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Turn your sewing hobby into your Sewing Retirement Business
Have you ever dreamed of turning your sewing hobby into making money? You can now that you are retired and have the time. You can start a Sewing Retirement Business.This is not a get-rich-quick business but one that a wonderful opportunity to be creative and get paid for your creativity.The opportunities range from sewing items to sell, unique and fashionable clothes, sewing for others, teaching, alterations, selling supplies, blogging, and running a sewing club, making T-shirts and Aprons.Here are some ideas I’ve had. I would like to hear your ideas in the comments.
Here are some tips on
- What can I make with a Sewing machine
- Sewing ideas to make money
- Sewing at home for money
- Starting a sewing business at home
SEWING ITEMS TO SELL TO CUSTOMERS
Decide who will be your customer. You can sell retail to friends, relatives, and neighbors, or strangers at flea markets or even on the internet.
Is your customer old, young, middle-aged, male or female. Imagine an ideal customer and give him or her a name like Mary. Is Mary young, middle-aged, or old.
Single, single mom, married with or without kids, or divorced? Does she work outside the house or not? Is she interested in practical items, luxury, fashion, uniqueness, or what?
Select a type of item that Mary would like. Can she readily get it everywhere? Do you have the skills and equipment to make what Mary would like to buy? Do you know where to find Mary and how to convince her why she should buy from you?
Can you design or find a good pattern?
Can you get the materials at a good price? You have to put aside your preferences when you go into a fabric store and think about what your customer would like instead. Buy fabric with an eye on the costs. Look for remnants. Buy at outlet stores. Or search Craigslist and eBay for bargains. Buy only what you need.
FIND A UNIQUE NEED
Make clothes and items that can normally be found in local stores like fancy pajamas, doll clothes, outfits for pets, horse blanks, costumes for parties, and intimate wear. People will pay more unique hand-made items.
SEW FOR OTHERS
You don’t have to sew everything in advance on the hope that someone likes what you have to offer. Consider using a catalog of patterns and offer to custom sew what the customer selects. Specialize in what you know how to do. Install badges and patches on company uniforms.
Find someone who bought a new sewing machine, some patterns, fabrics, and – just never got around to finishing anything. Offer to complete such project by posting notices in stores, supermarkets, fabric shops, and on Craigslist.
TEACH OTHERS TO SEW
You don’t have to be an expert in sewing. You only need to know more than your students. Offer beginning classes to start. Or sewing lesson to kids, newlyweds, retired people. Check with adult education, recreation center, or community colleges. You can often offer a course (no academic degrees required) to earn money and promote your other sewing services.
SELL TO THE LUXURY FASHION MARKET
Visit high-end boutiques and luxury department store and investigate what they are selling that you could sew. Perhaps you could make pillow covers in unique fabrics, children’s bedding, and wedding accessories. Of course, you will need to buy the finest fabrics but you will also get higher prices.
ALTERATIONS AND MENDING
Store-bought, ready-made clothes often just don’t fit. They need alterations which can include zipper fixing, pants hemming, button sewing, sleeves adjustment and repairs. Stores sell to “average” people. Those who are too thin, too fat, too short, or too tall need alterations. Men need sleeves or pants shortened or lengthened to fit. Women’s need hems longer or shorter. Get to know the local dry cleaners and work with them. Contact small stores.
If you teach or run a sewing club, you can offer sewing supplies, books, and materials to you students or members. Or sell them on your web site.
WRITE ABOUT SEWING
Start a blog and write about sewing issues. Use it to sell your clothes or become an affiliate for others selling their clothes. Develop a unique niche. How did you learn sewing techniques? Most likely by reading what someone else wrote. That someone else could be you. Create and sell your own patterns, Produce sewing videos and upload them to YouTube. Write how-to books and eBooks on sewing. Create a complete sewing course.
RUN A SEWING CLUB
Bring together a group of people interested in sewing. Offer lessons, projects, and help. Each member is to bring their own machine. You supply the patterns, fabric, and training. Don’t forget to charge a membership fee. Owners of fabric stores will often give you free space.
But before you begin examine your sewing abilities.
- What type of sewing services can you do and want to do?
- Do you have the skills or can you learn them?
- Is your equipment adequate for a business?
- Do you need to invest in additional materials, books, and equipment?
- What sort of business requirements does you city have for running a business out of your home? Generally if you are running a retail store from your house, having lots of clients parking in the street, or becoming a nuisance, you probably don’t need a business license.
- Be sure to get a state tax exempt permit to buy wholesale without paying sales tax.
- How much time do you want to devote to your sewing business?
- Can you operate the business without employees? Will you need to subcontract or outsource?
- Visit flea markets, crafts shows, and stores to see what is selling and for how much. Look at catalogs on the internet. What are the prices that the competition is getting for similar products? Can you buy cheap enough to match their prices? Can you really ask more for better quality? You do NOT have to base your business on offering the cheapest prices.
- People will pay someone to do what they can’t or don’t have time to do. Establish policies on minimum prices. Figure out how much time each job takes. Add in the materials and use of the sewing machine. Calculate a profit margin. Then set your price. If you can’t make money doing something, then don’t do it. Every job pays its way.
- Have policies about left garments, deposits, check acceptance, refunds, guarantees, and handling of credit cards. It is better to promise a long time to finish a project even though the customer complains at first. Because if your complete it in a shorter time the customer is happy. If you promise a short time the customer is happy at first then very upset if you take longer.)
- Set aside a space in your home for the sewing business. Keep it separate from your sewing hobby.
- Get a plan to attract customers. Brochures, flyers, notices, business cards, photos, and even a website for getting customers and so people can “check you out” before buying.
- Make contact with local businesses that have the customers you are looking for but do not offer competing products or services.
- Advertise in shopper flyers and on Craigslist. Take a photo of every project you have done – before and after even – and make a portfolio. Also put in photos or illustrations of projects that you would like to propose to do for clients.
- Give your business card and brochure to everyone you meet – at the gas station, supermarket, stores, friends, parties, bank, fabric stores, and flea market.
- Set up a checking account just for your business. Consider an LLC or Incorporation. Get a business name.
- You need a good accounting system for invoicing and knowing your cash flow. This will also help at tax time.