Starting a Home Quilting Business
Quilting Business Xmas Design
My name is Gwen and I am a stay at home mom with two teenagers. I am 46 years old and have been home with my children for six years. Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, I worked out of the house as a software analyst. My educational background is in computer science, math and languages.
With one teen in college and another one heading off to college next year, I decided that I needed to bring in some income to offset two tuitions. I did not want to go back to the corporate world.
I wanted to do something I loved. I decided to start a quilting business. I love to quilt and I'm good at it. I decided to start a quilting business because I wanted to find a way to earn money with my quilting.
In order to get started I needed to purchase some equipment and to do this I would need funding. Since I wanted to make custom designed quilts and quilt tops that others had started, I needed a longarm quilting machine. A longarm is a sewing machine with a large space between the needle and the machine.
Unlike a regular sewing machine where you move the fabric back and forth, the longarm sits on a frame and moves back and forth over the fabric. These machines start at over $5000 and they take up a lot of space. Fortunately I was able to fund the startup through savings.
Before purchasing the machine and officially going into business I wrote a business plan. This plan outlined everything I thought I would need to do to become successful. I follow the plan and update it when I find areas that aren't working and need to be changed.
After writing the business plan the first area of attack was learning all I could about starting a small business in my state. I wanted to make sure that I did everything by the book.
I made sure that I learned what I could about running a business and making sure I had all the correct paperwork. Once that was taken care of, I bought my machine. Using a longarm takes a lot of practice. You need to do top quality work or people will not recommend you. Because of this I needed to practice before I worked on any client quilts.
Even experienced longarm quilters need to practice and continue their education. There are always new techniques being developed and it is important to stay on top of them.
I am very happy that I started my business. I've learned a great deal about running a business. I've enjoyed meeting new people. It is fantastic to be able to make money doing something I love. My advice to anyone starting this type of business is to make sure you really love it.
If you don't it will show in your work. Also, don't rush into it. Take your time to learn what you can about running a business in your state. Take the time to find a machine that you love and that you can work with.
They are all different and it's a very personal choice. Make a business plan that will take you through the first year. Be as thorough as possible. Most of all, enjoy the process and have fun.