How Miskunn got started

Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?

When I was a little girl, I watched Lady in the Tramp and found Darling to be so beautiful while she was knitting little baby booties. It sparked an interest in me to one day learn knitting myself.

Fast forward many years, and I had just moved states and was uncertain about what I wanted to do for work. So, while I was between work and in a new state, it seemed as good a time as any to learn.

I began documenting the things I made on Instagram so I could see my progress. I quickly began growing a following and had people asking if I sold any of the items I created. Because of the inquiries, I began looking into options for selling. That’s when I found Etsy.

Originally, I set up my shop to sell physical items, but I learned shortly after opening that patterns were something that could be sold too. I loved the idea of patterns because I was primarily interested in creating new pieces rather than reproducing them.

The first pattern I designed was my bobble pillow. I absolutely loved this design and was proud to have created it. Being so new to the craft, and especially new to crochet as I learned it after knitting, it felt like a great accomplishment.

The Bobble Pillow was also a turning point for me in realising how much I enjoyed textured projects. I loved the details of the texture and the visual intrigue. Over the years, I have experimented with colours and styles, but I have consistently found textured projects to be my favourites.

Favorite items

What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?

The Bobble Pillow, as I mentioned previously, was and still is one of my favourite items. I just love the texture of it. I also love that it has a modern look, but depending on your colour choices, it can quickly become fun and playful.

CROCHET PATTERNS ⋮ Modern Pillow, Textured Cushion, Throw Pillow, Seat Cushion, Modern Home Decor ⋮ Bobble Pillow

Another favourite of mine is the Etta Hat. I enjoy this design so much that I made three versions of it: double sport yarn, worsted yarn, and bulky yarn. Each version has a unique look and fit, but they all share the diamond element that adds character to the piece.

KNITTING PATTERN ⋮ Quick Knit Beanie, Easy Beanie, Textured Hat, Unique Beanie ⋮ Bulky Etta Hat

Both of these designs sell well, though the Etta Hat is definitely my best seller. I believe the Etta Hat sells so well because of its visual appeal and how easy it is to make for selling at markets or gifting. I’ve found that some textured designs can look quite intimidating, even if they are very simple to work up, and this can cause a bit of hesitation in the buyer. The Etta Hat has visual intrigue without looking terribly complex, so I think it eases some of the “will I be able to make that?” anxiety.

Getting sales on Etsy

How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?

Because I had already built up a following on Instagram, I received my first sale the day I opened, which was such an exciting experience! Now I attract customers to my shop primarily from Etsy searches and, occasionally, Etsy ads.

Managing Miskunn

How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?

I run Miskunn by myself. I draft a design idea, work it up, write the pattern, and release it. Because my items are digital downloads, I have very little need for a team. One of my favourite things about selling patterns is that I don’t have to worry about handling shipping or ulfillment. There also tends to be very little customer support required, so all around, it is a simple business model to run. 

I utilise Pages for writing up patterns, Photoshop for creating graphics and banners, my iPhone for taking pictures, and Adobe Lightroom for editing pictures.

The future of Miskunn

What goals do you have for your shop in the future?

Right now, I am enjoying some ease with my shop. I spent quite a few years designing, branding, growing, etc., and am proud of what I’ve built. In the future, I may create new designs and further solidify my branding and reach, but right now, I really have been enjoying taking a step back.

Advice for new sellers

What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?

Fail early, fail fast.

When I first started, I didn’t feel any pressure to create something exceptional, so in that way, I felt free to experiment and learn what it was I wanted to do. But before long, I allowed pressure to creep in, and I began concerning myself with perfecting my aesthetic. This caused phases in my business—only pastels, only neutrals, only garments, only hats, etc. I became afraid of doing the wrong thing. I was so concerned with identifying “my thing” and honing in on it that I didn’t allow myself the freedom to naturally narrow as I found what worked and what didn’t.

Clear branding is important, and if you can start immediately knowing what you want that branding to be, that is excellent. But if you don’t know, don’t wait to start until you do—just try things! It’s okay to be wrong; it’s okay not to know exactly what you’re going for. Not everything will be a winner. That’s just part of the process. With consistent input and analysis, you will naturally narrow down and identify what it is you bring to the market. Failing as quickly as possible is how we learn where to pivot so we can succeed!