I design, sew, and sell unique one-of-a-kind clothing to a certain clientele through a website I designed myself. The creation of my business really started when I was a child.
My Inspiration: Some people may laugh at this, but I don’t mind at all. When I was a little girl, I used to design my own clothes and shoes for my dolls. I used to sit with my mom and sew clothes for my Cabbage Patch doll Suzy. As I got older, I realized that I had a unique taste when it came to style and had a hard time finding the type of clothing I wanted. So I decided to start making my own. I didn’t know it at the time but that was the beginning of my own small business. After I realized I had a serious talent for sewing and I kept getting compliments on the clothes I wore, I decided to see if I could sell a few pieces online.
Getting Started: To begin, I wasn’t sure if I would sell anything at all. I created a website for free and paid $30 or so to be able to accept credit cards. I spent roughly $500 on sewing supplies and got to work creating each piece as one of a kind. In total I spent two weeks sewing every day to build up enough stock to have a decent inventory. As soon as a piece sold, I removed it from my website or added a “Sold” logo across it in big letters. That way people could see the type of item they could find or even request from me. It took about six months to really start selling, but before long I was receiving requests for certain items.
Making a Profit: I do spend many hours sewing and wanted to make sure I was receiving a fair wage for my time, recouping the cost of supplies, and making an actual profit. Because my articles of clothing are unique and of a high quality, I can charge much more. A simple pair of shorts often sells for between $60-$125, depending on the style. One of my best selling items is a patchwork leather jacket with large stitching around each patch. These sell for $250-$399. I generally spend one day on each article unless it’s extremely detailed. I’ve also started making gorgeous shopping bags for people who want something unique and don’t want to use plastic. They take about an hour to complete and sell for $39.99.
Tips for Starting Your Own Business: It really isn’t difficult to start your own business from home if you do what you love. Just use your imagination and creativity. What are you passionate about? If you close your eyes and think about what you really enjoy, what leaps to mind? How could you make that into a business? Everyone has their faults and weaknesses, but I believe in focusing on your strengths. Start small and start with a small investment. Don’t make any investment until you’ve decided it’s something you are truly going to commit to.
Also, treat your business as you would any successful business. You should have a business plan, marketing plan, and know what audience you are catering too. Know your customer. Work on earning repeat business. Do something special for your customers to let them know you appreciate them.
No, success isn’t guaranteed but if you never try, you’ll never know if you could have done it. You definitely need to be a go getter and capable of motivating yourself, but if you have those qualities you have what it takes. It usually takes a bit of time after you start your company to see a profit. Be committed for at least two years and see where your dreams take you. I suggest starting something on the side and keeping your day job. That way you aren’t entirely dependent financially on your new enterprise. Best of luck to you.
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