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Fast Start Your Sewing Business

Lesson 1 of 5

Fast Start Your Sewing Business

Kari Chapin

Fast Start Your Sewing Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

1. Fast Start Your Sewing Business


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Lesson Info

Fast Start Your Sewing Business

Thank you for joining us for this fast start you're selling this snus. I am thrilled to be here at creative lives, talking about thes different handmade businesses, and I am I'm so happy to be doing this fast. Start your sewing business today we're going to discuss all of the things you need to know about starting a sewing business from soup to nuts or from bobbins to searchers were going to get into all of the details of what you need to do to actually take the leap from just thinking about having to sewing business, actually starting your sewing business, we have a special guest coming up one miss anna joyce and I am so excited to have anna with us here today think you're really going to enjoy learning more about her and about her business, and I I am just thrilled to be here. Sewing has a lot of available puns, so that always makes me pretty happy. I want to start off by talking about the fest. Start your sewing business action guide. This is a guy that I created with the help of so...

me of the some members of my community that I really like and I'm really happy to share with you in this book when you purchase the program you are going to get quite a lot of things, there's a one page business plan to help you formulate what you want your business to look like. There is a list of my favorite resource is that discuss services and applications that I recommend to my clients when I'm doing one on one, consulting her business consulting with small businesses there's also a checklist in there to help you make sure that you really do want to own a business. And what are some things you need to think about? Lauren vernell so kindly provided us with seven hot financial tips for makers who are starting a business, or even if you might be a little bit farther into your business, I think you would find these tips really useful. She has a creative live coming up in january of two thousand fifty eighteen that is going to be really great to watch two days on finances for your creative business in one day on bookkeeping for etc sellers. So if you happen, tio run your business through an etsy shop, then you're definitely going to want to check that out. I know that money is a soft in sore spot, and I'm glad that lauren was able tio help us out with that tip sheet. We also have a great tip sheet for social media, which was kindly provided by little farm media I'm really excited about that has a list of ideas for you to utilize twitter instagram, pinterest for your business and we're not really sure what to say on social media or just how you should engage or you're feeling kind of like you're being pushy or like it's too whatever your block maybe towards social media, little foreign media has made it a little bit easier for you to figure out what you should be doing and how you should be doing it and that's included in this fast, fast start right as well on but also I recorded a special podcast with anna who's going to be with us in the second segment and we talked for over an hour in depth about what it is like for her to have sewing accessories business and we're going to talk more we'll just kind of move right into anna right now, but so I want you to take some time to check out her web site in her store before she comes on. She'll be here in a little while, but it's, anna joyce design dot com and that's what she is on instagram and I'd like you to take particular note of her instagram if you want to have a sewing business, she does a great great job of sharing little bits about her business that don't feel sales e but that actually get her sales. So her instagram feed as one to really watch, follow and study on twitter she's, the same anna joyce design and that is also goes for pinterest. So right away we have a lesson in marketing yourself that she has made it so easy for you to find her no matter where you want to go on the internet, because she uses the same name consistently, so that is a hot on how to make it easier for people to find your work and therefore spend their money with you. So I'm super excited about, you know, coming up and the podcast that we reported together, which you get with the purchase of this program, was one of my favorites, so I'm really looking forward to that, so get your questions ready for anna and send them in so that we can be sure to have the most useful conversation for you when she gets here. She's, super smart and willing to talk about almost all aspects of what it's like to get a sewing business have been started and she's a really inspirational start, too. Very much looking forward to animate and definite wanna hear your questions on the way to ask questions for an hour or indeed, for carrie is to cook the asks tab, but you'll see just to the right of the screen a new india will open and you'll be able to see which questions have already been asked will be up to see which questions that I have been asked by. I'm sorry already been answered, which questions are also being asked by other viewers? And if you click the little blue arrow that you'll see just below the question you'll be ableto up, vote the questions, and we promise we'll get to the most popular while we live on there so that any questions for carrie or anna? You'd like them to our specifically on air? If you have any questions about the course about how to buy it about websites about links or anything like that, a tool the best place for that is in the chat rooms go to the live tab and that's, where you'll find lots of other people either in a sewing business or sewing enthusiast who are looking to start their business, and they may well be able to help you out with information about how they've what their journey is being. So definitely check out the chat rooms also, we want to see your work, so go to the course page and there you'll find the upload, your work baton, and we'll have to see pictures and examples of all your sewing projects, all of us own businesses on items that you're selling on carrie, we look forward to reviewing those of the end of the course, but so make sure you do that on we'd love to see your work. Absolutely, I would also like to know what's drawing you to a sewing business. I think that so in businesses are so personal for so many people that I'm sure so many of you out there have really great stories about why you are drawn to having a sewn accessories business or sewing business in general, I know a lot of us, I learned to sew from a family member or situation that has some sort of meaning to us, and I'd love to hear what that is for you. That would be really great if you could share that in the chat, I would be fascinated to learn what is drawing you to having a sewing business so pleased you share that with us so let's dig right in why sewing accessories and why you sown accessories are big business, there is sort of an endless supply of customers who are interested in purchasing items that ultimately can be or our hands own even if that's not really a factor why they want to buy it people always need things that are made out of fabric so that's just that's just effect about sewing as people are always going to need things like pouches, wallets, bags, diaper pad there's like all there's not no part of sewing something that you cannot find a customer for there's napkins, placemats, tablecloths, pillowcases, curtains I mean the list goes on and on if you need something for your personal self if you need something for your home if you need something for a gift, if you need something for a project you're working on, chances are you need some sort of piece of fabric that somebody has sown and that's where you come into play there's a whole world out there waiting to buy your product and so good on you for choosing a business that is very, very popular sown accessories again are really big business. In fact, there were so many sewing categories that I couldn't even possibly begin to narrow it down I started out trying to make a list so that I could say, well, they're special occasion sewing their sewing for babies they're sewing forgets their sewing for the home they're sewing for fashion, their sewing for pets there's just anything that you are really interested in as a whole or as a big part of your lifestyle, there's going to be a segment of the marketplace that needs those accessories? Eso it's just never ending all of the different things that you can do with it. So one way to make this really clear if you're sort of on the fence about starting a sewing business is if you were to look around your life for your home right now, particularly as a sewer. But if you were to visit somebody who wasn't too sour, you would not really be able to look around their space or their person without finding something that somebody had sown. And I think that that's, that's really incredible and that's just reinforcement that there is room for you in the market place and that people are definitely going to need whatever it is you're selling, so your primary objective is going to be to do a great job at what you make and then to find the customers to buy it, which there's not going to be a shortage of that. So you get a good marketing strategy in place, you are going to be all set so it's amazing, and you're going to be really good at it. Let's see here's a short list just a short list of some types of sewn accessories that people buy that I found just by doing a ones like second search hair bands ponytail holders while its bags pouches diaper mats chequebook covers tissue covers, veggie bags, tote bags, belts, scarves and I want to tell you that when I did this like little one second research that all they had to do is look around my own home of the things that I happen to have that were hand so I recently bought a diaper matt for a friend who just had a baby I have a checkbook cover that a friend made for me I have a tissue box cover that is so that slides right over the tissue box that in my guest room at my house whenever I go to the farmer's market I bring my hands on veggie bags to pick up what I want all of the tote bags I have her zone is probably possibly a problem because I just have so many of those belts scarves the scarf I'm wearing right now the vendors apron that I'm also wearing today are all things that were hands so that I bought from a hand maker so I just want to really stress that there is a market out there for you this photo and all of the photos that are used during this presentation all come from anna choices web cite her shop, her studio so you're not going to see anything visually in this course on the screen that anna has not made, and so I just want to give you a little heads up that not only is anna soro in a designer, but she makes her own fabric as well. So anything that you see that she's made she has hand printed that fabric, or had that fabric silk screened and her town, and then she has designed to the product and photographed it and put it up online. So these are all things that anna makes. I want you to get familiar with her before she comes on, because I really want to maximize our time together with her, so let's get started. It is really easy to think about having a business and that's really sort of the fun and exciting part in the beginning when you're curious about starting a business or you see other people doing it, I mean, really successful and you want tio, join that world to yourself, it's really easy to get sort of caught up in the romance and the excitement of what your business is going to be like, but you need to move beyond that phase to actually make it happen, so I want you to start a business a soon as possible. You're here, that means you're interested that's the hardest part is committing toe learning about doing it. That's the first step and I want you to continue taking steps as the horse goes on. So if you were tio, make it a goal to start your business as soon as possible. Here are some things that I would want you to be considering what your vision is, then your plan, the supplies that you need, the tools that you need to make your business function, and then courage, which is something that you cannot buy, which is absolutely something that you can cultivate. So I really want to make sure that we talk about that part of the process quite a bit. It's so easy to start a business today that by the time I'm done with this segment, you could technically start a business. If you have a hand sewn accessory on your purse, enter in your home or wherever you are right now, it would be a simple as you taking a photograph of it, uploading it to the online marketplace of your choice, writing a descriptions, setting a price, telling us in the chat room that you just started your store and then during the breaker after the course, I could go to that website, find it and then purchase it. It is really easy to start a business it is really hard to run a successful business, so I want you to know that there's a big difference between those two, and we're going to focus in on what those are. So a successful business starts out with the vision, which I think is something that you're probably already working on. If you happen to be watching this course on creative life, you've already decided that a sewing business is something that you might be interested in starting so you probably already have something's working for you. One of those things is some sort of confidence on your sewing ability, your design ability, your ability, tio match patterns and fabrics and colors. All of those things are something that you feel most likely pretty good about. And that's, what brings you here today? Your vision is what you want to get from your business long term your vision are his comprised of all of the different pieces that make up what you want from a business. So this is who are you going to sell? Tio, what are you going to sell? What is it going to look like? How much is it going to cost? How is it going to change your life, how are you going to get it all done? How awesome is it going to be? How exciting is it going to be? How freeing and for filling is your business going to be these air all parts of your vision? And they're all really, really, really important ingredients to what you're going to create and what you end up with at the end of the day, but a vision? It is just that a vision, it's, nothing without action behind it and that's where your plan comes into place, your plan is your vision in action. So I really want you to know that your your plan is how you're going to execute your vision, you're not going to be able to start a business, make any money, see any progress. If you're not willing to put the hustle behind your muscle, you have got to get in there and get the work done, but in order to get the work done, you have to know what it is and that's where your vision can help you formulate a strong action plan that will move you forward, move your business forward and really start you on the path to the life that you want to lead. So vision was everything that you want, tio I have inside of your business, and then the plan is how you're going to execute that next up we have supplies, supplies are things that you need to make your product so these would be, you know, your fabric, you are scissors, like anything that really goes into what you need to make. Chances are, if you're here, you have some supplies on hand already, you have thread, you know what fabric you like, you perhaps have some resource is where you like to source your materials, you have something already, and that is what you're going to use to make your product, but you must have good supplies on hand in order to do your work. If you're constantly running out of something, if you don't buy something for any particular reason, if you are slacking off on your supplies, then you're slacking off on your business. Having a good inventory of things that you know you're going to use again and again and again, is a huge time saver. Sometimes you can buy these items in bulk, so it could be a huge money saver, but it's really important to keep your supplies well stocked and well cared for. I know that if you are sowing person that chances are you probably have a fabric stash that is possibly out of control, that you probably buy fabric like it's, a weakness and that's, one of the things that I think really attracts people to sewing in the beginning as the fabric it's, so beautiful it's so lovely you love the patterns you of how it feels you love the potential that the fabric represents fabric is like candy for a lot of people and I totally get that you will use that fabric, which means you're using your business dollars more wisely if you have it organized in some sort of fashion that makes sense for you and in some cases if you have it ready to go, it is stacked by color by pattern by weight by season what however it is that you want to organize your fabric stash, keeping your supplies together and in good order you you know where everything is and you know how to get to it will help you start off your business with a really healthy foundation, and part of what I want to get across to you today is that trying to build healthy habits as half assed faras running your business right from the beginning is going to serve you really, really well in the long run that's not to say that you're not going to figure things out as you go along or that new ideas don't occur to you or that you don't learn fabulous tio tips and tricks from other people that help you streamline your workflow and make things so much easier for you but if you can start out your business with your best foot forward it's going toe get you in the habit of treating your business that way all the time. And so even though I know it's really difficult and it's a challenge to organize all of your def from sewing supplies, starting off in a clean space that really works for you is going to be much better for your designing for your sewing, for your production, for batch ing your work for every thing. So try to start with really good habits from the beginning, and it'll pay off in the long run. If you have a really great organisational tip for fabric or for any sort of sewing supplies, please do share with us online, because people are always looking for ways to organize that stash to you. Fold your fabric a certain way and keep it on the bookshelf. Do you keep it and clear been so that you can see the different colors? How do you store your fabric? If you have any great tips or tricks for people, I'm sure that they would really appreciate it, and that would be a fantastic thing to share with us in the chat room because people are always looking for that kind of information. So tools what are your tools in your case your tools are going to be things like the equipment that you need to make your product but it also goes beyond your selling this your sewing machine or your searcher your tools are also the other sorts of pieces of equipment that you need to make your business run this could be a camera if you're going to have an online business this is going to be your computer this is going to be the tools that you have at your disposal or the things that help make your your business run if you're going to be selling your products that craft shows then you're going to what to make sure that you have a really great booth set up we're going to want to greet ten degree table a great banner you know it wouldn't wouldn't work probably would probably be more helpful if you were doing craft shows and you went to a craft show and had a hand sown banner for your business versus a vinyl one that you got from the quick print store whatever in your town so you have the ability to really sort of trick out your booth if you're interested in doing craft shows with your sewing skills which are not only a great way tio show a potential customer how skilled you are sowing but it's also a great way to show how you match fabrics or how you match. Scullers or to tie things in with their brain ing you can really customize any sort of space that you want excuse me that you want tio occupy as a soloist it's going to be a lot easier for you than it is for people and other areas of the handmade business world just because you're coming to the table with such great skills already so your tools they're going to be things like your camera, your computer again, your machines, all of these things need to be in good working order, and if you need to learn something to make one of these things work better for you and to make your work process easier than those that something that you need to learn that you need to make the time to invest, to learn to use your camera better tio learn to use your machine better if you know for a fact that if you had a different foot or different type of machine that you could even make a hole a whole other kind of product product, if you needed to rule your edges and you need a surgery or whatever it is, that would make sense for you to have if these air things that are going to make your business go better and go smoother than these are things that you are responsible for getting on, then maintaining and the best way possible. Lastly, on this list, we have courage. So in order to do this, you need to be really willing to put yourself out there. You need to be really willing to share with the world what you make. You need to be willing to stand up for what you make to price what you make toe, ask for a fair price for what you make to do the marketing and to stand behind your product. Courage is the only thing on this list that you can't buy, but it is something that you can cultivate for yourself and it's, a gift that you can give yourself and we'll have. We'll talk about some tricks, tio muster up your courage or to strengthen your courage muscle as we go on. But that is something that you absolutely need to have to start a business. People are saying, well, they need to do to get themselves started all sorts of different ideas. Donna bill anders, saying, I need to set up my online shop, uh, beth soap here, saying I need a name for my business and that's actually something about it. Liberal groups is saying her vision her mission is to help customers created beautiful and comfortable home my customer isn't necessarily very high end but of the middle income means who want to create a home that reflects her taste herself I can do that but by needs will be satisfied in doing this business if I can achieve it perfect you know it's interesting what people are saying a lot of people saying they started sewing very very young so it's something passionate being throughout their lives one one view was saying that she actually started out by making sewing clothes for her bobby that's how it all started yeah I think that sewing stories are particularly fascinating to me because usually there's a really great story of somebody and their family passing down their machine or their skills or their particular patterns on my grandmother was a fantastic sewer and a hand smoker and although I never had any real aptitude for sewing I used to love to watch her sewing so I have a lot of good childhood memories around it she made a lot of our close growing up and it was fantastic now one of our viewers are saying that they do appreciate that you need courage to start about any business but they are finding it hard and they look at all the great shops that are out there and they just feel that they can't compete yes so that is you are not alone, so we'll just start right off the tap will address that right now you are not alone if you feel like they're so many great sewing shops out there and you are also not wrong, there are a lot of phenomenal people out there who so and you have started businesses doing it and for that I'm so grateful when I counted up all of those sewn products that I had at the beginning of our slideshow presentation, almost all of them were from a different maker, so that's what I loved about that so much like I didn't have very many items that were from a reaper. So where there's one one company in particular that I buy from again and again and again and again, but they only so three things s so that's why I keep going back to them more and more and more and that's a, a company based in portland called queen bee creations and I have carried their bags, wallets and pouches for ten years at least, and I go back to queen bee again and again and again. But that doesn't stop me from buying other bags because obviously I said I have like a really large tote bag collection and I also happen to have ah, a sizable like fabric been collection to where we keep our firewood in a sewn been that that somebody made and you know, that's, fire, fire place all the time we keep our dog supplies in another toe back like, you know, so it doesn't stop me from buying products from other people and the fact that they're so many amazing people is sowing businesses out there is good news for you and the reason that it's good news for you is it zits proving that there's a demand in the marketplace for that kind of work so that more businesses like that exist, the better your chances are making something that somebody wants to buy it's actually a little bit less risky for you if you want to try to look at that, look at it that way what it means is people want to buy what you want to make, so you have that like, out of the way and that's a huge huge burden to have lifted now you need to do is focus on how you're going to find the people that want to buy what you make. So you have one really big challenge out of the way right off the top, which is amazing you're so lucky, so sure there are a lot of shops out there, but not all of them are your competition, you know, because a lot of different things come into play with sewing businesses that really can make you stand out really make what you make the right thing for the right customer that's. The workmanship that you put into your product kind of fabrics that you use the kinds of the way that you market it the way that you have designed it. Extra pouches, air pockets that you might add to something that the quality of the zippers or buttons that you put into place, all of those things are going to matter to the right person who wants to buy your product. So you have a really good chance of being successful if you apply yourself to finding the right people to come to your store or to work on your wholesale accounts, if that's the direction that you're interested in pursuing right off the bat. So it's. Good news that there's so many people out there who are doing it. That means there's. A lot of people who want to buy it and a lot of people who are interested in it. So you are going to fit right in.

Class Description

Handsewn accessories have so much more charm and personality than their mass-produced counterparts. And stylish ladies love them! Learn how you can use your sewing skills as a foundation for a thriving handmade business – join Kari Chapin for Fast Start Your Sewing Business.

This course will cover everything you need to know to turn your knack for making crafty accessories into a viable, vibrant business. You’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at a thriving sewn accessories business as you learn the ins and outs of selling online and in stores. Kari will teach you how to forecast trends so you are prepared to give customers what they want, when they want it. You’ll learn new ways to:

  • Make your crafting process more streamlined
  • Store and organize your product
  • Meet the challenge of custom orders

Don’t waste another day wishing you were selling your unique sewn accessories – get the skills and inspiration you need to bring your business to life!

Check out Kari's other Fast Start Classes:
Fast Start Your Jewelry Business
Fast Start Your Beauty Business
Fast Start Your Paper Goods Business



Kari is incredibly personable, charming and knowledgeable. So easy to listen to and so inspiring. She makes you feel like you can succeed if you take the time to follow some easy steps.


FINALLY, information for CREATIVES! Looking forward to her books & forms! LOVED the references given & the ideas for diversification WITHOUT going nuts! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic! I thought this class would be a bunch of information I already knew. I was only able to watch the first hour and there was an abundance of info just in the first hour. I bought the class and am excited to see the rest of the video!