It’s always satisfying to create your own garment from scratch or repair a damaged garment so it looks as good as new. If you have sewing skills and you enjoy various sewing activities, you don’t need to pursue it as only your hobby. In fact, you can start a sewing business with your expertise and skill. You can transform your sewing hobby into a great career, especially if you have the right embroidery machine for your home business.
A sewing business has minimal startup costs, and you can even start by launching your own business as a part-time job. Once you have more sewing projects, you can also consider outsourcing them.
If you don’t know where to get started, below are some of the tips on how you can create your own sewing business:Starting a business with a craft is different from working on it as a hobby. Keep reading to learn about starting and running a successful sewing business from home! Click To Tweet
Prepare Your Business Plan
The plan must start with analyzing your local market and similar services in your area. Then, describe and list the kinds of services you want to offer your target audience.
Your business plan must include your project startups costs, such as shop rental, sewing machines, computer equipment, and software, patterns, and thread. Then, don’t forget your marketing plan so you can get the word out.
Have Enough Space for Your Work
If you want to create a workspace in your home so you can work from home while operating your sewing business, contact home zoning or your local small business administration office to ask about the rules regarding home-based businesses. This is because several regions don’t permit business owners to meet with clients in residential areas.
Setting aside an area or room of your home that you use strictly for the business not only helps you keep your sewing supplies organized but also has tax benefits. Talk to your tax preparer or account about the possible deductions for your home office space.
Another option is to rent a commercial space for your business. You may find an office in a co-working space, or you might rent a commercial property.
Determine Your Target Market
The target market of your sewing business will depend on your specialty.
Some potential target markets include clothing designers who require sample garments made, entrepreneurs who want to outsource some manufacturing, consumers who want to buy handmade goods or garments, and home sewers who would like to learn more about sewing and want to take classes.
Have the Necessary Tools for Your Sewing Business
You won’t be able to operate your sewing business if you don’t have the right tools and equipment. Although you don’t need to have every piece of equipment possible, below are some of the essential and necessary tools you’ll need:
Quality Sewing Machine: You’ll need a sewing machine. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. All you need is a basic one that will serve as a good workhorse. If possible, avoid the computerized models and purchase a mechanical model with internal metal frames.
Serger Machine: It’ll help you add any finishing touches to your sewing projects and give a real professional look.
Pins and Needles: These are crucial for sewing businesses. Without these, you can’t fix or create much with your sewing projects.
Measuring Devices: These may include gauges, rulers, and tapes necessary to provide fitted and tailored clothes.
Ironing Board and Iron: These are essential to keep the seams flat on whatever you sew.
Mannequins: You’ll need dummies to display your creations. If you’re sewing ready-to-wear clothing, get fixed mannequins to photograph samples.
Of course, there are other pieces of equipment you may want to have around depending on the kind of work you specialize in, along with the necessary fabric and thread, but these should be a good basis for getting your business started.
Know Where to Sell
When starting your sewing business, it’s crucial to know where to sell. Getting a website started might seem daunting, but many website templates are available to try. So, consider searching for a marketplace with loads of traffic and understand how it works.
You should not also forget about checking out the local markets or craft fairs. These are the best places to sell your ready-to-wear collections and get customer feedback at the same time.
Don’t Hesitate to Seek Advice
Before opening your sewing business, it’s a great idea to talk with some sewing business owners to get a big picture of the market. Don’t look for this kind of information from your local competitors as they might not help you.
If possible, check out online sewing communities or reach out to sewing business owners from different areas and willing to share information with newcomers like you.
Evaluate Your Competition
Before you open your sewing business, it’s critical to know how your store would fit into the competitive landscape.
You must start by researching your competitors and create a plan on how you’ll compete with such businesses. If you fail to test the market correctly and see your real competition, you can’t expect to be successful since you have nothing to gauge pricing.
Pick Your Specialty
There are many sewing specialties you can choose from. What you want to sew may depend on the equipment you’re starting with and whether you’re working by yourself or with somebody else.
Some of the specialties you may focus on are as follows:
Repairing and Alteration
It’s the most basic, but such services are in high demand. Almost everybody has something that needs repairing or alteration over time. A good percentage of garments need alterations even when purchased brand new as retail garments are sold in fixed sizes that frequently don’t perfectly flatter every figure or may fit one dimension but not another.
Most people would love to have a tailor who can fix their clothes to their needs. It’s a type of sewing business in which you may charge high per hour. However, remember that clothes alteration requires you to be versatile with lots of things, from working with various stitches and fabrics and darning to re-fitting.
You can make dresses and clothes based on customer specifications. You can decide the type of clothes you like to specialize in. There's also casual wear, dresses, formal wear, and so on. Just make sure to keep in touch with the trends, current styles and make garments with excellent finishing.
If you’re good with customizing, this specialty is perfect for you. The only thing you should do is never stop being creative and innovative.
You can make your own designer line. If you have a flair for creative ideas, it can be a satisfying kind of sewing business.
Another specialty you can consider for your sewing business is bridal sewing. Since a wedding is an important occasion, brides-to-be prefer customization. A bridal sewing business can be profitable because many bridal dresses are either custom-made or tailored to fit, which means you can go for a higher price. But, make sure to practice how to do bridal gowns with the right fit and pay attention to your client’s unique needs for them to experience the highest possible level of satisfaction from your business.
These are only a few of the options you could focus on for your business, or you could choose to do a bit of everything if that interests you and fits your business model.
Never Neglect the Paperwork
You wouldn’t want your business to be shut down just because you forgot about taking care of your paperwork on time. To avoid this, hire a lawyer or a legal adviser and have them help you take care of all the licenses and permits necessary to run your sewing business.
It’s also wise to find an accountant to take care of your business taxes and some financial responsibilities. Plus, it’s beneficial to buy business insurance—since you never know what might happen, it’s best to ensure that your business will stay up and running regardless of what circumstances may come your way.
Price Your Work Properly
Pricing is an essential aspect of any business—your profits depend on how much you sell your products or services for. The better your profit margin, the better your take-home income.
You only have to look at the competition and market carefully to gauge your rates. With this, you’ll avoid marking your services or products too high. However, don’t be tempted to underprice your services to make yourself seem more competitive—you should value your time and labor, as well as the price of materials, appropriately so that your prices reflect your quality of work.
If you’re running a custom sewing shop, have a journal to jot down the time you’ve spent on an individual project and other things necessary to complete it. With your journal, it won’t only help you stay organized, but you’ll also determine what you’ll charge for your sewing consultation, sewing time, skill sets, materials, and design knowledge.
Advertise to Reach Out to Your Potential Clients
When it comes to promoting your sewing business, there are various ways to do it. Social media contacts, family, and friends are the best place to start. Even if you think they don’t plan to use your services, they might have family members or friends who require custom alterations or sewing.
Display flyers in the dry cleaners, dry cleaners, local dress shops, wedding shops, and some local businesses. You can reach out to more local TV and print reporters to feature your business and show how unique your offerings are.
Also, don’t forget about your online resources. You can use social media services like Twitter and Facebook as your outreach tools to offer some special deals. Just ensure to include quality photos, information about sewing services, customer testimonials, and so on in your promotions.
Running your own sewing business, whether you’re home-based or operating a brick-and-mortar shop, takes a lot of forethought and organization—but it doesn’t have to be complicated. With the tips above, you can be assured that you’ll stay on the right path to achieve success in no time.