In this bleak economy, here’s an option that allows you to work at home and do something you love. If you have sewing expertise, a cooperative family, a space for equipment, and a large dose of self-discipline, consider sewing for profit!
Marianne Balogh, 48, of Troy has enjoyed her home-based business for the past 18 years. She offers custom work and alterations, and began teaching classes.
What motivated you to get started in this field?
When my children were young, I wanted to stay home with them, but make some money to supplement my husband’s income.
Can you really make enough money to justify the hard work and time?
Everyone has different goals and ambitions and strengths. Sewing couture bridal or custom home dec, for example, would bring in more than alterations, for which you charge less but do a higher volume. My advice is to choose whatever specialty you love and are good at. You may have to test the waters at first, and evolve as your reputation grows.
What about pricing and paperwork?
Call local shops for an idea of their charges. I have price lists for various alterations, and try to pay myself about $20 per hour for the custom work. I give job estimates, maintaining a quality image but staying fair to the client. Place realistic values on your time and skills. The record keeping is my least favorite part of the job, but it’s important to keep all receipts, have a separate bank account and credit card for business, and pay income taxes.
Photo by J. Kyle Keener.
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