Small Business Seeks a Pattern for Success

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November 23, 2021

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(DALLAS)—A small business called “High Five Hand Knits” has gained popularity with its “cute” and “quirky” designs. The founder is Casie Grevé is a full-time teacher who made her passion for knitting a business. “High Five Hand Knits” is a business that sells digital knit designs. According to Grevé, customers download the design and knit it themselves. 

According to Grevé, she always loved knitting in her free time and sharing her design with friends. The company is entirely digital and is sold on the online marketplace Ravelry. 

“Ravelry is the website where designers sell patterns, and knitters buy and download them. So that’s kind of the online marketplace. So it’s kind of like the Facebook of online knitting patterns,” she said.

Ravelry charges Grevé 2% of every sale she makes. But, according to her, startup costs were low at only $2,500 because she can work from home and does not need to rent office space.

She explained that her startup costs come from drafting the design and using her equipment like yarn and other knitting materials. Grevé debated whether to sell completed knitwear but decided that selling patterns for less than $10 was more cost-effective.

Despite Grevé’s passion and perseverance, she has yet to break even from her startup costs. So to gain exposure, she began giving her items away for free on the site. She prides herself in making eclectic designs. According to Grevé, one of her most popular designs is a pink and yellow sweater with stitchings of cats and fish bones. It helped High Five Hand Knits gain popularity but not a profit.

“I had 4,636 downloads when it was first published for free. The only reason why it got so viral is that it was free as a promotion, so the numbers are kind of iffy. But if every single person who downloaded the pattern paid full price, then I should have made $34,770 right, but I didn’t. So I only made 60 bucks,” she said.

Grevé still hopes to make a profit due to her loyal customers. Christina Peterson, a High Five Hand Knits customer, praises Grevé for her size inclusivity.

“One of the other patterns that I looked at, that wasn’t Casie’s, only had a size small and medium. I am glad that Casie has about nine sizes. One of the great things about buying a design is you can tailor it to fit your body,” said Peterson.

According to Grevé, most of her customers are a part of the knitting community. She believes that her designs are beginner-friendly so that anyone can follow them. According to Grevé, because the download is digital, it does not contain paper and packaging, contributing less environmental waste. Her customer Alex Reid praises her for environmental sustainability.

“I love buying patterns because I can pick out ethically-sourced yarn myself,” Reid said, adding that sweaters sold at stores are often made through exploitative labor practices. 

Grevé believes that her loyal customers will help High Five Hand Knits thrive and make a profit one day. According to Mitch Alverson, the founder of B3 Advisors, Grevé has an online business model that can be profitable.

“It is crucial that businesses today have a digital presence,” he said. “Because of the pandemic, businesses that didn’t have an online presence before do now.” 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the owner of High Five Knits. She is Casie Grevé not Greves.  

 

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