Sewing to Sell - Little Bags08:00
Thank you for your kind comments on our series, Sewing to Sell!
Today's interview is with Katie, from Little Bags.
My mother taught me to sew when I was little - I used to love doing tapestries and made little bits and bobs for my toys. I also used to do a bit of knitting but sewing is something I really enjoy. I made a few items of clothing at school and then after a break of about 15 years, I got a new sewing machine and began making curtains and clothes for my children. I now make clutch, tote and drawstring bags for my business.
What made you decide to sell your sewn items?
I am an Army wife which means we move every two years (at least) so establishing a career is almost impossible. I was attracted to the idea of running my own business which I could take with me wherever we go and also that would fit around my three small children.
I began my business buying in manufactured bags from China but quickly realised that handmade is so much more satisfying and sellable so in January 2014 I began making and selling my own bags.
How do you decide on your selling price?
Pricing is extremely hard as we hand crafters never value our work enough. To begin with I hugely undersold my bags but after a year I had the courage to properly work out how much they are worth and amazingly people still buy them! I also ensure that I pay myself an hourly rate otherwise it is not worth it.
Do you factor in trade discounts (i.e. for selling wholesale to a retail store)?
I don't sell in retail stores.
What makes customers part with their cash for your sewn items?
I would like to think that people see a unique product in my items. I am inspired by animals, especially dogs and most of my bags feature dogs or something linked to animals. I take an enormous amount of time ensuring that my products are finished to a very high standard, which my customers recognise and are happy to pay for.
What do you wish you could tell yourself back when you were starting out?
Have faith in yourself and don't be afraid to make mistakes!
Katie sells her bags locally but also on her website, she has an Etsy store and you can pop over and like her Facebook page to keep up to date with her makes!
Thanks for chatting with us Katie, your work is so professional and precise!