a black background with a plane flying in the sky


How to start a successful crochet small business and website

1. Conduct market research

Starting your small business without market research is like baking cookies from scratch for the first time without a recipe. Market research is the exercise of collecting information on the industry you want to enter, in this case crochet. You will want to gather information on your competitors and your ideal customer/target market.

→ Questions to ask yourself when conducting market research for your crochet business:

A) What types of crochet products are successful crochet businesses selling?

B) What marketing strategies are successful crochet artists employing to help customers discover their small businesses?

C) What price points do different handmade crochet items have?

D) Who is the customer that gravitates toward the crochet small business similar to the one you’d like to start? What platform are they most active on? Instagram, TikTok, etc.?

→ Where to start with your market research?

A) Social media platforms:

Search crochet terms and hashtags on Instagram and TikTok to find popular crochet products, successful crochet small businesses, and crochet artists. Observe which posts get the most engagement and who interacts with successful accounts. Check Pinterest for more ideas on crochet products to sell.

B) Etsy shops and similar online marketplaces:

Visit Etsy to check the pricing and popularity of different crochet items and read reviews for customer feedback.

C) Local craft fairs and markets:

Attend local craft fairs to see what crochet small businesses are selling and their prices. Observe who visits the crochet booths and which crochet products are most desired.

D) Create a survey:

If your target audience follows you on social media, get feedback through a Google form or Instagram poll. Ask them about their preferred crochet products and price points. In addition, have them share their favorite brands to help shape your brand identity.

2. Define your brand identity

A hand holding a yellow compact mirror displaying the reflection of a young woman with short blonde hair wearing green star-shaped pimple patches on her face. The compact contains additional green star-shaped pimple patches. The background shows the interface of an Instagram post by STARFACE, featuring comments from followers expressing admiration for the product. The user's Instagram handle and engagement metrics are visible in the post.

Your brand identity helps you stand out in the crowd and enables people to connect with your crochet business on a personal and emotional level. If you are searching for inspiration, a great example of the power of excellent brand identity is STARFACE.

Pimple patches had been around for a while, but STARFACE was able to win the GEN-Z market with their unique approach and brand. STARFACE made pimple patches fun and an avenue for creative expression instead of something to be embarrassed about. Check out STARFACE’s Instagram here.

Your business name, fonts, colors, logo, photos, and voice all help create your brand identity. Sit down and articulate what makes your brand unique and how you want your audience to feel when interacting with your brand. Take it a step further and spend additional time thinking deeper on your brand mission and values.

→ Selecting brand colors:

Consider using the following resources:

A) Pigment by ShapeFactory: A simple design tool that lets you create color pairings with controls for saturation and tone.

B) FOUND COLOR: Takes images from the internet and develops color schemes from those images.

C) A Dictionary of Color Combinations: Japanese color theorist and painter Wada Sanzo informed this resource. Sanzo made one of the first systemic approaches to color in Japan. Many of his color pairings are available on this site.

D) Werner’s Nomenclature Of Colours: A recreation of an 1821 color guidebook for painters. It explains the color combinations that are mixed to get to a new particular color.

Zesty text graphic with lime green and yellow color palette.

→ Selecting brand typefaces:

Consider using the following rules as guidance:

A) For a traditional and elegant feel: Try serif fonts like Junicode.

B) For a more modern and open feel: Try sans serif fonts like Cooper Hewitt.

C) Funky and creative fonts: Funky and creative fonts are usually best suited for shorter titles and callouts. They can be strenuous on the eyes when used for larger walls of text.

D) Pairing typefaces: Follow the rule of creating contrast. Picking two typefaces that are too similar confuses the eye. For example, a 24pt typeface against a 18pt body copy makes it difficult to distinguish what is more important. Check out our full Pairing Typefaces Guide.

Playful and Serious text graphic using Cooper Hewitt and Junicode Condensed fonts

3. Choose a website builder and a domain

Once you have a clear vision for your brand in the crochet space, build your website to start selling your crochet products.

Try Universe Website Builder for maximum creative control and low transaction fees. With Universe you can build your website with no code from your phone, iPad, or computer. Universe has crochet small business website templates to choose from. You can also easily select your domain within the product.

→ Tips for choosing a website domain:

A) Short: 6-14 characters excluding the .com domain is a best practice to follow, although there is some flexibility here. Keeping your domain on the shorter end will help your website be easier to remember, type, and spell out.

B) Avoid special characters: Hyphens and underscores complicate verbal sharing of your domain name and are often forgotten when typed. Imagine you're reciting your domain name on a podcast, you don’t want to have to mention “hypen” or “dash”.

C) Consider adding a keyword: Adding a relevant keyword like "crochet" can improve your ranking in Google search results. Instead of cozycreations.com, try cozycrochetcreations.com. This immediately signals to Google that you're a crochet business.

Note 📝: keywords can also make your domain overly long and complex. At the end of the day it’s a balance and just one factor to contemplate.

4. Layout + design your crochet website

A variety of colorful Universe website templates displayed on a computer screen

Once you have your website builder of choice, you will want to start building out your essential website pages. You can use Universe’s page templates to reduce the lift of building from scratch.

→ Essential e-commerce website pages:

A) Home page:

• Share your business name, logo, and tagline.

• Display photos of your most popular products

• Add a clear call to action (CTA) button that routes people to shop the full range of your products. CTA examples: “Shop the full collection” or “Browse all crochet plushies”.

• Add links to your social media. This provides “social proof”. Social proof is when people look to others' actions to guide their own. Social media links help customers trust your brand by showing others have bought and liked your product.

B) About page:

• Give context on why and how your business came to be. Include what makes it unique, and who it’s for (hint: your target market).

• Share about yourself as an individual and creative to foster connection with customers. Consider adding a photo of yourself.

• Include social media links to enhance social proof. Consider adding your social links on all subsequent pages.

C) Shop page:

• Sell your crochet items here. Easily upload different product sizes and color variations with the Universe Sell Block.

D) Patterns page:

• List your patterns for sale using the Universe Download Block, which automatically emails customers the pattern upon purchase. If you don’t have patterns yet, consider creating them for future passive income. YouTube and the r/crochet Reddit community are excellent resources for learning pattern writing.

E) FAQ page:

• Get ahead of potential customer questions with your frequently asked questions page. Consider addressing the following FAQs:

→ Do you offer custom crochet items?

→ What materials do you use for your crochet products?

→ How should I care for my handmade crochet product?

→ Can I change or cancel my order?

→ How long will it take to receive my order?

→ What is your return policy?

F) Contact page/link in bio page:

• Add a link in bio page to your site instead of using a third party like LinkTree for optimal SEO and consistent branding.

• Hosting your link list on your own crochet website ensures you capture all organic traffic, unlike LinkTree, which takes a portion. This strategy can increase time spent on your crochet website and improve your Google Search ranking.

→ Check out Universe crochet shops for layout and design inspiration:

a screen shot of the hats website
an image of a woman wearing a dress with the words patterns on it
a screen with the word tonks on it
a picture of a woman in a black dress

5. Nail down your product offering + pricing

Six receipt rolls stacked on top of each other with one red and two blue sewing pins.

Pricing your crochet products accurately is one of the most important steps in launching your small business. How you price your products depends on the profit that you are looking to hit. Some of the most profitable crochet products are hats, keychains, and amigurumi (crochet plushies).

→ Things to take into account when pricing your crochet products:

A) Time: The time it takes to make your product and how much you would ideally pay yourself hourly.

B) Material costs: How much money do you spend on materials to make your product - yarn, packaging, polyfil, hooks, etc.

C) Shipping: Will shipping be free on your website, or an extra charge. If shipping is free on your website, be sure to bake in the cost of shipping so you aren’t paying out of pocket.

D) Competitor pricing: Check out what competitors list as their pricing for similar products.

Learn more about pricing your crochet products.

→ Passive vs Active Income:

Consider learning how to design crochet patterns as you refine your craftsmanship as a crochet artist. Selling crochet patterns provides a steady flow of money with less effort because you only need to design them once. People consider this passive income.

Passive income is even more important for your handmade businesses because your time as a business owner is finite. Earning money from crochet patterns is a great tactic to boost your profit margins and can also help you take your hobby full time.

In contrast, you have to make physical products from scratch each time. People define this as active income.

6. Get feedback on your website.

Hands working on laptop editing text in Adobe Photoshop

Ask your friends and peers to provide constructive feedback on anything that is confusing about your website. You can have them share in an open-ended format, or provide more guided questions.

→ Questions to consider asking when getting feedback on your small business crochet website:

A) What are your initial thoughts and impressions when you first visit the website?

B) Was it easy to find the information you were looking for?

C) How do you feel about the overall design aesthetic (e.g., colors, fonts, images)?

D) Does the website effectively communicate what the business offers and its unique value?

E) Are the CTAs (e.g., "Shop Now", "Contact Us") clear and compelling?

F) Do you feel encouraged to take action (e.g., make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter)?

G) How does the website compare to other similar small businesses you’ve visited?

H) Are there any additional features or information you would like to see on the website?

7. Develop a marketing strategy for your crochet small business

Roll of yellow smiley face stickers

You have your website and your products listed, now you have to get eyes on your online business.

→ Consider the following marketing strategies when starting a crochet business:

A) Build an online presence on social media: Use Instagram, TikTok, and/or YouTube to organically reach people interested in slow fashion and crochet products.

B) Pattern test: Pattern test for crochet artists to get in front of their social audiences and communities that they have cultivated.

C) Market directly to your biggest fans with a newsletter: Encourage people to sign up for your newsletter and directly email them when you have a new crochet drop or sale. Place the Universe Subscribe Block on our website to build an email list and send custom emails.

D) Craft fairs: Put yourself out there and do a craft fair to directly interface with customers. Note: there is typically a cost with renting out a booth at craft fairs so do keep this in mind.

E) Leverage your website analytics and social analytics: See who is naturally gravitating toward your social media and website. Continue to evolve your marketing strategy to adapt to people who are naturally interested in your product.

F) Do an art swap with a creator + post to social: You both get a cool new product and get exposure to each other’s social audience. Note: the other creator can work in an adjacent medium like ceramics.

8. Rollout your marketing plan, observe, and adapt.

Start marketing your website and crochet small business through the marketing avenues covered in the previous point. Observe what works and what falls flat. You’ll have to adapt your approach as you learn what resonates and grow as a business owner.

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