Community Over Competition

I’ve been asked so many times if working in the “hobby industry” will make you money. I’ve even been told I should get a “real job”. So today I thought I’d do something different and tell you that you CAN make money in the crochet industry and even tell you the one thing that had a HUGE impact on my business.

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In the Beginning . . . .

I designed my first pattern in 2007 when I couldn’t find a preemie pattern that I liked. A good friend had just had a baby at 30 weeks gestation and I wanted to make her something special. I’d love to say the rest is history but . . . .

While I loved designing, it was more of a hobby. By 2010 I had 6 children and let’s just say my crochet business was what they currently call a “hobby business”. I was happy if I could make some money to pay back my yarn addiction and maybe even make a little bit extra.

Then Came Dance Classes

When my oldest daughter was 2 we started her in dance classes. Fun!

But five of my six children are girls, and as we added another girl to the family we also kept adding more dance classes. Which added more costumes. Then it was dance competitions. And . . . . yeah, it got out of control.

In the midst of all that, my business was just something that took over my house (well, the yarn did). And I had to make the decision to either put the effort in or close my business. I decided to give 100% to my business for 6 months and see what happened. By the end of 2017 I had doubled my sales and it was enough to cover our dance expenses for the girls. Win!

Then It All Changed

The business group I was in from 2017-2018 dissipated and I was left feeling like something was missing. I knew it was community. And the longer I went without community the more I could feel my motivation for my business slipping. Then at the end of 2019 I found CBA (Crochetpreneur’s Business Academy). I was more of a lurker and didn’t do much with all the info and resources available. And it was an expense I couldn’t afford if I wasn’t going to use it.

So, in 2020 I committed to making that money work for itself and I applied what I could, as often as I could. And by the end of 2020 my income had increased more than 70% over 2019!!! SEVENTY PERCENT!!! That got me excited and I decided to see if I could duplicate the results in 2021. I didn’t, but I did increase my income more than 30% over 2020 for an increase of 120% over 2 years!!!

Current Investment

In 2022 I joined the Mastermind Group at CBA. I was hoping to next level it up once again this year. They were planning a business retreat in Colorado, but honestly, my personal life is a mess and it seemed like sooo much work to make the trip happen. But they convinced me and I’m so glad I went (I could cry writing this)!

The Trip

I want to share about my trip in case you are considering joining CBA or a business/mastermind group. But I’m going to share it mostly in pictures because a picture is worth a thousand words.

I landed in Colorado and met up with Helen from Sunflower Crochet Cottage. Helen and I have been in a CBA for a couple years and I love her, but she’s from the UK so we’ve never met in person (just Zoom)… until now!

I spent some time with her on the way to the AirBnB and she’s just as amazing in person!

Early morning coffee chats…. (Michelle from Two Brothers Blankets and I were definitely the early birds!)

Business building group sessions….

A site-seeing walk with Michelle…

Small, hang out and talk about life/business sessions….

And a little tour of Garden of the Gods…..

Such a short recap of one of the most beneficial things I’ve done lately. I found a community of makers that share my values, encourage me to grow, and support me when I’m stuck or struggling. I love them all and am so glad I got to know them personally over this very short weekend. Now they are like family. It’s not a competition for us to do better than each other. We want to see each other succeed and have these amazing crochet businesses.

Top left to right: Pam (Crochetpreneur & Made with a Twist, also our fearless leader), Helen (Sunflower Cottage Crochet, Michelle (Two Brothers Blankets)
Bottom left to right: Kati (Hooked by Kati), Claire (E’Claire Makery), Debbie (Madame Stitch)

If you’re considering joining CBA, or you have no idea what it is but now you’re curious, you can check it out HERE. Pam is hosting The Crochet Business Summit from May 16-20. It’s free to attend during those days, or there are upgrade options to get lifetime access to the courses. I will be teaching a course on Getting Started as a Tech Editor, but there are SO many other presentations to watch!

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