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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: MaryW
Date: 04-22-2003, 12:21 PM (1 of 3)
I am posting this for Paula. Please respond if you can. Thanks.

i have an opportunity to maybe start my own sewing from home.what i was wondering, since ya'll have been doing it for years, is there alot of opportunities for sewing at home and how can i find them?any help would be greatly appreciated.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: Linda in Colorado
Date: 04-22-2003, 01:09 PM (2 of 3)
Are there opportunities??? You bet!!!

Start by deciding what you want as a specialty -- alterations, custom dressmaking, window treatments or whatever.

Have business cards made and hand them out to everyone you meet. Have a "30 second commercial" ready. Hi, I am ____. You are wearing such a lovely outfit that you are the type of client that I cater to. Here is my card if you need anything." Or something similar. What you say will depend on what your specialty is and who you are talking to.

If you do alterations or custom sewing, wear your creations and have your family wear your creations. Give everyone in your family business cards. When they are complimented on their outfits, they can hand the person a card and tell them that you did the sewing, designing, etc.

Put a small ad in the classified section of your local newspaper. Make it simple. The phone calls will come. Some will be "lookey loos", but many will become real customers.

After you start getting clients, give them a business card with every finished order and invite them to pass your card along to their friends and/or family. You can also offer your current clients a small "referral bonus" for referring new clients to you. Word of mouth is absolutely the best form of advertising!

Okay, this will get you started. Others on this list will have more information for you. And I will probably have more, too.

Please keep us posted on how your and your business are doing.
User: Linda in Colorado
Member since: 03-27-2000
Total posts: 102
From: wazoodle
Date: 04-29-2003, 01:22 AM (3 of 3)
Before I started my little fabric business, I did a little work on the side for a ladies wear botique. I also had a few dry cleaners that would send me tricky alterations that they were not comfortable doing. I began tagging my work with business cards - Alterations by Lee Anne - and after a while people began bringing their unaltered purchases around for me.

I developed a rapport with a few of the sales ladies at the botique, as well as the local drycleaners. After a while they started sending me people with custom jobs. I paid the ladies a little token for the referrals -- this let me focus on what I liked to do and kept me away from the selling (which I didn't like!). It can really snowball -- after a few months I was afraid to answer the phone for fear of more work.

It was hard work and it didn't pay much, but I learned a lot. If you are patient, do good work, and are willing to spend a little time making your customers comfortable with you it's not to hard to get rolling. The biggest problem is you have to work cheap until you get established. As I got busier, I could choose the more expensive jobs.

If you have children, especially daughters, dress them in really nice school clothes that you have sewn up. These WILL get noticed and people WILL ask you to make things for them. You get a double benefit -- a well dressed child and a showcase for your work.

This helped me pave the way to my real dream -- opening a fabric store. Today I sell fabrics to work at home moms and I also help promote them through our site. One of our clients sews baby's room home decor, our web site sends them 200-300 referrals a month (seems like baby room home decor has a lot of interest).
User: wazoodle
Member since: 10-17-2002
Total posts: 29
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