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Thinking about starting my own quilting related business

Thinking about starting my own quilting related business

Old 04-10-2013, 04:32 PM
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Default Thinking about starting my own quilting related business

I think this belongs here instead of general chit chat. If I am wrong, sorry

So I have reached a cross roads in the professional life. I have grown very dissatisfied with my job. I work for a call center in the insurance field and have enjoyed it until the last 2 years.

I am 50 and have worked for this company for a few decades so I have a really good salary. It would not be easy to replace it.
Unfortunately due to life, our debt ratio is higher than I would like but am working it down.

Anyway, I am just going around in circles in my mind...do I leave, do I stay, do I try to do this in my spare time....what spare time really!!

My question is to anyone who found themselves in this situation or just starting a business up in the quilting field, was it successful.

CAn I asked what your monthly or annual income was.
How did you get it started
Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:39 PM
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Good luck to you in making your decision. One lady I know decided to give it a try - her family figured they could make it a year without her salary while she jumped in with both feet. Last I heard she was doing very well in her business and loving every minute of the 18 hour days she was putting in.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:45 PM
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I dream about this as well but I make 75% of the salary so I am stuck at my job, I would say if you can afford it go for it if it will make you happy
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:55 PM
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I was a vendor for about 6 yrs. Doing shows mostly out of town. The hours I spent at the sewing machine, only gave me a blood clot in my lung. 90 percent of blood clots start in your legs. The Money was hard to make. The show fees were high. People love handmade items however it is labor intense. Be careful and if you decide on this, good luck.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:56 PM
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Well, I'm very old, but right now, in this economy, a very good salary is very much to be desired. But, also you are at the right age to get it going if that is what you want to do. It never hurts to have different directions you can go.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:11 PM
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Keep the salary and pay down your debt first. That's one less thing for you to worry about when you start a quilting business. That isn't what you want to hear, but it is what you need to do - unless you are going bonkers on the job OR would get a nice pension if you retired now.

Assuming that you can dedicate a reasonable portion of your salary to paying the bills now, start cutting personal spending now. Try to pay the bills off faster and save some money. This is good preparation for when you START the business - your income will be lower so your 'out-go' has to be lower, too.

I can't give you any info about starting a quilting business. I do know that machine quilting is a lot of work and takes time - and all I do is edge to edge quilting on personal quilts. I think if it was my business, I would get tired of it extremely fast. Quitting your job COMMITS YOU to quilting full time, so think long and hard before you quit.


i wish you luck. Decisions like this are never easy.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:12 PM
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I have owned my own non quilti gn business for 35 years. A few points. First consult with your local SBA. Second you currently need to add 40% to your current income to make the same being self employed. FICA 401k vacation sick leave holiday pay employer paid insurance ALL GONE. Add 10 hours a week to your schedule for paperwork. Finally debt will put you under if you work for yourself. No debt. Low mortgage no car payments no consumer debt and 18 months cash reserves then you can think about starting a business. No toys with payments
That being said I love owning my own business

Last edited by seamstome; 04-10-2013 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:14 PM
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I would advise staying at your job until you are debt free and have saved a years salary in the bank. Sounds extreme but I would want that year cushion in case the quilting business started out slow. That's me, do what is right for you. I think www.thequiltshow.com has a segment right now on starting your own business but you have to be a member to view it.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:20 PM
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I would encourage you to try it out for a bit before you totally quit your current job.

Before I retired I went to part time - working Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and till noon on Friday. Left my weekends free to do my Renaissance Festivals without worrying about being too tired on Monday or arriving too late on Friday night. Plus that still allowed me to have a steady income for those pesky bills that just keep popping up.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:30 PM
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I agree with everyone else, but also dont just wait. The biggest issue with local stores is building a customer base. THAT is something you can start now. Show up to guild meetings, as many as you can afford to go to. Go to classes, check out local shops, go to shows, talk with the teachers, students, guild members. Teach a few classes, get your name OUT there. So when you are ready to open a shop, you have people who know who you are, your quality of work and what your "mission" is will shop with you. This will get you a good customer base starting out and continue to grow it.
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