On Saturday, I visited White Rabbit Cottage in Marietta to buy a birthday gift for my Mom. Quite by accident, the owner, her mother and I found ourselves involved in an interesting discussion on pricing, inventory and running a small business. They gave me some wonderful advice and I “sort-of” planted the seed of the services my fledgling business offers. Guess that would be called networking?
This afternoon while driving home from the quilt show @ Intown Quilters, I received a harried call from a number I didn’t recognize. It was a sewing referral from a friend and unfortunately, I couldn’t talk to her as I was navigating heavy downtown Atlanta traffic. I told her I’d call back after while. Yes, it turns out I’ll make a few extra dollars sewing a decorative border to a tablecloth my friend is going to embroider for someone. Definitely a rush job and pricing was adjusted accordingly.
Last week I found out that I’m receiving a stipend for an article I volunteered to write for a quilt related organization.
I’ve asked the big man upstairs for a signal that it’s time to formally establish my sewing business. Hmmm. Think I got three of them this week.
If stuff starts to sell in the Etsy store, I really will need to get that business license and the tax-id number so I can be legit and purchase my materials wholesale.
This afternoon I dug through the pile of treasures I’d set aside as possible items to sell on Etsy. A couple of feet, workbooks, Kwik Sew Book, notions and a pile of chalkboard iron on transfers made the cut. Setting an appropriate price point was a little trickier than I thought. Most of my items are unused and still in their original packaging. They came to me via a neighbor who used to own a custom sewing business. I think she bought out the existing inventory of a shop that was closing a few years ago.
A little time spent researching similar items on the web yielded the information I needed to set my prices and establish appropriate shipping fees. I dutifully took my pictures, but realized when I went to list the items that I’d left the camera cord and card reader at work. Oh well, I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. No big deal.
Stash (noun) – an assortment of fabric collected with every intention of using it in a project *someday*.
With that bit of background knowledge shared, may I proceed?
De-stashing (verb) – (1) the fine art of culling one’s personal fabric collection; (noun) (2) the stage of fabric acquisition where one refuses to make additional purchases until existing inventory stores are depleted.
BTW – Can you tell I’ve been reviewing dictionary skills and parts of speech with the fifth graders?
I am officially on a fabric diet. My stash runneth over and the projects I bought to do “someday” are taking up too much valuable real estate in my stash closet. So except for the balance on my Joann’s card and the $40 Groupon to Intown Quilters, I have no more funds allotted to fabric until the UGA throw quilt, Christmas throw quilt and one of the baby quilt kits are completed. Completed means quilted, bound and ready to use.
My Etsy store is set up. I need to get five items photographed and listed. Like Nike says – just do it! These items were all gifted to me by a former neighbor. I helped her clean out 30 years worth of sewing stuff. The bulk of it was donated, but I kept the notions, vintage patterns and cool fabric I thought I could sell to raise funds for our reading dog work. While I gladly volunteer my time to do my therapy dog work, it does require some cash to buy the books, prizes, treats, supplies, uniforms and liability insurance required by the program. Guess I will do a little comparative shopping to see what to list my items for and then guesstimate the shipping costs. Hope to have the items listed by week’s end.