Cross stitchers and needlepoint stores look for new, visually interesting and easy-to-stitch designs. Cross stitchers who also have artistic talent can branch out, creating cross stitch designs, rough-sketching them, then developing their designs on computer. Look at the kinds of designs you enjoy stitching, ask your friends what they enjoy stitching, then start your new design business based on their responses.
Write as many cross stitch design ideas as you can come up with –– Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, school-theme, home decor ideas and designs to accent clothing items. Make rough sketches of your designs, using graph paper and pencils. Color the designs in with the colored pencils.
Visit craft stores and write down what individual items they have in stock. Write down information, (such as style, cost and number in stock) for cross stitch kits, embroidery floss, fabric, patterns and pattern books, embroidery hoops, scissors, tapestry needles and frames. This information helps you to set your prices for your designs as you get ready to market them through your new company.
Research needlework and hobby stores in your area. Find out how many stores are operating, what they sell and if they are interested in carrying more cross stitch design stock. If you get positive feedback, find out exactly what kinds of cross stitch designs they are looking for, so you can make plans to fill their needs.
Develop some of your best cross stitch designs using a computerized design program. Incorporate colors and symbols that stitchers can use as they stitch your designs, then stitch a model with your design. Write down any errors in the instructions and correct them on the computer. Estimate how much fabric and embroidery floss a stitcher would need and how much this would cost. Estimate how much you want to sell the design for.
Return to the cross stitch and hobby stores with completed designs and stitched models. Do not try to sell them –– just show them what you have, get their input regarding any changes they suggest and gauge possible buyer interest.
Draw up a formal business plan that discusses your plan to start a cross stitch design company. Use this plan to approach banks and small-business incubators in your community. Figure out your expenses and what you need to earn to break even. Based on how many cross stitch designs you plan to sell, determine how many you need to sell and how many stores do you need to sell them to, so you break even. Include detailed information in your business plan about how you plan to market your designs to the stores you project selling to.
Target small, independent needlework and hobby stores. They are more interested in new cross stitch designs and they may be more willing to take orders from a newer, less well-known designer, according to Yarn Tree.
Create a black and white mailing list and mail 100 to 150 copies to the smaller stores in your region. Buy a 1/4 page ad in a trade magazine such as The Needlework Retailer, according to Yarn Tree. While the cost of the ad will be high, it will only cost you .04 per store.
Sell your designs and design booklets to distributors, who are able to reach many more retail outlets than you can. You are able to sell your designs to more than one distributor, according to Yarn Tree.
- If you have plans to start a cross stitch design company, it’s important to take the first step and develop design ideas, according to Handmade for Profit. As you’re making notes on the cross stitch supplies these stores have in stock, write down what kinds of kits they have on sale. These are the items that aren’t selling, according to Yarn Tree.
- Research designs that are already being sold by other designers, stores and distributors. Do this so you don't inadvertently create a design that duplicates someone else's design, opening you up to charges of copyright infringement.
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