Knit One Pearl One!

Knitting has received quite a revival in recent years.

If the tabloid’s are to be believed stars such as Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz are just two well known faces who labour over their knitting needles in between filming of scenes in their blockbuster movies.

Do you knit?  Had you ever thought that this useful skill could be a way to earn your living by running your own knitting business?  No, I don’t mean open a wool shop and spend your days selling pattern and needles, however interesting that sounds. With high overheads and business costs it is no longer viable for every high street to have its own cosy knitting shop. There are ways to run a knitting business from home. Fitting it around a family and enjoying the fruits of what is usually thought of as ‘woman’s hobby!’

Where to sell knitwear?

You may wish to design and knit your own exclusive range of designs, but where? Word of mouth is good when first starting out but this is a sales area that could soon run dry. How about the individual boutiques and better class of dress shop that can be found in the modern shopping mall as well as high streets in towns that attract tourists? It may be that you have to start by offering sale or return but when sales grow orders will follow.

How about advertising in local school newsletters? Many parents prefer hand knitted items for their children but do not have the time or the skills to knit clothing themselves. Schools with particularly unusual uniforms may jump at the chance of having a local businesswoman supply pullovers and cardigans in their colours.

Having your own website where your goods can be purchased is almost obligatory these days. No need to spend a lot of money when starting out. Sites such as Mr. Site are available where you simply follow templates when creating your online shop front are fool proof if you do not know someone who can build a site for you.

Craft shows seem to attract buyers who want good quality goods from craft workers. Look in a local newspaper for such shows. These are usually organised by event companies who supply a stall and promote the event.

What to sell?

It may be that you enjoy knitting for children or perhaps you prefer high end fashion? Whatever your decision you do need to research the market. Who else is selling similar items and how much do they charge? Will your knitwear be made from home spun wool from your own sheep or are you into machine washable fibres that suit young children? You may even be offering knitwear made on your own knitting machine. Check that you are making enough profit to live off and are not undercutting other suppliers just to be the cheapest. Cheap is not always good.

You may not be the world’s best knitter but simply feel this is something you can run as a business. How about hiring out workers to make your designs? By placing a card in a wool shop window you will attract ladies who like to knit and wish to earn money at home. Remember that payments made to these people must be shown in your accounts and added as costs when calculating a selling price. Keep your out workers local to where you live otherwise your time will be spent travelling between homes when picking up and dropping off work.

Party Plan

How about venturing into people’s homes to sell your knitwear? Why not do something even more unusual and teach people how to knit in their homes? For a set fee you could hold a two hour workshop in someone’s home where you teach the host and guests how to knit. Include a ball of wool, needles and a basic instruction leaflet in the set price. Have patterns, needles and wools to sell as well as knitwear. Offer to return for another workshop teaching more advanced knitting or perhaps how to knit gloves or fancy stitches such as an Aran design. Hook someone who is new to knitting and they may book a party as well. Your workshops could also be offered to wool shops, schools and even retirement homes.

Something that you learned as a child could be your way to building your own home based business.

Elaine Everest

Author:

I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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