disclosure - Affiliate links included in this post.
Sewing can be relaxing, even as it presents real challenges. And when you get something just right, it feels incredible! Unfortunately, it can also be an expensive hobby if you're at it regularly, so you may need to find a way to offset the cost. This will inevitably lead some who love to sew to start their own little businesses selling handmade workmanship - even if the primary focus is on creativity or personal projects.
But how do you know what will sell? Ultimately the hope is that you can simply make beautiful things, and people will want to buy them. For the purpose of generating some income though, it can't hurt to have a few ideas that are more commercial, so to speak. So here we have some ideas that could lead to more regular sales, such that before long you may be wondering more about how to fulfill orders than what to sew in the first place!
Even if you aren't a fan of current fashion fads, they do represent a nice way to boost your business right away. If everyone is looking for a tiny bag for the fall fashion season, for instance, then it stands to reason you could capitalize on the demand. Put your own spin on it, and you can enjoy the best of both worlds - satisfying your own creative urge, and giving potential customers the feeling that they're stumbling on something trendy, but new. Statement hats are also big for the fall, and can actually be relatively easy to craft at home. In general, following seasonal trends like these is a good way to get customers on board with your fashion-forward business and your craftsmanship.
Follow Pop Culture
This season there are several films coming out that fans have been looking forward to for a while. The “Little Women” and “Downton Abbey” movies in particular have generated lots of hype, and some moviegoers are every bit as excited for these releases as they are for the average Marvel or Star Wars feature. Naturally, there's a fashion angle to take advantage of here! Fashions and accessories that hearken back to the mid-1800s and the early 1900s would get lots of attention this season as part of your sewing collection.
The same goes for any kids movies. With Halloween coming up, costumes from “Aladdin” or “The Lion King” will be big this season, given the recent theatrical remakes of both films. Kids will be begging to dress up as Jasmine or Simba this October, and you don't need to step into any licensed territory to design princess or lion costumes that give them what they're looking for in an unofficial capacity, so to speak.
These examples are specific to the current season, but they speak to how pop culture can be excellent inspiration in general.
Imitate Sports Logos and Colors
Another aspect of the autumn season you may want to take advantage of is college football, which captures the attention of millions. Every prominent school has tons of fans who are looking to sport their teams' favorite colors. There will be a big base for your sales, and while you can't sell officially licensed images, some of the more stylish fans may want to support their teams without wearing cheap tee shirts with mascots plastered all over them. This means even sewing regular clothes with patterns and colors reminiscent of a team's aesthetic can be a hit.
Now, it does take a bit of knowledge to choose the right teams and looks, but if you don't follow college football it's easy enough to get a feel for the major teams. Available college football betting odds online can give you a week-by-week feel for which teams are the most competitive (and therefore likely to have the most active fan bases). And for that matter you can probably even research apparel sales to see which teams sell the most merchandise as is (giving you an idea of where there's significant demand).
Whether it's college students heading off to university this fall, or younger students going back to school, personalized backpacks, lunch boxes, totes, and zipper pouches are huge right now. If you have a machine that does embroidery, you may be able to turn significant profits if you offer personalized accessories and for your clients. You can also offer these things “a la carte”, meaning they don't have to add personalization to one of ”your” products specifically. Instead they can bring an item in to have a name added, even if they got it item somewhere else originally. Projects like these don't take very long, and quick turnover can make the whole thing more worth your time.
And again, the above were just a few examples specific to the back-to-school season. But really, there's always demand for personalized products of one sort or another.
Really, there are tons of ideas out there that can help you to turn sewing from a habit or hobby into a small business of your own. There's more to it than the ideas and inspiration, but if you craft well, find a way to generate sales, and take on only the business you can handle, you'll be of to a great start. Before you know it, you might not only be funding your hobby, but profiting from it!
Until next time, Happy Sewing!