Today I’m reviewing and hosting a giveaway for a new book called Sewing To Sell by Virginia Lindsey. It’s the perfect book for someone wanting to get started with a sewing business. I wish I had read this last year when I was still trying to make a go of my Etsy shop. I might try again now! At any rate, it’s an inspiring and informative read. There are other books out about selling handmade things in today’s modern marketplace, but this book is special because it concentrates specifically on starting a sewing business vs. a more general overview.Not only does it go into detail about how to set up your own handmade business, but it offers royalty free sewing patterns of some tried and true sewn objects that can be sold by the budding sewing entrepreneur.The author takes the reader through the process, step-by-step, from where to find inspiration and how to determine your sewing niche and style to the more practical business and legal considerations: where should you sell, how much should you charge for your handmade creations, how do you deal with taxes, etc? She gives advice on taking great pictures, a crucial skill if you plan to sell online, and styling tips to show off your work to its best advantage . Her friendly personality shines through in the book and the projects she shares are adorable as well. She also has interviews of some well known sewists, bloggers, and designers. They share what motivates and inspires them and how they got started with their own handmade businesses.Here are some more topics covered:
Finding your sewing styleSelecting a nameIdentifying your customersFiguring out exactly what things to sew and selllUsing commercial sewing patternsPhotography and stylingSewing for fundraisingSelling online and at craft showsSetting up a craft show boothEquipment you’ll need to invest in for your businessSmart fabric buying and planning choicesOrganizing your workspace for efficient sewingSelling and Marketing and Social MediaPricing and packaging tips and examplesTo top it off, there are 16 sewing projects in the book that can be recreated for the sewist to put their own spin on. I made my own version of her slouchy bag and put my own spin on it by making it in leather. The pattern was well written and the instructions were easy to follow. I love how my bag turned out and used it all day today.
Virgina Lindsay, the author of Sewing To Sell, was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Read on!What inspired you to write Sewing to Sell?
I have been so fortunate to have a sewing business that generates income and gives me so much freedom and opportunity to connect with others. I loved the idea of sharing that concept with other sewers like me- to let them know how to begin and use their skills to start their own business through all that I have learned.
My etsy shop started in 2009. I started by selling owl pillows and crayon holders. My etsy site is www.ginia18.etsy.com The name Ginia18 was a beginners mistake for sure since I can’t change it now 🙁 But mistakes like that are not the end of the world and you just make the best of it. My regular website with my blog and links to my big cartel shop is www.gingercake.org
I love selling at a craft show. It is wonderful to meet your customers in person and get a feel for how people like your handmade things. For a first time craft show seller, I would say to be kind to yourself and treat it like a trial run. Don’t expect to sell out and make tons of money, instead, expect to use it as a learning experience. What sells best? How could I have been more organized? Was this show a good market for me? That type of evaluating is what a real business person does- don’t take it too personally and get discouraged if things are not as great as expected.
Last year when I signed on to write Sewing to Sell, I finally hired childcare 2 days a week. But for all the years before, I was relied on nap schedules and evenings to work. I would share with your family that your work is important and set boundaries for work time. Set a schedule and punch the clock! Get your partner involved and ask for his help. When I finally asked my husband to drive my son to preschool, he was happy to do it and it opened up a lot of extra work time for me!
To enter the giveaway you must be a US resident and the giveaway ends Friday Jan. 17 Thanks!
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