Dressmaking is, first of all, a wonderful hobby. However, it can also be a significant part of your livelihood, as well. If you are like most of the people, then you probably at least once in your life, you dreamed about being your own boss. And since you are here, you probably also want to provide a valuable service to others, while enjoying what you do. In this case, dressmaking can be a real business opportunity for you.
Of course, as in any other business, you need to have some specific skills and abilities if you want to start your own home dressmaking business. Some of these skills you need include pattern-following abilities, an eye for details, and also a business plan.
If you already are a pro and you are getting ready to start your home dressmaking business, you need to know that there are some tools and knowledge that you should invest in. They prevent you from making common beginner mistakes and allow you to provide superior services to your clients. Although you need to get a reliable sewing machine, it is just not enough, as you also need a good set of shears, reference books, a cutting table, a good iron with an ironing board, rotary cutters, good needles and pins, a professional-grade seam ripper, and even a serger, if you can afford to buy one. For any dressmaker, tools are important.
In what regards the sewing machine, you need to get a reliable one. Even more, if you want to become a professional dressmaker, you need to consider having a good sewing machine, and if your lacks some features that you consider important, you should first upgrade it, prior to starting your business.
As for the serger, you need to know that many dressmakers don’t use it, but it completely changes the way you do your dressmaking. The serger is able to create seams that can’t be achieved with a standard sewing machine. It gives your stitching a professional look and it makes your work much more durable.
If you are already at a level that you consider you can start charging for your work, it is time for you to start advertising. You can do this by placing ads in a paper or advertising through hang fliers, post business cards around your town, as well as advertising on social networks and other internet directories.
The word of mouth and the marketing helps your home dressmaking business grow. You can design unique products and have one of your friends or family members wear your creations around the town, as well as you can post photos on the web. This will help you get more orders. If you create unique and wearable, eye-catching garments, you are very likely to have a good business.
In addition to the word of mouth, advertising through the town, and advertisements on various locations on the internet, you can also donate a garment to a charity auction, as this way, they will post information about your business.
Style, quality, and price
However, as you probably imagine, home dressmaking isn’t only fun, but it also requires hard work. To make yourself a name in this domain, it is required to create unique and high-quality products. Also, the price is important to your customers, so make sure you value your products at the fair price. And to make sure you become successful, you need to find your own style, which you can do by exploring various styles, fabrics, colors, and niches.
Before you start your dressmaking business, you need to think about the type of work you plan to do. You can sew garments for women, men or children, formal wear, pet clothes, bags or home-furnishings. Another good idea is to make custom Halloween costumes. You can do this in addition to your regular dressmaking work, to pick some extra orders and earn some more money. You can also turn variations of your personal garments and pieces into the basis of your business. As you probably know, there is always need for basic repairs and alterations.
You also need to keep in mind that only because you own a home dressmaker business, it doesn’t mean you must limit custom work to garments. The custom dressmaking niche also includes bedding, pillows, table mats, quilting, drapery, and other interior design elements.
We mentioned pricing before, but we need to tell you a bit more about this aspect of your dressmaking business. Of course, when you are your own boss, you can change your pricing schemes whenever you want, but it is recommended not to do this too frequently. We suggest you a formula that helps you calculate your costs, so you make sure you set the prices that cover your costs and ensure you the desired profit:
Price = material costs + 25% material markup + time required to finish the garment x a reasonable hourly wage
Once you have your own dressmaking business, you can work wherever you want. However, having your machine moved through your living room or set up on the kitchen table every time you need it can become tiresome, and it is not a professional manner for a business owner. So if you want to work out of your home, you are recommended to convert a spare room or a corner into your permanent dressmaking studio. Try to choose a place where you can work without any disturbances and distractions, and where you can have your clients come by for a discrete and professional measurement and fitting.
You need to carefully plan your financial success, right from the start of your dressmaking business. You are recommended to visit an accountant and learn how to track your income and expenses. Learn what expenses are tax deductible and ask for guidance on how to withhold applicable taxes. Planning your financial situation from the beginning helps you prevent getting the unexpected visit of the tax man.
ConclusionDressmaking is a wonderful business opportunity that allows you to work from home. Although you love making garments for family member and friends, it is amazing to manage your time and business well, so you can make a good living from dressmaking while providing people a valuable service.