Start to Finish Sewing Company

Help and ideas for your sewing or quilting business.

Start to Finish Sewing Company

New postby Thisket on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:05 pm

I am on the verge of wanting to just stay home from my 8 to 5 job and sew. I have been getting great responses to my sewing products. I just don't know what I can do to market it better and be able to get past my old life. I would love some help from those who have made it and enjoy sharing with those on the same journey as me.
Thisket
 
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Re: Start to Finish Sewing Company

New postby MartySews2 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:50 pm

I had a sewing business when I first retired & before I started drawing disability. I wrote up a market plan, checked my equipment & their warranties & started calling stores in my communities to find out prices of things. Found out that warranties on home sewing machines can be voided if used for commercial businesses. I joined the American Sewing Guild & helped found our chapter. I had business cards printed & put them in places like Hancock Fabrics, the library, & Jo-Ann Fabrics, etc. I ran a notice in our church's newsletter. Shortly, I created a sewing portfolio along with a price list. I had a few garments ready to go with me on a moment's notice. I had a laptop with wi-fi connections that I would take with me to meet a customer for the first time so we could look for patterns online. I charged a $25 consultation fee which covered my time & gas to meet the customer & take their measurements. Then I charged $10 per pattern piece for the garment. As time went on, my fee went up to $20 per pattern piece. I did not accept everyone as a customer. If I shopped for the customer, another $25 was added to my fee. I provided all of the thread, zippers, notions, interfacing, boning, etc for anything that I sewed. I had a sales contract drawn up which stated 1/3 had to be paid at the start of the project, 2/3 by the first fitting, & final payment at the final fitting. If the garment was not paid for within 30 days of completion, the garment was donated to charity. I had more business than I could handle within 3 months. After doing this for 3 years, I closed my business as it became too stressful & I was not healthy. If I were going to do it all over, I would create a Facebook page for my business, join the Association of Sewing & Design Professionals, & have a website to market my business. There are several books on the market on starting a home based sewing business. You will probably find some in your local library. Check them out as they will have guidelines on creating your invoices, how to price accordingly, & time management. To earn a living at sewing, you must be prepared to spend at least 8-10 hours a day in front of your sewing machine sewing. These are just my thoughts on the subject based on my experience.
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
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Re: Start to Finish Sewing Company

New postby Thisket on Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:56 pm

Marty, that is exactly the help I am looking for. I was a seamstress and sewed for a teacher- She was way out there. She wanted things done by the end of the week!. One time she brought 7 pieces of fabric, seven different patterns and wanted items on Monday. And this was on Thursday. She was the kind of teacher that wore holiday and seasonal items to inspire the students. I was so stressed and literally sewing 24 hours a day. And I would throw more and more charges at her and she paid them. I tried to quit so many times and yet, she refused to take no for an answer. I am mostly sewing items not clothing right now. I make tote bags, purses, bags of different sizes. I recently sewed a carrying bag for a spinning wheel. I make knitting needle and crochet hook rolls and cases. So, less worry about the sizes and alterations. I am so tempted to contact a company like the spinning wheel maker and ask if I could be their supplier of cases, but fear that I may get more business than I can produce--while I am still working fulltime. My 36 month goal is helping me to focus on putting away operating funds when i am no longer earning a paycheck. I do have an Etsy account. I think I am on the right track. I just have to find the patience. What are you thoughts on the idea of a Crafter's Attic (like a consignment or pawn type store) for people to buy remnants, etc, instead of going to a thrift store with them?
Thisket
 
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:53 pm

Re: Start to Finish Sewing Company

New postby MartySews2 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:35 pm

I'm not a big fan of consignment shops as they usually want 40-50% of the price of the garment. I don't know so much about crafts except people in my area of the country don't want to spend more than $5-10 for an item that may have taken 2+ hours to make. Our ASG chapter had a booth at a craft fair for several years & we barely broke even. With so many cheap import items being sold at craft fairs, it is hard to make a profit. People in my area don't seem to appreciate the value of a hand crafted item over a cheap import.
Marty ;)
Brighten each corner where you are ... smile!
MartySews2
 
Posts: 3983
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:28 am
Location: Memphis, TN

Re: Start to Finish Sewing Company

New postby Thisket on Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:02 pm

There are a couple of different craft sales that really draw the people. There are major cities that seem to get the most traffic. For me it is the need for inventory. I am working on my discipline to stay at my machine. You are so right when you say sewing every day. I am SSSSOOOO ready to quit working and just sew. But got some bills to pay first. I appreciate your comments. :)
Thisket
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:53 pm



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