Like Attracts Like: Finding Your Passion in Marketing

Martha Coons

Green Mountain Knitting Bags is my business and I love it. Each bag is made
of tapestry and upholstery fabrics and crafted by me personally in my Vermont
studio. New bags are uploaded to my website every Thursday evening: they sell
quickly and are sent all over the world. I often get asked who my “target
market” is, and the answer is: women who value their own handwork and
want to carry it in something they find beautiful. They're knitters and I know
them because I'm a knitter, too. I spend time with them because we're drawn
to the same thing. We value what knitting brings to our lives. My work is an
extension of that love: it's who I am. What resonates with me resonates with
my customers.

To work doing what we love is so fulfilling, yet generating income is often
a question. This is where marketing comes in. Marketing is fascinating to me.
What makes us buy what we buy? Other than life's necessitates, why do we choose
the clothes we do, the shoes, the style? I believe it’s because it says
something about us, it's an expression of who we are, our identity. Or maybe
it just moves us and we have to have it. Whatever it is, like attracts like.

Because my bags are made in Vermont, I often show glimpses of the beautiful
scenery, and my life in it. The bags naturally speak of a slower way of life.
A calm, more peaceful lifestyle where quality in a handcrafted item is valued.
People who want this in their lives are drawn to it. It's a knitting bag, but
it's more.

Many knitters like myself shop online, but find it important to also support
our local yarn shops. These shops give us something tangible an online shop
can't. The tactile feel of fiber, the face-to-face connection with people who
share the same passion, a blending of ideas and an appreciation of the artistry
in others. This local Mecca helps to feed my fire and fuel what I do. Fiber
events, classes, even just getting together to knit keeps me in tune to the
knitting world. This community feeling now has a large presence in our cyber
world, so when wanting to promote the business, that's where I go: where my
knitters are. Again, like attracts like.

By remaining involved in both local and online knitting communities, I see
what's new in the knitting world and I am able to get a strong sense of what
people want. This can be challenging sometimes, as I've found myself focusing
more on what they want as opposed to what I do and what my aesthetic is. Unless
I stay true to that, I know can't effectively market it. Knowing what is important
in my work keeps it honest for me. That integrity is valued by my knitting customers.
There's a great saying in the business world: "People don't buy what you
make, they buy why you make it." So as new ideas and products emerge, my
customers know that what's important to me can be found in every piece I make,
and they value that.

Who are your knitters? As coaches, how can you reach them and what can you

Martha Coons


Coons is a 55-year-old woman who lives in Burlington, Vermont. Green
Mountain Knitting Bags
is her eight-year-old online business.
She loves to knit, sew, spend time with her family and is working
to be a certified yoga instructor.

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