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Maker Profile - Leah & Stitch
As a crochet maker in Alberta, I'm privileged to know of Leah's work firsthand. I've seen her at handmade markets, and we often attend the same Sip 'n Stitch group.
Her crochet work is beautiful, and so I reached out to her and asked if she would share about her journey of becoming a crochet maker and designer.
Tell me what inspired you to start your business.
When I started my crochet business I had already been crocheting for over four years. In the beginning I mostly crocheted items for presents and for myself, but I always wanted to start selling items that I made, but simply never had the time. In the winter of 2016 I was presented with a change in career, making it the perfect time to start Leah & Stitch.
What is it like to see your design ideas become a reality as a maker? What's your process for coming up with new designs?
In the winter of 2016/2017 I designed and wrote my first pattern. To see how far my crocheting skills had come was very exciting to me. I decided to name the pattern after my Grandmother who taught me how to crochet. It was very important to me to give credit and honor my Grandmother by naming my first pattern after her. I plan to write more patterns and intend to continue to name them after those that inspire me.
One of the most exciting parts of the design process is picking colour schemes for a project. I love seeing how the colours come together once the project is complete. I really love getting feedback from customers on my choice of colours!
You do a mix of selling at shows and online. What is your best advice for sales success at shows?
Be friendly and positive! When you are at a market it is important to interact with the customers. People are more likely to approach your booth/table if you have a smile on your face.
Do you sell on Etsy? Why did you choose to go with them (or not)?
Yes, I sell on Etsy. I chose to create an Etsy page because I have another maker friend who used it and was able to give me advice in setting it up. She had great success with it and suggested that it would be a good way to grow my business.
Your Instagram feed is beautifully curated. What's your criteria for a great crochet post?
It takes a lot of work to maintain my Instagram account. I try to keep my account consistent by following a general theme or colour scheme, while trying to let my individuality shine. I like to show my followers some pictures of my creativity behind the scenes, as well as the finished product. Also, my dogs love to sneak in the odd picture, which always makes for a great photo.
What's your advice on pricing structure for crochet makers?
Pricing my items has always been one of the hardest things to do. I always take into account how long an item takes me to make and material costs. I advise talking to other makers who make similar items.
What's your best piece of life wisdom for someone who wants to turn their skill into a profitable business?
Starting your own business can be very intimidating. My advice is to not be afraid to put yourself out there. The easy part is using your skills to create items to sell. The hard part comes with learning the business side of things. Taking on the task of designing a logo, creating business cards, marketing, pricing, attending my first market, etc., was challenging, but it was also very rewarding and satisfying as my product sold and customers encouraged me with positive feedback. Setting up my business was stressful, but also a very positive and rewarding learning experience. One last tip would be to find other makers in your area, as they are a fantastic source of information and support. The “Maker Tribe” has made my journey easier and so enjoyable!
Find Leah on Instagram @leah.and.stitch
or on Etsy
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