Find Your Designing Niche
Are you all over the place with your design ideas? (This used to be me!) Do you have tons of ideas but feel scattered? Or maybe you have been designing by request and are consequently feeling burned out. It’s time to define your niche. Once you find your designing niche it will help you stay focused on specific types of projects. The more you can hone in on your niche, the more you will be know for those kinds of patterns, and customers will turn to you to find what they’re looking for.
Welcome to Part 3 of the “Designing Your Own Crochet Pattern” Series. This series will guide you through some of the basics of crochet pattern design. If you’re just joining us and would like to start at the beginning, read Part 1 – the 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process. Even if you have no desire to be a designer, you may enjoy this series. It will give you some valuable insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes of designing crochet patterns.
Finding or Creating Your Niche
You may be asking yourself why you need a niche when it comes to pattern design. Let’s take a step back and define exactly what a niche is. By webster’s definition a niche (pronounced nich) is:
- a distinct segment of the market
Finding Your Designing Niche
The best way to narrow down what kind of patterns you would like to design is to ask yourself these 3 questions.
What do you love to make? What makes you passionate about crochet? Only design things that make you happy and put a smile on your face. Designing for other people won’t ignite your passion, not to mention it could burn you out. Trust me, I know from experience!
What are your strengths? We all have strengths and weaknesses, and you need to know what yours are. If one of your strengths is Tunisian crochet you may want to consider designing some Tunisian patterns. Can you make the crocodile stitch look amazing? If not, do yourself a favor and don’t try to create a pattern using that stitch. Stick with what you’re good at.
What skill level are you crocheting at? If you’re at a beginner or intermediate level, don’t attempt to create an advanced level pattern. First start with easier designs, then you can work your way up to more advanced design ideas.
Designer Niche Examples
So you have some examples, I’ve put together a list of some designers that to me stand out as having an obvious niche.
Kristin Omdahl – Kristin does lacy, openwork patterns – tops and shawls for the most part.
Snappy Tots – Heidi has the most colorful, playful, fun designs.
Bonita Patterns is widely known for her use of the crocodile stitch. She incorporates it into anything and everything she creates.
Crafting Friends – Kate has primarily afghan patterns.
Two Brothers Blankets – Michelle creates primarily tops, but she does have some hats and wrist warmers mixed in.
I know a designer who only designs with cotton because it’s always hot where she lives.
Another designer I know works primarily with thread.
Go With It
But here’s the thing, when inspiration strikes with something else they listen. They aren’t so hung up on their niche that they never create anything else. It’s a guideline that will help your passion stay ignited. If you decide you are only going to create baby items, really consider whether you want to design a wedding shawl if someone asks you to. Some designers/crocheters will say that you can really design anything you want, and generally speaking you can. As a matter of fact I did it for a long time. But what happened is I burnt myself out by designing what I thought everyone else wanted me to design. I had lost my passion because I wasn’t creating those things I loved the most.
Your niche can be yarn related, color related, project related. It’s really up to you. Just make sure you define it so you don’t get distracted and end up all over the place. If you can stay true to yourself and your passion then your love for what you are creating will show in your design ideas.
For more on this series, read:
Part 1 – 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process
Part 2 – Finding the Perfect Design Ideas
Part 4 – Creating Your Brand
Part 5 – Steps to Publishing Your Crochet Pattern
Part 6 – Basic Copyright for Crocheters
Part 7 – Should You Charge for Patterns? The Free vs. Paid Dilemma