where you are free to discuss your business questions.

      I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you for all these great questions. I’ll be sure to focus on them in future articles.

      • Ali

        Hi Iris & Sarah, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think that it’s good to have a deadline to keep as this keeps you on your toes & Sara’s response is a very good informative one for you.

        • Deadlines are the key to meeting your goals – at least they are for me. If I have a deadline I hurry to meet it. If I just leave it in the air I slack off.

  • BekkaPoo

    This was a wonderful interview! This gives me more inspiration for what other directions I may be able to take my business. I know that a lot of people want to learn how to crochet, and as I gain more experience this will be something I would also like to offer.

    • Teaching crochet is a great addition to your crochet business. Ali does a wonderful job at promoting her classes. She now has an online eCourse in addition to the in-person classes. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      • Ali

        Hi BekkaPoo & Sara,

        Teaching IS a great addition to your crochet business, I agree, but you have to have the patience to be able to do it. Teaching One2One is less stressful than teaching a group class as you tend to find that people in group classes all work at different speeds so you have to do a lot of juggling and obviously have to make everyone feel as though they are getting value for the money they have paid!

        • I taught a couple groups at church. It was a ladies group and man can it get a little crazy. It’s not like sitting and relaxing while crocheting rather it’s constantly working the room, answering questions, pointing out certain things etc. I loved doing it though.

  • Gwen, not sure about free yarn as that is usually only done for non-profits. Discount yarn can be purchased anywhere online just check the major brand websites and click on clearance. If you sign up for the sales newsletter you can get coupons. For businesses you can get a EIN or tax id number for your business and purchase yarn at wholesale prices too.
    In the past I’ve recycled yarn and picked up yarn from second hand shops or garage sales.