How to Start a Sewing Business 1-2-3
A sewing or alterations business offers a flexible time schedule and a business that can be run part-time or
full time. Take on as much work as you want to handle and schedule work hours that are convenient for you. Take
a week off when you want.
Knowing another local seamstress with whom you can refer business back and forth when needed can give you
even greater flexibility.
There are lots of different services you can offer, so the work you're doing will generally change on a
daily or weekly basis. People need sewing work done for a variety of reasons, including clothing that needs to
be altered or tailored, clothing repair, custom-made clothing or items for the home like curtains, bedding,
What do You Need to Start a Sewing Business?
You can create a sewing work space at home with a sewing machine, sewing materials and a phone. You can
start with minimal sewing equipment and materials and then invest in additional equipment as you discover which
services your clients value most.
Contact your local city office to obtain a business license, register your business name with county clerk
and if you choose to, set up a separate phone line for your business. Contact your local telephone company to
get your business listed in the yellow pages.
Order brochures and business cards and get professional invoice forms to bill clients. You can save money on
brochures and business cards by using an online design service like VistaPrint where you create marketing materials yourself with professional
See also: Design Your Own Logo Online
In addition to listing the services you offer to client, use brochures to let prospects know the benefits of
doing business with you. Why should they use you instead of the tailor down the street? Why should they hire
you instead of doing the work themselves - or not at all?
Make Money in a Home-Based Sewing Business
Kathleen Spike has put together a complete start-up guide on how to successfully make money sewing - at
I love this guide because it shows shows people how to take their love of sewing and turn it into a
profitable business - stuff like taxes, regulations, pricing, getting paid, etc.. (all the important stuff you
need to know, but probably don't).
The book also simplifies the business set-up process so it is not so overwhelming. Kathleen also includes
sample forms and materials and other resources to save you time because hey - we're here to sew, not all that
other stuff. Right?
How Does a Seamstress Find Clients?You can work as an independent seamstress and take
on projects directly through your clients. Alternatively, you can sub-contract with boutiques and tailors for
more work. Either way, begin compiling a reference list. A sewing business can be built successfully on
word-of-mouth advertising, not to mention referrals don't cost you any money in advertising.
Want to increase your income? Even an experienced seamstress can benefit from enrolling in advanced sewing
classes. Learn new skills so you can offer your customers more services and grow your business. When you are
able to take on unique or difficult sewing projects where others cannot, you instantly become more marketable.
Offering pick-up, delivery or on-site services can also help attract more customers. Are you able to offer
faster service or evening hours that are more convenient to clients? This can help give you a leg up on your
competition - and you don't even have to lower your prices. Get more marketing
Make Money Teaching Sewing
What if you like to sew, but you would rather teach others how to sew? There are lots of opportunities
here as well. You can teach kids or adults, individuals or larger classes. Depending on who you are teaching,
you may be able to hold classes in your home, at a local sewing store or at your city's community center.
In addition to helping you set up your business with instructions and sample forms, this book provides
helpful insight as to how to be a good teacher. It also contains ideas for how to market your business. Author
Mary Miller is a designer and certified instructor herself, so she can share valuable advice from the
Sewing Business Resources:
- KidsCanSew.com: How to make money teaching kids to sew
- Alterationbiz.com: how to start a clothing alteration business