How to start a knitting business

Once you really get going, you may want to sell some of your handmade items. There are a lot of different ways to go about this. The first thing to consider is how much work you want to put into this. Do you want to just make knitted items and then give them to someone else to sell? Or do you want to launch a whole line of knitted products, complete with a website? Do you want to occasionally sell your knitted products at craft fairs, farmers markets and other public venues? Each of these possibilities has their own positives and minuses.

The first thing to consider is where you will get your supply of yarn. If you just walk into a yarn shop, you know that yarn can range from pretty cheap to outrageously expensive. And that’s just for one skein of yarn. If you are making custom sweaters for adults, you are definitely going to need several skeins of yarn which can really make the price add up. One possibility is to find a local sheep farmer, and ask for free wool during shearing time. Another possibility is to call up the local 4-H club, as the members who raise sheep are required to shear their wool and often end up throwing it away. You could also check for low-priced yarn at thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales. You can also find inexpensive wool online at places like Ebay and Craigslist. Often if you can learn how to spin your own wool that will save you a lot of expense, but it will cost you in time and effort.

So it may require a little bit of capital at first to get started, unless you are lucky enough to already start with a great stash and have all the required knitting needles in the sizes you want. Make sure you are comfortable with the start-up costs before beginning your business. You could take out a loan if you need to, but I would recommend just buying things as you need them, so you can begin to make a profit sooner.

Think about who your audience would be. Are they hip trendsetters looking for something unique that no one else has? Are they stay-at-home moms who want something beautiful and handmade to give to their children or friends? Are they grandmas who love hand-knitted items because of the memories it brings them of their own mom’s knitting? Are they science fiction nerds looking for that specific cap they saw in that one movie trilogy that got discontinued? Or are you knitting for a specific shop that caters to crunchy granola type women?

Many people choose Etsy as their marketplace at home, because they can make things on their own schedule and post as they please. There is a small fee for each item listed, but it is very small. Farmers markets and craft fairs can be wonderful because usually you pay only one set fee, and if you have a lot of customers, you can easily recoup that cost. With already established shops, either they pay you for the items up front, or they will pay you on commission. If you have your own website, you can post whenever you have a new item, and the only fee you have to pay is a small fee for hosting the site every year.

Be sure that with custom orders you only take what you can handle. Knitting takes time, and too much knitting over a short period of time can cause a lot of physical problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome. So make sure that you give yourself a long time period for custom orders.