If you haven’t heard about Chetnanigans you are in for a treat! Today on the Yarn Thing Podcast join me as I talk with Holly and Sean, owners of Chetnanigans, about how they got started and what is like running a business out of their garage.
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Chetnanigans was started in early 2015. Prior to this date, we were building and selling some items on eBay, but the official start of our business was the launch of our Etsy Store on 3/27/15.
Our successful was built initially on our Hairpin Lace Loom and Organizers. When we started, we were offering about 8 – 10 items. Today we offer over 70 different models from which to choose! The company was started based upon an idea I had to help Holly become more efficient when changing hooks on a project. I watched her one evening change her hook to a different hook to complete her project and the entire process probably took 3 – 4 minutes… “Not there”,” Where did I leave that hook?”, “Wrong bag, oh here it is!” I came up with an idea to build her a small desktop organizer for her hooks.
The next day, I purchased a drill press and set to work. Later that day, she came by and posted pictures of it on two of her Facebook Crochet pages. Over the next 24 hours, we received over 4,000 likes! It was a real revelation that there were so many Crocheters out there without the proper tools to do their work! I decided to launch Chetnanigans over the next few days.
Nearly three years later, we’ve sold over 3,300 items, introduced over 70 different models and have created hundreds of custom built crochet hook organizers! This last year, we secured a relationship with a US Based Midwest manufacturer who is producing 15 different models of our design for our company. We are working with this manufacturer to develop retail packaging and hope to launch into retail storefronts later this year. In the meantime, his products have been very well received by our customers and sales of this line have already risen to over 50% of our business!
This last week, one of our Blocking Boards were featured in Crochet World Magazines’ 40th Anniversary Issue and was highlighted as an” Editor’s Faves”. Across from this review, we launched a full page, full color advertising campaign launching our company into the Fiber Arts World! We continue to innovate and add value to the industry.
In late February, we introduced the new Premier BlocksAll 812. This is a 12” blocking platform with an 8” x 8” area that has pin holes every ½” while the balance of the board is at 1” pin hole spacing. Our 8” BlocksAll Products are extremely popular and the opportunity to incorporate a unique 8” area into our 12” Blocking Board Line Up was a perfect way to extend out offerings and meet the need of thousands of Crocheters worldwide. In that same video, we announced our latest “Chetnanigans Granny Square Perfector Strips”.
These are simply small strips of wood with holes drilled into them to align with our 8” and 12” BlocksAll Products. When a person is blocking say 20 – 30 squares at a time, it’s quite common that the squares at the top of the “stack” are slightly smaller than those at the bottom based upon the dynamics of the squares pulling in and adding pressure to the top end of the pins. This translates to issues surrounding the final project. You might have number of exactly 12” x 12” squares, but as you begin joining them, you may notice that some of your squares are slightly smaller than others, and this is a function of where that square was located in the blocking board stack. Chetnanigans introduced a perfect solution for this and we’ve named them the “Chetnanigans Granny Square Perfector Strips”. These ingenious small strips of wood fit over the tops of our pins and force the pins back to a perfectly vertical position, making sure that the squares at the top at the stack, and bottom were 100% aligned with each other!
Finally, we’ve had customers looking for a solution to block squares larger than 12”. Lori from Colorado Springs called one night and asked if I could build her a 21” x 21” board. We talked about is and I shared some significant issues with producing and shipping a board that size. Instead, I shared with her an idea that I had been thinking about… Magnetic Blocking Boards! For an additional fee, we can add 12 magnets to two edges of our boards that will allow you to spin the board and attach up to 4 boards at a time creating a 24” x 24” platform (12” boards) or a 16” x 16” platform (8” boards). The beauty of this solution is that the boards can be used independently, or when needed, snapped together for that “large blocking project” that you’ve been working on…
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