If sewing is your hobby, your passion or something you are really good at, it is a great idea to monetize your craft. Many men and women love to sew, embroider or create beautiful designs with their patterns, and other people prefer to buy products that are customized and handmade rather than store-bought.
Whatever sewing craft you are an expert in, you can start your sewing business from home and make an earning from it.
First of all, you need to determine just how good you are in sewing.
Are you just good enough to mend your own clothes, or can you actually make the clothes you would wear? Can you make your children’s clothes, or clothes for your dolls? Can you sew and design cushion covers and wall hangings that other people praise?
Can you make beautiful quilts for yourself? In order to turn your hobby into a business, you can’t be just moderately good. You’ll need to be actually an expert and your products need to be of very good quality if you want clients to actually spend money on them.
Secondly, you’ll need a good sewing machine.
If you are thinking of taking a bulk of orders, you’ll need to buy a good-quality computerized sewing machine, if you don’t already have one. You might think you can do the job with your manual or electric sewing machine, but it will be harder if you have to sew through a lot of fabric.
Computerized sewing machines can be much more expensive than a normal machine, but in the end, they get the job done. If you can’t afford to buy a computerized machine now, you will have to buy it later if your business is a success and you get more and larger jobs in the future.
Third, determine your niche.
Unless you are a genius in making anything out of fabrics, it will be a better start if you can determine a particular niche. You can choose between making simple clothes for yourself, or for your children, or you can start to make small DIY projects around the house: cushion and pillow covers, wall hangings, placemats, laptop sleeves, purses, etc.
If you are not sure what your niche should be, you can always make one of everything and determine which one is the best made, the easiest, the fastest to make and the most unique. Be your own harshest critic to decide if your product is something your potential clients will like to spend money on.
Fourthly, think about the practicalities.
When it comes to business, you have to be very practical. Your products won’t automatically sell even if they are quite good. You’ll have to be practical about your business. Think of these aspects suggested by Stuart from t-shirt professional blog:
- Think about the price. If something takes you a whole week to finish, will your client be willing to pay the price of your time, plus the cost of materials?
- Think about your potential clientele. The first sales are usually made to family and friends. Will they be willing to buy your product?
- Think about your time. Will you be able to spend the required amount of time on your work?
- Think about your surroundings. Will you have enough clients around you interested in your work, since word of mouth is the best publicity initially?
- Think about space. Do you have enough space in your home, especially if you have to expand your business in the future?
- Think about your finances. It is impossible that your business is going to be a success overnight; if you are leaving your job for this business or if it is going to be your sole income, you need to make sure you have enough savings to sustain your lifestyle for a few months, at least.
After that, it is time to invest a little in your work.
You will need to buy some supplies – whatever you need to make a few samples to show your friends. Only a small, minimum amount of supplies are all you need for the samples, if you can afford that. You don’t need to buy a bulk in preparation for orders yet to come; that could be a big loss for you.
Then, you have to finally start working on your samples.
Samples are the best way to show your talent to your potential clientele. If you can make a few good physical samples of your work, rather than drawings or photographs, you can attract more clients. Choose 3 or 4 of what you think you can do best, and use your supplies to make the samples.
Step number seven, spread the news of your talent and your work.
The first and the easiest step is to always start with your friends and family. You can host a small get together to show them everything you have created, and see if they are interested in some. You can take pre-orders if they want you to make a few of your products, even ask for an advance to finance your new order.
If your nearest clientele doesn’t seem very interested, you can ask them to take your free samples for a few days to showcase in their homes. Perhaps someone else would be interested if not them. If it is clothes you are making, you can lend them to your family/friends to wear, and they can refer you if someone else likes them.
Afterwards, spread out via Social Media.
Social media sites are the perfect way to spread the word of your business to your friends for free. All you need is a page on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, and you can send pictures of your work to everyone you are connected to online. You won’t even have to pay for the publicity at first until you are ready to expand your business.
Next, look into the different sales venues.
If you have a decent number of samples at hand, you can try the different sales venues to find some clients. These could be yard sales, festivals, weekend farmer’s markets, craft fairs, or anywhere else you can get permission for.
You won’t have to make a lot of sales in these venues, but a stack of your contact information for anyone who is interested. The most important part is to spread word of your business and get people to know your work, rather than sell a lot of products in the first months.
Also, try the different e-Commerce sites.
There are a number of e-Commerce sites where you can set up a profile/page to reach people interested in handcrafted products. Etsy is the most popular one, where crafters sell handmade stuff, mostly to people who prefer personally made products to mass-produced ones. Shophandmade, Bonanza and ArtFire are the other e-Commerce websites where handicrafts are sold and bought.
Finally, you’ll need to make your business official.
For this, you’ll need a copyright on your business. You can take a lawyer’s help for that. If you get copyright rights on your designs too, no one can use your designs for their businesses. There are special government organizations that will help you legalize your business, or even help with a small loan if you need.
Setting up a sewing business from your home isn’t very easy, and success isn’t going to come overnight. Even when you are very talented in sewing, you might need to toil very hard for a few months, at least, before actually starting to make some profit.
Still, it’s a great idea to turn your hobby into a business, especially if you are very passionate about sewing. But you’ll need to be creative with your work, hardworking, dedicated and passionate, and you need the right supplies and the right sewing machine for your work.