Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:
At one time, sewing was an important skill to possess if you wanted clothing to wear. Although these skills are no longer necessary for staying covered, it has evolved into a wonderful hobby and business for many lucky people.
Vicky Triantos always loved to sew. Starting as a small sewing group, her friends and family urged her to begin teaching what came so naturally to her. From that moment, she started a business teaching others how to sew. Through her website SewingIsEasy.com, she sells an instructional video downloads and her DVD. She also helps beginners learn how to sew quickly and efficiently through lessons. Vicky uses her talents to keep the art alive, and her students learn a useful skill.
I recently asked her a few questions about her business and the inspiration behind it.
Tell us a little about Sewing is Easy.
Sewing Is Easy began as a small sewing group in the local hall. As our reputation grew so did the demand for our classes. We were getting enquiries from many and varied areas which were physically impossible for us to serve. That was when we started looking at producing Interactive sewing DVD’s that enable people to learn how to sew in the comfort of their own home, either on their own or with friends, at times that suit them, without the commitment to weekly classes all for the cost of the DVD!
What inspired it?
The inspiration behind Sewing Is Easy was the encouragement by family and friends to take that first step into teaching. They could see my love and passion for something that I turned into a career and thought it only natural to take that next step.
How did you get started?
For as long as I can remember, we always had a sewing machine in our home and my aunt had an antique Singer treadle machine in her home that I spent hours playing on. I always told her to give it me when she decided to part with it and was devastated to learn that she disposed of it some years later when they rebuilt their home!
I can remember dabbling in anything creative as I was growing up. At the age of 14 my parents bought me my first sewing machine that I spent hours on. Sewing/needlework was one of the first subjects I received an A, so I knew I was on a good thing. I can still hear my sewing teacher’s words!!!
When I finished High School I took a Gap year from Uni(I never thought of doing fashion as a career at this stage and was pursuing studies in criminal psychology)and did a short course in textiles and clothing. When I returned to UNI, 18 months into my degree, my father died unexpectedly and as the family business was in clothing retail, it seemed only natural that I step in and the rest as they is history.
How much do your lessons cost?
I run the dressmaking classes in 21hr blocks (7 x 3hr classes, weekly) at a cost of $250 per block.
We are also introducing new classes in 2012, such as Master classes, quilting, workshops (we are calculating the cost as we speak). This makes our DVD exceptional value!
What separates you from the competition?
The answer to this question comes direct from the students. Keep in mind that a lot of them have attended other sewing classes before they’ve come to me. I’ve been told that my classes make sewing fun. They like being challenged without feeling intimidated. They love the fact that they decide what they make rather than being told what to make. A lot regard the classes as their weekly therapy session and their timeout for themselves!!!
Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish over the next year or so?
Build and grow the business is the obvious answer. Really create market awareness and branding of Sewing Is Easy. Break down the stereotype of the image of sewing and the type of people that do sew. Develop interest and enthusiasm for the industry by not only preaching to the converted but attracting new enthusiasts of all ages and gender.
What are some lessons your business has taught you?
Believe in yourself and what you are trying to achieve.
Never give up on a dream.
Be realistic. Do your research, ask advice from relevant people. Accept and listen to feedback.
Learn to differentiate between constructive criticism and destructive opinion.
Pick yourself up because knockbacks are inevitable.
Anything is possible, the impossible takes a little longer!!!!!
Do you have any advice you’d like to offer entrepreneurs who are just getting started?
Research, Research, Research!!!!!!!!!!!!
“No” isn’t always the answer