Here is the official transcript from Crochetville’s live chat with crochet designer Pam Daley that took place on our Facebook page on Friday, November. We had so many questions that I’ve had to divide this blog post up into multiple parts. Links to all the parts can be found at the end of this post.
(Note: Text appears as it was entered during the live chat.)
We hope you’ll join us on our Facebook page for future chats with more of your favorite crochet designers.
Transcript of Live Chat with Crochet Designer Pam Daley, Part 4 of 4
Frederica: You mentioned Project Wonderful ads to get the word out about your shop. Can you elaborate about that? How is Project Wonderful different from other online advertising services?
Pam Daley: I like Project Wonderful because I can control the price easily (from free to big bucks) and because I can control exactly where my ads go, how long they run (even the time of day they run), etc. You place “bids” on ad spots – obviously the more traffic a site has, the higher your bid would need to be.
PW – for me – has been more of a ‘branding’ campaign rather than a “got x-number of sales from it” campaign. By that I mean that the ads just get my name in front of people and they start to recognize it (hopefully).
It’s pretty easy to set up once you’ve created your ad graphics. It can run all by itself, or you can go in and monitor views & clicks and adjust as you want.
The other places I’ve advertised are Ravelry & Crochetville (soon) – patterns (and stitch markers) of course, not finished items. I’ve also done a limited-run print catalog targeted to new moms/grandparents that was very successful for me. That was a cooperative effort put together by a bunch of small businesses – I’d love to do something like that again
Ann: How do you come up with new idea’s for crochet items?
Pam Daley: My first patterns were inspired by my new grandchildren. So lots of baby shoes & hats.
Now I’m inspired by things I may see in a store or something someone is wearing. Or maybe just something I want but can’t find a pattern already done up.
Echo: I have noticed that trends change so quickly, one of my best sellers last year was the owl hat and this year not so much, is there a way to stay ahead of the game? A way to figure out what might be the new trend?
Pam Daley: I don’t have a definitive answer to that – wish I knew! Maybe if you watch fashion shows on TV or something? See what’s in magazines? I really don’t know.
Pam Daley: I’m really out of the loop on current trends, etc. since we don’t have a TV. I watch Bones & Star Trek online; that’s really it.
Amanda: Camo is in and foxes
Eileen: Pam, can you give us a feel for how long it takes from the time you get an idea for a new item, until you have the pattern ready for publication and sale?
Pam Daley: Taking into account writing the actual pattern and having it tested, edited and then if I have the agency do the photos, it can be 2 months or more.
Eileen: Lots of lead time then. Thanks, Pam.
Pam Daley: And that doesn’t take into account those patterns that get put in ‘time out’ because they aren’t cooperating!
And apparently I like saying “taking into account”
Lynn: Do you sell items at craft fairs as well?
Pam Daley: No, I haven’t done that. Mostly because I didn’t want to invest in the tent, etc. to make my space look like I’d want. I’ve considered it from time to time, but I really doubt I’ll do it anytime soon.
I don’t think I could get that much ahead in inventory for another thing!
Denise: I want to know how you prepare for the fair? last time I went to a kids faire event but only sold a few….
Pam, totally agree with you… can’t make lots of inventory ahead…
Pam Daley: If I were considering a fair, I’d make sure I could attend it before selling there. To see who goes and what is selling. Maybe talk to other sellers about it as well.
Susan: That’s a good suggestion Pam. I’ve done some craft fairs were the buyers didn’t fit my products at all.
Denise: Dear Pam, I have been crocheted 2 years and make lots of my own pattern/designs. Recently been thinking to publish a book, but don’t know how? Any suggestion?
Pam Daley: Do you mean self-publish a book? Or get a publisher to buy the idea from you?
Denise: considering either way…
Crochetville: It can be easier to get a book publisher interested in you if you’ve had a few designs published in a magazine. But that isn’t always necessary.
Some designers have had booklets published by Leisure Arts and Annie’s when one of the editors “discovered” their shop on Etsy.
You can go to their websites, as well as the sites of major book publishers, and look for their submission guidelines. If you don’t already have a following of customers and fans, a major book publisher will likely not be interested unless you have some very unique idea that hasn’t been done before. It costs a lot of money to publish a book, and the publishers have many designers submitting proposals to them all the time (or they ask the designers they’ve already published to write more books).
Pam Daley: What Amy said…
Denise: thanks for the suggestion. More suggestions on how to start out my own book? should I have all the patterns ready and pictured?
and i see many crochet book has those professional drawn stitch instructions… how do we create that?
Susan: There’s a software program for crochet charts- StitchWorks- I don’t have it, but a lot of designers use it.
Lorene: I love Stitch Works Software
Denise: wow, thanks…. i usually hand drawn… LOL
Crochetville: Believe it or not, it’s already 2:00 PM EDT and time for our chat to end. I’d like to thank everyone for attending and participating today. Thanks again to Pam for taking time to talk with us all about selling on Etsy.
Pam Daley: Thank you to everyone for your questions! This was really great fun! And Amy and I will go through the posts and make sure all questions get answered – I promise!
Denise: thank you for the opportunity to talk to Pam and everyone else!!! Appreciate!
Lorrie: Thank you! Great information. :o)
Crochetville: In case you missed it, once we make sure all questions have been answered, I’ll compile a transcipt of the chat and post it on the Crochetville blog. Look for a post here on the main Crochetville Facebook page once the post is ready for viewing.
Here’s a link to our blog in case you’d like to bookmark it:
Deb: Thank you for answering our pertinent questions!
Rebecca: There were some really great questions asked and answered here today. Thanks to everyone who asked, and thank you Amy and Donna for hosting these chats.
Crochetville: You can also go to the blog and read the transcripts from our live chats with designers Tammy Hildebrand and Kim Guzman.
If you’d like to meet all three of these fabulous designers in person, at this point, they’re all planning on attending Crochetville’s 10th Anniversary Crochet Retreat in Huntsville, AL at the end of February/’early March next year. We hope to publish all the registration information for everyone by November 15. Tammy and Kim are confirmed as teachers, and I’m going to try to get Pam to teach a class, too. (Surprise, Pam!)
Eileen: Thanks for your time and great insights.
Frederica: Thank you Pam for answering our questions (so great ones were asked) and Amy for setting up this event.
Ann: Thank you for having the live chat’s, I have been learning lots and enjoying them. I have told my husband I am going to go to Crochetville’s Crochet Retreat, I am so looking forward to it.
Vanessa: I want to sit on the comfy couch with Pam and a cup of coffee and crochet with her. sigh.
Links to Other Parts of Chat Transcript:
About Pam Daley
Pam is a full-time RVer temporarily living in a “stick house” while her hubby recovers from a motorcycle accident he had in August 2012. She has been crocheting forever, and ‘officially’ designing her own patterns since 2007. She has over 80 self-published designs and has recently started offering custom made photo stitch markers for crocheters.
You can find Pam’s website at Pam Daley Designs. Her blog is there as well as all of her patterns and stitch markers.