Friday, July 5, 2013

How I Kept Myself From Being Successful

I was asked by someone local, "Are you still crocheting?" Eek...The fact that someone asked that question is a problem. I crochet all the time. So, why would a local person have to ask me if I'm still crocheting?

I had to search myself and realized that I am keeping success away by hiding my pieces from the world. It sent me on a search to figure out what misconceptions do I have that are keeping me from being successful? And, in the end, it resulted in the fact that I am neglecting the platforms I have on which to promote my finished pieces to the world of people who may end up buying them.

I have neglected my blog

June was a difficult month for me personally. It leads up to the time of my sister's death, which my husband will assure you is a difficult time for me every year. I also encountered a very brutal personal attack after I unwisely confronted an unjust situation. Oy. So, I completely lacked motivation to expose anything of myself to the world and that included the beautiful things I created in June. I attempted to make up for that by posting a June wrap-up on July 1st.

I have neglected Facebook

Facebook algorithms change faster than anyone can keep up and the changes they have made over the past 18 months have made it nearly impossible for small business owners like me to continue reaching our fan base. It has actually caused on blogger to consider preparing for the fall of Facebook.

When my posts got to the point of reaching less than 10% of my fans, I stopped posting. Very few people were seeing the posts anyway (although I can always count on a few family members and faithful friends to like my posts). Stopping entirely was not the right way to approach the problem. So, I will start posting my projects on Facebook with diligence.

I have neglected my Etsy Shop

I pour my heart and soul into every piece I make. I treasure them and I don't want to throw it out to the Etsy wolves who feast on the beauties before their eyes. Let's face it. Most of the moms who sit around browsing Etsy are buying from Etsy. I would say there are very few shops on Etsy that have established their shop to become the preferred supplier of the item they make (the term supplier comes from my day job...forgive me for that). They aren't buying it from Niccupp Crochet or any other shop name out there. I wish there were a magic formula that would trigger the mom's memory of who she bought the item from. Or photographers for that matter.

Do the consumers of a crocheted piece really care who made it? As long as the quality is excellent and it arrives quickly and in perfect condition, the mom will be happy. Do they remember who they bought it from? Probably not. If you sell on Etsy, I would love if you could leave a comment and tell me how many return customers do you have? This is in regards to completed items only (not pattern sales).

What can we do to interact with our buyers more so that they see us for who we are and not just see our single item the fit their keyword search on Etsy?

Where are my items going and Who gets to see them?

The simple answer is my items are going nowhere. My finished objects get flashed around on Ravelry and I share them in a few Facebook groups with friends who crochet. All I want is for them to be loved and these groups of people are always happy to congratulate one another on our recent accomplishments. My items receive love and my heart is happy. 

I also flash my items around at work where I have a faithful group of friends who adore that this geek can also get her craft on.

Because of my view toward Etsy and my dislike for Facebook, my finished items are not selling. 

The Number One reason my items are not selling is because I am not posting them for sale!

My collection of finished pieces is growing and growing. I have actually started giving quite a few pieces away this year because it makes me feel better when I select their homes than when someone selects my item for their home. That's the wrong way of thinking for a business owner, isn't it?

Where do I go from here?

The obvious answer is that if I truly want Niccupp Crochet to be a business, then I have to be willing to sell my items. That seems obvious right? 

I have to be willing to let my items go to people I don't know.

I have to be willing to accept money in exchange for the pieces I work so hard to create. This includes accepting the fact that there will be moms who buy from Etsy and never remember my name. The thing is, I'm not just out there trying to make a buck. My goal first and foremost is to expose the world to the beauty of the fiber arts and make them want what I make.

So, yeah, I'm not really out there trying to make a buck, but making a little money seems to be required for not only maintaining a business, but running a successful one.

Do your personal opinions hinder you from becoming the business you could be or ought to be?

In response to the question which started this post, "Are you still crocheting?"

The answer is yes. The four images that you see in this blog post are things that I have made in the past 5 days. FOUR finished items in 5 days is pretty good. And this doesn't include the Yoda hat that is in progress nor does it include the mystery amigurumi animal I am working on where I have crocheted 19 pieces out of what I think will be a total of 20, but could be 21.

I definitely stay busy crocheting. I do it because I enjoy it and it helps me relax. I hope that it also makes YOU smile and appreciate the artform known as crochet.


  1. Why not just post pictures on a blog page of the things that is someone wanted to buy them they could, same with Facebook. It isn't costing you anything and anyone that does want to buy them has made the effort. If they've made the effort then they are worth selling to. Just an idea.

    1. Susan - I will definitely post my items on my blog. Posting ready-to-ship items on Facebook has never worked for me.

      On the other hand, Facebook has been a great platform to show what I have made and it has led to many customers requesting specific items after seeing other things I have made.

  2. I have fallen prey to all of these pitfalls myself. I have just gotten back into my business with gusto . Having an exciting new venture has helped me tremendously but it has also be a drive from within to relaunch my business with a bang.

    My biggest pitfall is one you don't have listed here. I take on TOO much. I have a million things going on, besides the ones that my fellow hookers and/or fans even know about.

    I haven't posted a single item on my Etsy page in MONTHS. I also haven't made any items for the local boutiques I typically sell through. I've been doing a little of this and a little of that and not been focusing on one or two key things. I am in the process of changing that now!

    I am narrowing down my focus to a couple things and I am going to work hard at doing my best at those things. I will eventually get to the other stuff... who am I kidding... I'll probably still be all over the place but I am going to try to get the must do's done first.

    1. I think I can agree with you on taking on too much at once. I work full-time, have a family and my husband is a full-time pastor. And, I've chosen to run a crochet business, too? I must be crazy. ;)

      I think this wake-up call or desire to refocus had to come sooner or later. I am going to jump back in with both feet and try to focus on the things that make me successful as a business and do more than just have lots of friends who love my work.

      I am so happy for your new venture! Having a dream come true is definitely motivation to keep doing what you do. <3

  3. This is a fabulous post and I too struggles with many of these things! Sometimes it's good to sit down make goals and go for it again! I to have two tubs full of finished items that didn't sell before but I've not tried to re-sell or re-list on other platforms! It's go to go or just donate it. With the changes in facebook I just say keep on posting. Someone sees it and it may not be everyone but in the end it's still worth it. What's great about the internet is there is always other platforms to try so just keep trying! Change isn't always easy but sometimes it's good. I've learned that a lot in my personal life the past few months and now need to apply that to my business! *hugs*

  4. Great post...I often find myself doing much of the same things. Recently I have realized I need to do so much more. Good Luck!


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