So, are you still sewing?
This is a question I get ALL THE TIME! From family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. Family is the kicker!
I really don’t understand why I am not taken seriously. YES. I am still sewing. In fact, in 2019 I moved my sewing area out of my home and began renting space in an arts center in the middle of my town! in 2021, I was busier than ever with brides that postponed from 2020 as well as current year brides and bridal parties! It was my full time job, working more than 40 hours a week between my appointments and getting the work done! 2022 to date, I have already equaled my 2021 revenue and have had more brides to date as compared to 2021, and it's only August!
I think sewing in and of itself carries a stigma. Honestly, who does that anymore? And if you do, and make money at it, you would be working for someone else, right? Well, I did work for a tailor, once, after my first child was born, over 30 years ago, and my mom offered to babysit for the day so I could get back to work. I worked for him about 6 months, until he wasn’t busy enough for me to work there anymore. I did learn some industry tips from him though and was grateful for the experience of working for this tailor.
From that point on, I had friends, family and neighbors who “knew I could sew”, ask me to do basic alterations, and I did place an ad in the local newspaper to generate some business. I charged next to nothing, mostly because I liked it and wanted to get referred, and was not in tune with what to charge.
In the years following, I had researched what other shops charge, and have adjusted my prices accordingly, to be competitive. It seemed that I was getting a lot of generous “tips”, so I figured maybe my prices were too low. Conversely, sometimes when you charge too little, I think people assume your work isn’t that good. Now, I feel I have competitive rates, while still staying lower than most of my competitors.
Over 30 years I have been sewing for others – OVER 30 YEARS!
Why do people still ask me if I’m busy?
How busy am I? Well, enter the digital world.
I get recommended online ALL THE TIME. Melrose and surrounding towns have “community pages” on Facebook, where people ask “can anyone recommend a seamstress for bridal alterations” or similar questions. My name gets mentioned all the time, by several people on the same post. I keep my Facebook page up to date by posting photos of all the bridal gowns I work on, as well as some of the other alterations I do that I think may be of interest. And my recommendations on Yelp have steered customers my way as well.
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Answer: Yes! If I wasn’t busy, I never would have had a need to rent space. I now have my own studio space outside of my home in a building that is an arts center in my town – so I’m exposed to creative people every day! I really love what I do, and it makes people happy. What could be better than that!