In 2014, I learnt how to crochet from Bagoday Crochet channel on Youtube.
I made crochet market bags for sale to people because I saw a need for environment preservation.
You can turn yarn/wool into money, and I break this article into easy to understand steps on how to build a crochet empire in Kenya
How to Run a Crochet Empire in Kenya (Make Fast Cash) From Home
The following is a detailed guide on how to begin a crochet empire in Kenya. Before we continue,
Crocheting is similar to starting a shaggy mats business which is handmaking rugs with wool.
Read More about A Shaggy Mats Business in Kenya
The steps include the following:
1. Identify your target market
Yes, for a business to become an empire, you cannot generalise the population or your customers.
You cannot say, all Kenyans want crochet items. While that may be true, you need to know who these Kenyans are, where they live.
And if they wear crochet items and where they get the items from. If there is a prominent supplier in their region what makes you believe that they will abandon the supplier for you?
Knowing your target market gives you an idea of how much there are willing to spend on crochet items.
I see items getting priced at $200 on Etsy those are blankets or shawls. Can you price one item at 20, 000 shillings for your target market in Kenya?
2. Know what your buyer wants
Maybe your target market or buyer wants to stand out.
They want to make a fashion statement during the winter times with their beanie hats. Is there winter in Kenya?
How can you reach the people living in the cold highlands of Kenya which are cold year-round?
Does your customer want small kitchen items like tea coasters?
Why do they want tea coasters and what design of tea coasters do they buy?
The aim of buying any item is to stand out, you don’t want to have the same kind of item sold on Alibaba and Aliexpress and can be sourced for a dollar.
I talk all the time about the mistakes I made in my pillow business. I priced the pillows at $5 each, 18’ pillows.
Don’t do this, yes, you will get lots of customers. But you will work like a donkey and suffer from burnout.
You will begin wondering what and where you went wrong. Learn how others in your niche price their crochet items and if the items sell.
Yes, if you are selling beanies, that’s the niche. What are other beanie niche sellers pricing their products at and why?
Can you compete with their prices? Then sit down with yourself, ask, how much will my customers pay for this beanie?
Ask them on social media, or create a survey and gauge the price your customers want to pay you.
4. Where does your customer live?
Kenyans, many of them, opt for mitumba clothes. So your market maybe scattered worldwide.
The best way to gauge where your market lives – create content. I’ll explain it.
Before I started creating YouTube content on making money online in Kenya, I taught lots of sewing tutorials.
I wasn’t happy to make sewing videos/tutorials because they consumed the whole day to create. I couldn’t figure out how to place cameras or tripods or how to edit. It was a headache.
Then one day, I created a video on how to make money online and everything changed.
The more I made the money online videos the more I realised I should have stuck with what came easily to me.
And that’s when I knew my target market is based in Africa but I stick to making money online in Kenya because I cannot talk about Africa.
Africa is too big to generalise! In short, test your crochet market on the internet, through tutorials or content you come up with.
Then you will know how to create marketing messages for every person in your platform.
Remember, people from around the world are crochet fans, stick to the original. If it’s crochet for men, for women, for kids. Stick to one niche/target market then grow or spread your wings. It’s what Bagoday did with her channel.
I followed her because she created market bags, office bags which I could sell to others, as time flew, she crochets everything under the sun – adult clothes too! That’s why the name of her channel, a bag a day.
5. Just create awesome products
Yes, focus on the quality than quantity. I keep telling myself. It’s best if you make that one stunning item daily than 10 mediocre-looking crochet items.
Focus on the design, I hear Steve Jobs wise words ringing in my brains daily. The design is what brings in people.
The importance of being your first customer, you will pay attention to the details. And know people buy with the eyes more than the money.
6. Determination, persistence, consistency
Businesses are about motivation and finding inspiration. A crochet empire isn’t different. If you give up, you vanish.
You won’t get to know where the idea would have taken you. If you stay the course, you see the results.
I prefer to remain the last man standing. I have seen what determination does and keeps doing for my pillow, Airbnb and writing business.
Keep on staying on your crochet and you will reap the fruits.
If you want to get motivated in your business, or you are starting out and on the verge of giving up, say below for more motivation business tips.
7. Establish your brand
You are building an empire and empires brand themselves. A brand is a fancy way of saying, how does your crochet business stand apart?
How are you different?
How will customers know it was your product?
I’d advise, to sew labels on your products, leave email addresses or phone contacts if you love phone conversations.
A brand is about being consistent across all platforms, so if you’re on Facebook, use the same name across all social media.
Choose a name for your brand that mentions what you do as a crocheter.
READ MORE: How to Build a Brand From Scratch
8. Begin from a niche
There are a million and one items to crochet in a crochet business. Choose one or two items you want to rank for.
For example, if you love crocheting sweaters, what kinds of sweaters, men sweaters? Long-sleeved or short?
Cable knit crochet patterns or the lacy kind that look like shawls?
When people come to your shop, they know and see the different kinds of sweaters you have in your shop and they identify you as the sweater queen.
I loved Bagoday because she was a bags queen but she crochets everything in her shop these days.
Start from one item, master it, keep coming up with new ideas. Once you get a hype following, you can bring on all your ideas.
9. Market, market, market
A crafts business including crochet makes money through marketing. You cannot create an item and hide it or sell it once.
Keep telling others to check out the items you create. And someone told me, you cannot help it but sell it when it’s good.
When you hide it, you aren’t confident so people assume it’s bad or you blew air about crocheting, who buys hidden things.
The bible talks about hiding your candles.
Candles bring light, do you follow?
10. Pay attention to your customer service
One of the things my customers told me, ‘I come to your pillow shop every day to make more orders when I have enough pillows because – my God, I feel so welcomed here’.
And I thought, finally something to not get tired about. I got a burn-out from the one million therapy sessions I conducted without pay in the pillow shop.
Make your customers leave your business, whether it’s an online or offline store feeling important.
Don’t let them go home with questions or swearing how they’ll never come to your premises.
You want to pay attention and listen to them. Listening attentively helps you know what customers truly want.
11. Don’t ever and I say ever STEAL anyone’s designs and say they’re yours
Copyright strikes stop many would-be crocheters and crafters online.
I know of writers who got banned to write online and no matter what they try, they get found out.
Don’t steal Bagodays crochet patterns and claim it’s yours.
She says clearly, you can sell items but never sell her patterns.
So, when creating a side-hustle from a creative, pay attention. Stay true and keep on learning.
12. Enjoy, passion have fun
If you don’t enjoy crocheting and it’s your thing for passing time, you will leave it. I found other ways to sell pillows, affiliate marketing.
Some of my customers prefer those custom orders though. Have passion, talk about crochet, eat crochet, drink and sleep.
The more you learn about your trade, the better you want to become in it, right?
Invest time and effort in your crochet, read books, buy magazines about crochet and read cover to cover.
Remember though, there’s no point of doing all these without taking a rest or a break!
13. Best Yarns for Crochet
The best beginner yarns for beginner crocheters in Kenya include the acrylic yarn.
Don’t go on buying the expensive wool or alpaca yarn. I have some yarn in my yarn stash which I bought from Joann’s!.
And some which I bought from the Woman Shop Nairobi and one yarn cost 100 dollars, the alpaca wool.
14. Where do you sell crochet items?
Learn how to sell your crochet items online. Especially if you crochet sweaters which get used in certain regions of the world and not here.
The best customers though are found within your county. What do people in your county want and you can crochet? For example,
15. Learn to Take Custom Orders
Custom orders pay you and as a crocheter, you must learn how to charge the custom orders. Why? They are made for one person, kind of Hermes bags.
It’s one of a kind crochet item which you are making for one person with a different style of wool or imported wool and must be charged accordingly.
Be patient with the customer, write everything down.
And allow for revisions. Kind of like freelance contracts.
You walk the customer through the process and how the project will turn out.
Some projects are so big meaning, spending hours and weeks on one project.
Mind you, charge your worth, charge per hour. Ask for upfront 50%payments.
17. Write a Crochet Book
If you learnt and know something so well, write a book. A lot of books on anything in Kenya are those from America.
Why, and we have great content here and content writers? If you cannot write, I heard of book dictation or voice recording then transcribing.
Or hire a ghostwriter to write your thoughts. Books are a part of recurring income, something a craft business owner must consider.
Easy Things to Crochet for Beginners That Sell Well in Kenya
The following are the easiest things to crochet for beginner crocheters that sell well in Kenya and online and they include:
Crochet granny square blankets
Baby blankets, I crocheted a big baby blanket for 6 months! I wasn’t doing it daily.
Lacy shawls or designer shawls
Crochet wall art
Crochet ornaments for decorating like curtain tassels.
Crochet market bags
Supplies Needed for a Crochet Business
You need crochet hooks, invest in awesome crochet hooks -ergonomic hooks.
Wool or yarn, begin with affordable acrylic yarn, the costlier the wool the costlier the product.
A pair of scissors for cutting the wool, crochet patterns, if you want to learn how to read crochet patterns.
What Crochet Items Sell Well and Fast?
There are some crochet items that sell better than others and they include:
Kitchen items like coasters
How to Make More Money (Upselling) in a Crochet Business
1. Sell crochet patterns on Etsy Ravelry your website
Sell your crochet patterns on sites like Etsy/Ravelry or your website and make consistent money from your digital downloads.
Teach your customers how to read crochet patterns, beginner crocheters then, sell them. But warn them against using your patterns or reproducing your patterns.
READ MORE: How to Sell Crafts on Etsy in Kenya
How to Begin Selling Printables on Etsy
2. Start a Crochet YouTube channel
Youtube does pay, it’s hard work before you get paid. So, begin YouTube from a subject which you love talking about.
Create tutorials for beginners, advanced and intermediate.
You can teach how to read crochet patterns, create amigurumi like what HelenMay Crochet on YouTube does, another one of my favourite crochet channels.
READ MORE: Start a Paying YouTube Channel in Kenya in 2021
3. Create a subscription box crochet channel
If a yarn shop seems like a daunting task, turn your business idea into a subscription model business.
For example, beginner crocheters struggle to find products and patterns or books for beginners. Bundle everything you believe a beginner crocheter needs and sell.
A subscription business makes money by introducing new items every day or month, whatever works for you, items that customers want.
Like how software or subscription businesses like Netflix works.
READ MORE: What’s a Subscription Business? Create a High-Income Subscription Business in Kenya
4. Sell yarn/wool or crochet items
I bought one yarn ball from The Woman’s Shop in Nairobi at $100/10K when I was crazy about learning how to crochet.
Do you see the potential in creating a business with yarn? Not to compete with an established brand like the Woman’s Shop but to fill a market void.
The Woman’s Shop sells exotic yarn, ask yourself, what do your customers want and provide that for them.
READ MORE: How to Run a Yarn Business in Kenya
5. Become an affiliate
Find affiliate programmes for crocheters/DIY people. You can scour Amazon for crochet hooks, crochet working surfaces. If you want to make more money with affiliate marketing, you have to create value-adding content.
READ MORE: How to Begin an Affiliate Marketing Business in Kenya
Start a tutorial blog with your crochet and do affiliate marketing
Tips for Selling Crochet Items Online in Kenya
Sell more items with your crochet business using these tips.
Brand your products, use your brand name or logo to sell your products. When customers receive your goods you want them to remember you.
I heard about branding from my friend Dennis about pillow branding. A brand helps you stand out.
After all, how will customers know it was your coaster when they cannot remember which Etsy store they got the item from?
1. Know the customer’s language
What are the terms and terminologies customers use when searching for crochet items?
Check on Google search, or buy a subscription on Ahrefs and SEMrush to find out.
You don’t need to buy a whole year worth, buy jot down what key terms you discover then see if the terms bring in more customers.
2. Learn how to write product descriptions that sell
I research products on Amazon all the time. But I didn’t know what to do with the items I researched about.
On Amazon, I realised something, the best-selling products, non-branded items or items (generic) or unknown brands are best-selling because of the product descriptions used.
Check Amazon’s bestseller items and see what their descriptions are like.
READ MORE: HOW to Write Product Descriptions That Sell
3. Find keywords and long-tail keywords to use for your crochet headlines
I can tell you, I have so many trending articles which I didn’t take time to write – the thing is, I took time to craft the headline.
The headline no matter what brings in organic customers.
You can have the best content but if you write poor headlines, it takes time to show up on Google or Amazon search or Etsy.
Find and use keywords using Ahrefs and SEMrush and also examine what you type in the search bar to see how the articles on page one write titles.
I ask myself, what made me click on the website and I see the titles of my blog posts improving.
4. Write catchy headlines
Beware, don’t hoodwink or trap readers with catchy viral looking titles and make no sale. You want a sale in your shop or website.
You don’t want people stopping by but looking for ‘meat’ in the content. Take your time to make those headlines worthwhile to users.
In conclusion, a crochet business like any crafts business takes time to see a profit.
SIDE NOTE: Do you want to begin a DIY (Crafts business ) that’s not crochet? READ MORE: How to Begin a DIY Business in Kenya
You need to be persistent, patient and determined to make your crochet business work.
I learnt, if you want to see success, stay in the business until something happens.
Take each day at a time and keep learning. Every stage of your business, make it a learning lesson.
You aim is to stand out not to get ousted after 6 months of being in business, right?
Do you want to begin a crochet business in Kenya in 2020/2021? Are you stuck on where and how to get started?