Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Focus, focus, focus
As I've written before, I've been told, "Do one thing and do it well". My one thing is sewing. All sewing. For me, for others, hand sewing, quilting, teaching, you get the picture. I'm all over the place.
A little over a year ago I rented shop space. Its been a super choice. It gives me the opportunity to get back to sewing after all of my former sewing spaces at home were filled up with my 4 children. They are the joy of my life, but I'm only human. I needed this time for me badly.
Along with reestablishing sewing work from a couple customers from before kids, I've gained some great new customers. One in particular has pushed me creatively in a way that is new. I've done a lot of work for artists who are using clothing as a way to display their artwork. There have been weavers, fabric painters, dyers, embellishers, etc. Even though I'm back in the sewing chair, I have to be careful that I don't take on more work than I can do. After all I do still have 4 lovely children to care for. A way to add quality sewing is to pursue my own creativity.
Enter denim. I've been playing with denim since about 2007. I started with yardage, but quickly realized how much waste there was in denim blue jeans that no one wanted to wear anymore.
I'm having tons of fun sewing, but I'm not focused. I've been listening to free youtube videos like Renae Christine and Jane Hamill. A lot of it is a peptalk and things I know are my weaknesses. But, I learned that I'm doing "hope marketing" and need to focus on developing a line. It is really difficult. I write a bunch of stuff down, following rules that I've heard and suddenly I'm thinking about pillows, Tshirt skirts and menswear.
So back to the focus. I'm different in the sense that I'm going to sew. I'm not looking for a manufacturer. I also can't work full time or hire anyone until I personally get my ducks in a row. Its a life changing experience in discipline. Myself, my time, learning and applying new things to what I know and actually listening to the advice I'm getting. Marketing is WAY out of my comfort zone. I'm a happy girl just sitting in my sewing chair.
I'm also purchasing and perusing marketing and organizational materials. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! (affiliate link!) is one that I have found useful. It talks about making your perceived weakness your selling point. This can definitely work in my case. I started making the seams on my denim clothing on the outside because no one could tell by looking at it that it was recycled/upcycled jeans reconstructed into an entirely new garment. This can be an exceptionally positive selling point if I just say it out loud.