Thinking of setting up sewing workshops from home

(9 Posts)
Lindy0070 Tue 15-Apr-14 16:57:25

Hi all,

I have been thinking about this for a long time. I am a textiles teacher and am looking to reduce my hours to PT as I cannot take the stress and BS in school anymore. However, as most of you are the same, I cannot afford to just Jack it all in and follow my dream. Therefore, I have been making bags and accessories for a couple of years now and selling them in craft fairs and to friends and family. I have sold some things in a small shop on a sale or return basis but they really took advantage of my naïveté and I was treated badly financially.
Can anyone recommend or offer me any advice about the prospect of using my skills to offer sewing workshops at home. Also, I would like advice as to how to approach retailers in a confident way to sell my goods. Thanks and I look forward to your comments.

mummybare Tue 15-Apr-14 17:31:18

I go to something like this monthly and it's great. There are usually 3 or 4 of us, plus the tutor who helps us out with our own projects. We pay £45 and that includes lunch, a couple of cups of tea and some sort of mid-morning cake grin as well as the expertise and chance to get away from the kids and actually get some sewing done! It's a nice, relaxed, sociable atmosphere.

It is held at her house and she has loads of supplies, patterns, spare machines, an overlocker etc. etc., so it might be worth having a think about how you are fixed in that regard, but it can definitely work.

Good luck with it, OP.

mummybare Tue 15-Apr-14 17:33:20

Sorry, should have said, the day is 10am-6pm.

emsyj Tue 15-Apr-14 17:36:15

I would definitely pay for one on one or small group sewing tuition - I used to actually, but the tutor gave it up sad. There is such a huge crafting revival at the moment and sewing is a skill that many of us would like to have but are struggling to find help and tuition with. I know probably a dozen people who would be interested in this sort of thing, there's definitely a market out there. Have you looked at what other courses are available locally? Here, there is an adult education college that does an evening class but it's so oversubscribed there is a minimum 6 month waiting list.

You can set up a website and sell your own stuff if you have a small amount of money to invest in design and initial set-up. My DH set me up a web shop (with help from a designer) and it worked really well. I have sold the business now but you might want to look at just doing it yourself rather than dealing with a middle man retailer.

Lindy0070 Tue 15-Apr-14 17:43:48

Thanks for the info. I agree, there does seem to be a resurgence in crafts. I went to a workshop the other day just for a nose and got some good tips. We're having an extension done at the end of the month so after that am hoping to offer workshops to about 3-4 people either in the evening from 6-9 or on the weekend.

headlesslambrini Tue 15-Apr-14 18:00:19

Not in the NW by any chance? I'd be interested in an evening one as work during the day.

Lindy0070 Tue 15-Apr-14 18:35:11

No I'm based in South West Wales. There are a few workshops in Swansea but there seems to be nothing where I live. The local college used to run an evening course but that has not run for a number of years. I'm hoping to fill a gap in the market.
I have found that even though my crafts are handmade to a good quality, some people still seem to want to pay mass market price. That's one reason I think the sewing workshops could add another aspect to my skills.

FirstWebsiteSuccess Mon 28-Apr-14 22:24:57

I'd go for it. Setup your own website telling people all about your new workshops. Also a few adverts in some local shops and a small investment in some Google Adwords and you'll soon know if there is any interest in your new venture!

parentalunit Tue 29-Apr-14 20:01:21

Or you could sell your wares through etsy.com or folksy.com. It's hard to make good money from that for standard items, but if you go upscale with really good quality materials and beautiful things which are in demand, you could do well. (check out the stores to see what's in demand and the prices, to make sure you could actually make money once you pay for the materials).

Also do you know how to make patterns? You could set up a website to sell patterns, it could be profitable because you only have to build the pattern once, and you can sell it countless times for barely any additional overhead.

If you decide to teach, try to speak to someone who already did it, and find out the costs to make sure it would be profitable. (if a student breaks some equipment, it could be expensive to repair).

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