Sewing to sell - Sew Joyful08:00
As part of our 'Sewing to Sell series' I thought it would be great to interview a few people who sell what they sew. First up is Joy from Sew Joyful.
Joy says, "I got into sewing for my kids when they were young, but as they got older it got too expensive or they just didn't want "home made" or "Mum made" clothes, they were looked down on. In the intervening years I have sewn clothes for myself occasionally when I wanted a particular look, style or fabric that I just couldn't find in the shops.
Then I became a grandmother to my darling Sienna (now 4). I got really enthused about frills, ruffles, ribbons & appliqués. I still continued sewing for myself and for one particular function I made a brocade clutch to match the top I made. I got many compliments and was told should start selling clutches.
My daughter was already on Facebook selling modern cloth Nappies and she encouraged me to start a Facebook page and "Sew Joyful" was born. I started with a few clutches and a ruffled handbag of which I managed to sell a few in the early days. This is a really early one before I got a logo for Sew Joyful. Pop over and check out Joy's facebook page!
Now I sell bags, clutches and wallets and specialize in customizing to the customers needs. I have concentrated on a few styles of bags and the Necessary Clutch Wallet.
This is a nappy bag made to a customer's requirements.
Deciding on my selling price is very hard. I have tried to price my bags at a reasonable market price, probably on the low side to start with. I find that you cannot even get $20 an hour for the time spent, but I love sewing and it helps me unwind from a complex job. I work full time, so a few orders a month keeps me doing something I love, keeps my hobby business alive and allows me to feed my fabric addiction!
I don't do enough business to be able to sell wholesale, but if I got my daughter involved in this business sewing full time, it could be a possibility in the future. We have spoken about combining our businesses as she now makes bags and NCWs as well.
Customers like to feel they are getting a OOAK (One of a kind) product that is made especially made for them, to their requirements. They don't usually question the price when they are getting something that is one of a kind, customized to their needs.
When I started out I set my prices too low and I probably still do. I would tell myself to set them higher and don't drop them when they aren't selling in a showcase or the like.
Because it's nice to see the sellers behind their skills, I asked Joy for a photo.
The collage below has me with my 3 grandchildren & a small selection of my bags.
This next collage is one of Joy's best sellers, it's a NCW and this particular version was a finalist in a sew and tell competition. It features raw silk on the border & inside.
Joy was also a member of the Bag of the month club, and here's her BOTM Manhattan bag & matching NCW.
Facebook page that she's created a business that customers are happy to shop at, pop over and see what you can pick up from her attitude towards sewing to sell.
Joy takes commissions for handmade bags and purses, if you've spent today's post drooling over her makes, why not drop her a line to see what she can create for you!
Thanks Joy, it's been a pleasure learning a bit more about your business today!