Do I Take The Risk?

Because BLW isn't just for lentil-weavers. Some of us like to piddle about with bits of felt and sticky-backed plastic as well.

Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby blackberrycrimble » 02 Aug 2013, 19:21

As others have said, as they are good sellers there isn't too much risk - if they don't sell at the fair, or if you/the PA don't have time to make them all up before the fair, you can take orders there, or sell online afterwards. You've just answered what was going to be my big question, which was about the time to make them up.

Re not being sure about them. Just because you do it once, doesn't mean you have to do it again.
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby ches » 02 Aug 2013, 19:27

I don't know if i am being dense, but it sounds like you are wanting a short term loan for not much money. That seems like a business credit card, not a business loan. I do think you should list a kit for each pattern on Etsy and have the hook as an optional extra.

If you do a business loan, you should think bigger picture, more long term.
BLPT Guidelines thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4477&p=48324
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby H and K » 02 Aug 2013, 19:34

KatGoldLIN wrote:
The thing is that my gut is so split on it - which is pretty rare for me. The truth is, I need a steady income. Publishing does not pay in a way that is terribly sustainable for people who need to eat every day. On the other hand, I really don't love the kits, and I really can't see them being a longer term part of the business. Frankly there are people out there who do it much better than I do and that isn't a market position I like to be in ;)




If your gut is split then it sounds like a 'no' to me. If you wanted to do it I think you would know. I am sure that you have far greater things ahead of you, and should be working towards those. If this is just a step along the way for some easyish cash, then fine, but if it brings greater stress than the financial reward maybe not.
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby PicNic » 02 Aug 2013, 20:00

I can absolutely see what H&K is saying about following your gut when things are already so stressful for you but I was just wondering whether it would actually be quite a good marketing/advertising move as the kits are likely to be given as Christmas gifts and therefore your name will be seen by the buyers at the craft market and then a wider audience of gift recipients. Just a thought.
Very proud mummy of our adventurous little man 09/09 and our cheeky little lady 11/11
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby Svea » 02 Aug 2013, 20:29

I would agree with ches as well. How much money and how short/long term are you talking about??
There are also peer to peer loans that might be worth while? Can't remember the names but something like kiva but for UK peeps/projects?
Mama to M since 02/10/07, P since 08/03/10 and O 07/06/13
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby Pics » 02 Aug 2013, 21:50

As a non-crafty type i can honestly say i have been really impressed by my crochet camp kit. It is high quality, not overly fussy and is the kind of thing i would seriously consider buying people as a Christmas or birthday present; especially a one or two project kit rather than the 4 project kit as there is less risk in this as a gift. With your logo attached and your details on all the instructions, it would also be a great marketing tool as people who get them will share them with other people and come back to your website/store for further goods.

I agree that these will also be a great draw to a stall as they are non-threatening to beginners like me who just don;t know where to start and are a bit scared of all the different yarns etc available. If they don;t sell at the fair, can you just go all out to sell them online? Or, alternatively, make up a limited number, and make sure you keep some back if they all sell as demos and take orders for further kits if they race out of your stall faster than expected?
Mummy to 3 scrumptious BLWers, who sometimes rebel + ask for spoonfeeding (2007, 2010, 2013). Antilop chair, slings, cloth nappies, no steam mop but awaiting permission for special handshake which probably involves porridge.
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby ches » 02 Aug 2013, 23:47

You should probably also plan to have your photography on display with fliers/cards for product photography and Capturing Childhood. Also, as kits will be gifts, something inside like "sign up here for your free crochet tutorials" and then a rehash of the Crochet Camp materials. That will expand your newsletter and blog audience. Do your business cards reference your Betsy shop and Ravelry profile?

I can see how you aren't in love with kits. Last year you were making dozens over aviator hats. Now you are a full-time designer. Kits are dull, but they are great for people who have stash issues.
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby jvnt » 03 Aug 2013, 00:30

ches wrote:I don't know if i am being dense, but it sounds like you are wanting a short term loan for not much money. That seems like a business credit card, not a business loan. I do think you should list a kit for each pattern on Etsy and have the hook as an optional extra.

If you do a business loan, you should think bigger picture, more long term.


I wouldn't normally think someone should to go out and get credit card debt (!) but in this case it does make sense.
jvnt, mother to The Boy, August '09, Baby Dragon, January '12 and HP May '14.
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby Rahgamuffin » 03 Aug 2013, 06:10

What is your mark up on kits v other things you'd sell, including your time/time of the person packing them?

Also, who is the workshop aimed at? If its aimed at newbies, then kits are perfect - you can sell them at the end of the workshop as a way of carrying on what you've done. If it is aimed at people trying to design or improve their skills, then kits may sell as presents, but something else may sell better?
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby Seriously_Nutty » 03 Aug 2013, 07:09

Shortterm loans for small amounts of money and the worst for interest. As ches said can you cover it with an interest free credit card instead? Or family? I use family for this sort of thing, except its not business and the terms are often sketchy :oops:

If the PA is making the kits, and yes you've come a long way you have a PA now, then it's just money isn't it? Crunch the numbers and find out how many kits you need to sell to cover costs? Not forgetting Christmas is just around the corner? Make sure you can easily jollyify them for Christmas then I can't see how you can loose tbh. This craft malarkey is growing all the time. Get the kits out there and then you can try to get them stocked in retailers and there is your steady income... grocieries :wink: You may find the product boring but isn't that the case for a lot of art folk? They gain their income from something they find dull while they keep creating more exciting stuff....

I don't see why you can't look to making more professional kits and getting them into retailers. The fact you are published surely gets you in the door. Books with starter kits seem like the ultimate (Christmas) present, or is that just me?
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” - Franklin P. Jones
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby Disco » 03 Aug 2013, 07:47

You may find the product boring but isn't that the case for a lot of art folk? They gain their income from something they find dull while they keep creating more exciting stuff....

If this is the reason you're holding back from doing it then I think this time you should ignore it this time. As a means of short term cash boost and of widening your audience further it sound like a great idea. Its a good product and ideal for the run up to christmas.
You don't *need* to do it again after, at least not in this form with all the laborious prep.

I know its better to be thinking longer term, but I am too impulsive to give up the half-guarantee of a couple of months of grocery money.

Is there is something else you could be focussing your energy on if you weren't doing the kits? I imagine there is, but also that there are no other quick income fixes whilst you work on them....

so yeah. I'm still voting go for it.

Ches's suggestion about something other than a business loan also sounds like it might be a good idea.
mama to two summer boys S (09) and A (12)

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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby robyn » 03 Aug 2013, 07:52

Seriously_Nutty wrote: You may find the product boring but isn't that the case for a lot of art folk? They gain their income from something they find dull while they keep creating more exciting stuff....


HELL YES! The dull stuff keeps the pennies flowing, here it's dressmaking/alterations/teaching uninterested 8 year olds to knit while their parents go for a coffee....

The product photography courses would find a lot of interested audiences at the fair I bet - anyone who makes anything dabbles in etsy these days, Will there be wifi at the fair? will there be ways to take card payments? I bet you could get a lot of folk signed up for courses on the day, and even more in the weeks afterwards. If you can't do cc then look into ways you can use paypal to get people paying via their phones there and then?
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Re: Do I Take The Risk?

Postby KatGoldLIN » 03 Aug 2013, 09:50

what all awesome ideas!! Yes! THank you!!

I am pretty sure there will be WiFi. The course participants will be mixed - but its not matter as I am teaching 200 of them, so bound to be some sales from that.

and re the dullness - its not the only reason - TBH the main reason for not doing them is that I keep messing them up in some way and because I have insane amounts of other work. BUT, the whole reason I started doing them was that I wanted to take a cradle to grave approach to crochet - what I really want is for people to buy patterns from The Crochet Project and tackle more complex items from books, but the skills need to be built up to get there - hence kits and Crochet Camp. So, yes, they continue (but maybe not forever).

thank you all for the great advice!
Kat
Mum to E 02/04/2007, G 26/03/2010 and T 30/03/2011
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