I love to enter sewing giveaways. Back in 2008 when I first started blogging I won a Michael Miller fabric set and I was hooked! I’ve scarcely won anything since, but I recently hit the jackpot winning this book by Virginia Lindsay of Gingercake Designs. It’s called Sewing To Sell: The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Craft Business.
In many ways I’m not a beginner, but I’ve recently felt a little directionless. I feel somewhat stuck in between a hobby & a real business so I tried to sit down with this book with the eyes of a beginner to see if I could find some direction one way or another. I was not disappointed with Virginia’s smart & practical advice!
I sometimes find my head spinning from all the opportunities presented by the crafty business world. There is so much variety and so many possibilities and paths one could walk down. Right off the bat, Virginia encourages readers to stick with their own personal style. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get so inspired by everything around me that I feel I need to mimic what I see, instead of being true to myself. I can see some definite growth in this area since I started sewing to sell in 2008 after the birth of my son. I wasn’t choosing fabrics that inspired me in an effort to keep costs down and found myself unhappy very quickly. After I went back to work full time, I set the sewing business aside until the last year or so and this time I’ve endeavored to sew what I love.
In another section, Virginia discusses some business tips including changing the way you look at purchasing fabric & supplies. I definitely related to her examples and confessions and plan to make changes in this area myself. Other topics discussed (and shown beautifully) are how to photograph and package your product and for online and craft fair sales. Sewing to Sell also discusses pricing your product, organizing your patterns and sewing space and explains how to identify your customer.
And then, to top it all off, there are 16 Starter project patterns included to get you started in your own sewing business. I confess, in a world with Pinterest and unlimited web resources, I hardly ever buy a book for projects anymore. But there was not one project in this book I wouldn’t want to make and many of them are a blank slate with which Virginia encourages the reader to make their own! And super extra bonus?!?! There’s a price range suggestion included at the top of each project pattern!
Overall I found the advice in this book was exactly what I needed to hear. I should have known that when I felt lost, it would be best to follow the advice of Vince Lombardi and go back to the basics. So if you are a new to the craft business, save yourself some trouble and grab a copy of this book. And if you are a seasoned craft business owner looking for a little direction, you should also grab a copy of this book and remind yourself about the basics of Sewing to Sell!
Thank you so much to Virginia of Gingercake Designs for generously offering Sewing to Sell as a prize and thank you for supporting the handmade community with your practical, straight forward advice! I know I will be using the patterns included to add cute new products to my etsy shop this coming year!