Thursday, November 5, 2015

You Can't Make A Living As A Crochet and Knit Designer?!

There is no easy way to say this. I feel really bad about having to be the one to tell you. So, I am just gonna come right out and say it...running a knitting business is hard work and worst, your family and friends won't understand what you do. And that can be the biggest factor to your failure if you really let it happen.

So, you want to be a knit and crochet designer. You have great ideas. Magazines and yarn companies are really digging your submissions. You're really killing it! But your full-time gig is really cramping your designing aspirations because it doesn't leave you with enough time or energy to pursue all your ideas and submit as much as you'd like. You think you can really make a go out it, if only you had the time to be able go for it. You have done your homework. You can really make a living at this.  You are ready to leap in.

You will hear all sort of stupid comments from the people you love that will make you just want to scream, such as:

  • You're just sitting on the couch  knitting and crocheting all day, how is that a job, let alone, a career?
  • You will never make it anywhere doing that!
  • How can you making money doing that? Your job as an Administrative Assistance was a great job with a future, where can this knitting thing get you?
  • So, that 4-yr degree and the huge debt you're still paying off was for this? And the debt, what was all that do?
  • This is too risky and not a grown up thing to do.
So, you've heard that one?! Stop me when you've heard enough; I have a million of 'em! But, you're a realist. You know what you're in for and your ready.

None of that matters!

The bottom line, as long as your spouse and kids understand, you know, the only people whose lives are actually directly affected by your decision, is all that matters. So what your father doesn't understand how you get your ideas in that magazine last fall. Who cares if your sister-in-law looks down on you for not being a full time stay at home mom like she is, consumed completely and wholly by her kids, because a mom's real obligation is to her kids and husband.
You don't have to explain what you do in simple terms.
You don't have to explain yourself at Thanksgiving dinner about what you do that makes you happy and how much money you make.

Freeport Cardigan
Candeo Shawl

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  1. Thank you for posting this! I haven't made the jump to full-time designing yet, but I'm working towards that goal

  2. Yes, you can make a living but you have to do a lot of different things and always be planning ahead, just as in any freelance career. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and probably should just write a blog post myself but I just went really full time with my design work and no other income in my family (my husband helps with the business now) about 2 years ago. We are making it work. But we moved to a place where the cost of living is lower than where we lived when we both had jobs and the knitting design was more-or-less moonlighting. We are still not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I don't think there are more than a handful of knitting/crochet designers who are making a GOOD living without having a spouse with another income. I love that people want to follow their passions and make their living doing something wonderful and creative to add beauty to the world and I don't want to discourage anyone. In fact, part of my business is helping people get started in this industry. But let's be real. I'm pretty well known in this world and I would be considered very successful by most, but I'm not anywhere close to a six-figure income.

  3. So glad to hear. The jump is a scary one, but is rewarding. The key is to have specific goals with timelines that you are working towards along the way. Along the road to your goal you want to have milestones that you can say, "Yes, I did this thing, I achieved this thing" to ensure you are on the path to your end goal.

  4. Writerdd, you hit the nail on the head! It is possible to make a decent, sustainable living. I hate seeing other designers completely dismissing the idea and discouraging other up and coming designers. You have to treat it as a business and diversify your offering.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.