What does your business do?
We make custom clothing for everyone esp those that have trouble finding things off the rack that fit. We do fittings, alterations, and rework existing clothing. We teach sewing classes for all ages,and we offer internships to students studying in related fields allowing them to receive class credits for working with us as well as other skills.
When and why did you start the biz?
Officially we started 06/15/2012, but I have worked with fabric most of my life starting in high school with theater costumes and progressing to clothing and items for others. I started taking commissions in college and started collaborating with friends to make items to sell at craft fairs and comic conventions after college, then in 2006 I unofficially started a studio from my tiny apartment and got an ETSY page and a website. I love helping people feel good in what they wear and how they look. The fashion industry is so bad about making people especially women feel bad by using non static sizes that change from brand to brand. I only use and teach others to use actual number sizes the way men's clothing is sized to get a great fit each time.
How Many People are in your Company?
Where's your office?
My work space has gone from a small cramped room in a tiny apartment in midtown Atlanta to a brightly colored spacious studio in an arts district in Avondale Estates, GA. Now I am currently working in a rather large spare room in my house in a nice neighborhood in a transitianl area of Decatur, GA. We have a nice yard and friendly neighbors who often use my services for alterations. The room has one 6ft folding table along one wall with a cutting space, two heavy duty singers, and a serger. The opposite wall has a long cutting table, an ironing board, and an other singer in a table on it. Along a shorter wall I have my computer desk and a closet with shelves full of all types of colorful fabric. On the walls there shelves with scissors, ribbon holders, buttons, and other items.
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
The toughest part of running my business would be three things:
1. Finding good help that has own transportation
2. Finding enough space for all of my sewing items and fabrics
3. Finding enough money for all the thread, fabric, and other supplies I need daily, weekly, and yearly to keep going.
What's the most fun part?
The best part of my business is creating new items, watching students and interns learn and create new items, and the happy faces of my customers when they receive their finished products from me.
Anything you would have done differently?
If I could have done something different in the beginning I would have taken out a small business loan or found a grant BEFORE I started buying equipment. Now I can do more projects, but I have all this debt and machines that are slowly paying for themselves as time goes on, but are also decreasing in value as well.
What's next on the horizon for your biz?
Our next step is to move into a warehouse or other larger space in order to expand and keep some of our interns on full time as well as bring in other artists such as screen printer, embroidery. We plan to section off the space so each person has their own workspace.
What advice do you have for others?
I think it is important to listen to advice from others, conciser how it may or may not work for you and then do what you think is best for your vision. Many people will give you good and bad advice the key is only taking what you need from this. Everyone thought it was so neat when I as selling my creations as a hobby, but when I proposed quitting my full time job to take a part time in order to help build up my business and take on more projects, well that was just "Stupid" they all said. I did this and then eventually quit working for others all together and I have never looked back!
How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I feel like this is a great site for information on other ideas, opportunities, and networking.I feel like everyone here is in similar situations being in various levels of trying to build up and better their businesses and their ideas. It provides a community where we can bounce ideas off of others and see how others may have solved the same problems you are having.
School (where, still in school, degree)?
Georgia Southern University- BA English/Theater
Prior jobs or business?
Published Writer, Head Costumer for Six Flags over GA and 2 other haunted houses in GA, Nanny, Dog Groomer, and Vet Tech.
What are your pets' names?
Mitch the Cat, Roscoe (Bearded Dragon), Lennox (Dog)
Do any of these pets help with your biz?
Mitch the Cat is our shop logo
Is there any one person or event in your life that led
you to go into business for yourself?
I have always enjoyed being creative and found that many other jobs that I had only allowed for a very limited amount of creativity. I have always felt stifled in those situations.
Anyone you publicly want to thank?
Rene Sanning (Rene Rene Designs) she has been a great mentor to me and I love how she has always followed her passions and is able to pull others into her work as well. She inspires me.
3201 Francine Dr
Decatur, GA 30033