April 12, 2013

How to Start a Home Based Sewing Business

sewing business,tailoringStarting a home sewing business can be an exciting, fun and has many potential advantages. It can be very lucrative. It’s not easy, and it will require work to make a full-time income. However, if you are diligent it can be very profitable. You can be your own boss, set your own hours and make money doing something you enjoy. There are so many different things you can do from a home based sewing business, it's all up to you.

With the way the economy is today and the job market not back on track yet, having a home based sewing business can supplement an income or be your sole source of income. Since almost everyone needs a seamstress at least one time or several times in their lives, there should never be a worry about not having enough work.

Depending on your taste and talents, you can build your business around -

  • Sewing wedding dresses - Many seamstresses make very good living focusing on the creation of wedding gown and wedding accessories 

  • Business Suits
  •  Embroidery

  •  Pet Clothes - If you can produce well-made pet clothing, you have a chance to establish yourself as part of a rapidly growing industry. People who love their pets will pay high prices to get exactly what they want for their darlings.

  • Sewing for dolls and toys -  Somehow cuddly creatures have always managed to stay in fashion and there is a market for everything from stuffed rats to dinosaurs to floppy rag dolls. It must be very satisfying to earn money at home from making items that will be cherished by a child, from infancy into the teenage years.

  • Alterations - From sewing a seam to replacing a zipper. Fixing damaged clothes can be a profitable business as many people have something hanging in their closet that needs repair – and they have no idea how to do it. Specializing in bridal alterations can also increase you profits,  because 7 out of 10 retail wedding gowns require some type of alteration and/or repair.

 While sewing might be fun for you, if you're doing it as a business, there are practical and legal challenges you'll have to meet, as with any new business.

Get Your Permit And License
Contact your local government about a business license. Most states, cities and counties require you to take out a license, even if you're working at home; some require special permits for home-based businesses. Ask about any other requirements you have to meet, such as charging sales tax on items you sell or registering a business name.

Get Your Location
Create a special location in your home as  your work space.
Place all items, equipment and supplies out of the way of normal home traffic where they can be damaged.

Decide where in your home you would like to have your sewing business. You could do your work in a spare room in your home if you have one, designate a part of the living room or bedroom for it, or even a large closet will do.

Buy Your Equipment
You'll need a sewing machine that's good enough to do high-quality work of the kind you have in mind, and fits within the budget you drew up, even if it is second-hand. Sewing machines cost anywhere from $129 to $6,000, depending on its features. 

You may also need a serger machine, which allows you to create decorative. This machines can cost say from $300 to $1600. You'll also need needles, pins, cutting scissors, measuring tape and rulers, shearing, pattern markers,threads etc. You will also need to get a full length mirror.

Figure out the price you're going to charge. You need to cover the cost of your fabric, plus enough left over for a reasonable hourly wage. Find out what other tailors or seamstresses in your community charge. To have a successful sewing business, this area has to properly taken care of.

Advertise by placing a listing in your local phone directory,  newspaper, leaving your business card and/or flyer in fabric shops, beauty salons and cleaners and you might want to take it one step further and have your own website which lists your services, the benefits of your services and visual pictures of your work.This will enable customers around the world to find you. While it will require shipping, it can dramatically increase your orders and profits.

Tell anyone you know that you have started your own sewing business. Word-of-mouth is your best marketing strategy. Be    professional about it. You are providing a service that is becoming very scarce. A good seamstress is hard to find. People will be thankful to know you are providing these services.

Anyone who requires quality, custom-made garments, items or home decor accessories will certainly need your services.