Sewing Boss Interview – Alison Parker ricRACK NOLA in New Orleans, La

Today I had an awesome chat with sewing boss Alison Parker, the owner of ricRack Nola,  a sewing studio in New Orleans La.

We talked about how she went from her career in costumes, film & television to start her sewing business about 4 1/2 years ago. We also talked about how entrepreneurship affords you amazing opportunities to take 3 months off to get married and go on your honeymoon!

Check out our interview below:

We’ve got more sewing boss interviews here.

Sewing Boss Interview – Yolanda Stiger from Sew Houston in Houston Tx

I am SEW honored to chat with sewing boss Yolanda Stiger, the owner of Sew Houston in Houston Tx.

We talked about how she became interested in sewing, how she got her business started and how a cupcake led her to her awesome & affordable storefront studio space.

I found myself relating so much to how her business evolved, how she does things at her studio and her life as an entrepreneur. I have a feeling you will too.  Check it out below:

We’ve got more sewing boss interviews here.

Virtual Coffee Date – We Chatted about Materials & Supplies for your Sewing Business

In this Hipstitch Academy virtual coffee date, we talked about all things related to the materials & supplies needed for class and what your policies are for the classes we teach.

Here are some topics of discussion we touched upon in the discussion:

  • Do you include your materials in the cost of your sewing classes?
  • Does your business model include selling fabric and supplies to your students?
  • If you sell fabrics and supplies to your students, do you find it challenging to stay stocked with enough fabrics/supplies to keep your students happy and allow choice?
  • Do you allow your students to bring in fabrics/supplies from outside sources?It was so much fun talking to the Hipstitch Academy community about all the things you do in your sewing business.

You should join us for the next Virtual Coffee Date – The calls are totally laid back. It’s like getting coffee with new friends to talk about what we do! We’re all located in different parts of the world, so why not share the knowledge. I created the Hipstitch Academy because this type of community for sewing teachers and sewing business owners didn’t exist to my knowledge, so I created it! It would mean so much to me for you join us and be part!

Couple Video Call Rules:

Join us on Video – Not just audio. It helps to facilitate the call a little better if we can see each other. I’m finding it prevents people from talking over each other a little when we can see who’s speaking and it’s fun to put a name to a face! Nobody cares what’s in your background and whether or not you chose to put on makeup that day 🙂 Thanks!!

Please be at one of the following stages of your business:
a.) Already up & running your own sewing business.
b.) Currently teaching sewing to adults and/or kids.
c.) Looking to start teaching and/or running your own sewing business in the near future.
Here is the link to RSVP for the call.

Fabrics & Supplies – What’s included in your classes? What’s not?

When it comes to the Materials & Supplies used in a sewing class, what’s included in the price of the class and what isn’t can vary GREATLY from teacher to teacher & business to business!

And even in my own business, we have some classes where all the supplies are included in the price. But then we also offer classes where you are able to purchase supplies before class (from someone else) and bring them with you or purchase them straight from us at the time of the class.

I feel there are pluses and minuses to all of the above.  What’ s most important is finding a good balance between giving you students the best sewing class experience, while also making sure your classes are profitable.

I am going to share with you why we do things the way we do at our sewing studio.

  • Does your business model include selling fabric and supplies to your students?

For us, somewhat yes, but not really.  And what I mean with that is that in our kids classes, we’ve found that including the cost of the supplies in each class is waaaaaay easier for us! Parent’s pay once for the session and that’s it. We factor in how many projects will be made in the session and then make sure to include that in the cost of the class.  We don’t have to worry about chasing parents down to get paid for the supplies and it just makes things a lot easier for everyone!  Keep in mind that we don’t give the kids full reign of the fabric collection.  🙂 There are certain fabrics that we set aside for the kids classes. Maybe they are smaller pieces or they cost a bit less per yard. This is a way we’ve found to keep our costs down and therefore pass along savings to our customers. The kids still get a tremendous choice when it comes to what they’ll make their projects from, but some of the more expensive fabrics we reserve for the customers who are purchasing by the yard.

  • If you sell fabrics and supplies to your students, do you find it challenging to stay stocked with enough fabrics/supplies to keep your students happy and allow choice?

    With our adult sewing classes, we do not include the fabrics in the cost of the class. There are a few reasons we do this.

    First of all, adults tend to a bit pickier when it comes to choosing their fabric fabrics for a sewing project! They know what they want and if we only keep a small stock of fabric inventory in our studio, there’s a great chance we are not going to have what they are looking for. So to head this off at the pass, we give everyone the option to bring in their own fabric.

    But – In our experience, a vast majority of our adult students do not have the time and/or energy to go out and get fabric before our class. So we tend to sell quite a bit of additional fabric to these adult students, creating another source of revenue for our studio.

Keep in mind this isn’t a one size fits all strategy and you have to give a lot of thought about what is going to work best for YOU! Let us know how you get around this in your sewing classes! We’d love to know!

Sewing Boss Interview – Kaitlyn Baeten Sew Fun Studios Frisco Tx

Here it is! The very first Sewing Boss Interview and I’m chatting with sewing boss Kaitlyn Baten, the owner of Sew Fun Studios  in Frisco, Tx.

I’ve had the privilege of seeing Kaitlyn’s business grow from the ground up to the bustling studio it is today.  I’m so honored that she agreed to be interviewed here on the Hipstitch Academy website.

We talked about how she got started, how she grew her business to be profitable in less than a year and how she continues to grow each day!

I am in awe of her and I I have a feeling you will be too!

Check it out below:

We’ve got more sewing boss interviews here.

Video Coffee Chat – Hiring & Managing Employees in your sewing business

This month our topic of discussion for the Virtual Video Coffee Date was one that seemed to keep coming up on past coffee dates frequently.

It was so much fun & exciting to dive in in and talk about their own experiences in:

Hiring & Managing Employees in your sewing business!

There are SEW many juicy topics of discussion around this subject. I would say this is probably my hardest part of being an entrepreneur. Yet, I couldn’t live without my girls!

Here are some topics of discussion we covered:

  • Do you have employees? If so, how many?
  • What’s the best thing about having people work for you?
  • What’s the worst thing about having people work for you?
  • What are some challenges you’ve had to overcome having someone working for you?
  • What is your hiring process like?
  • How do you recruit/find employees?

Be sure to join us for the next call – The calls are totally laid back. It’s like getting coffee with new friends to talk about what we do! We’re all located in different parts of the world, so why not share the knowledge. I created the Hipstitch Academy because this type of community for sewing teachers and sewing bsuiness owners didn’t exist to my knowledge, so I created it! It would mean so much to me for you join us and be part!

Couple Video Call Rules:

  1. I do ask that you join us on Video (not just audio). It helps to facilitate the call a little better if we can see each other. I’m finding it prevents people from talking over each other a little when we can see who’s speaking and it’s fun to put a name to a face! Nobody cares what’s in your background and whether or not you chose to put on makeup that day 🙂 Thanks!!
  2. To join this call & discussion I ask that you a.) Are already running your own sewing business, b.) Are a sewing teacher (to adults or kids) OR c.) Are looking to start your own sewing business in the near future.

 

Top 4 reason Sewing Birthday Parties are the best!

1. Anyone can have one! Yes! ANYONE can have a sewing birthday party!
Well anyone who is turning at least 7 years old, that is! There are no pre-requisite skills for the birthday child or guests! Our sewing birthday parties are in a way where each child learns how to safely use the sewing machine at the birthday party. They then have a chance to practice their skills at the party. And then yes, they actually make a real project to take home. It’s amazing how fast kids pick up on using the sewing machine with our special sewing machines made for beginners!

2. Projects made at a kids sewing birthday party are objects of love that kids & parents will be proud of, take home, and cherish for years to come.
The projects you make at our sewing parties are not throw aways. They are quality keepsake items made from fabric that will serve as childhood memories for years and years. We all know that kids do a lot of activities. Kids make  lot of things and they bring home A LOT of stuff they make. So much that sometimes parent’s don’t know what to do with everything, let alone where to keep it all. When you attend a sewing birthday party, each guest will make an adorable project from fabric that will be finished in a way that will hold up, not fall apart and last for years to come, because it’s made of fabric. We can’t tell you how many parents we’ve met through the years who let me know they still have ALL the sewing projects their son or daughter made in in our classes or at birthday parties they’ve attended.

3. You can have a sewing birthday party just about ANYWHERE.
Yes, that’s right. Sewing birthdays can take place in all kinds of different places. They definitely don’t have to happen in a sewing studio. Our sewing parties are mobile and work wonderfully in living rooms, pizza parlors, church basements or just about anywhere there are a couple of tables and room for all the kids. Our trained instructors are used to setting up sewing machines and cutting tables in all kinds of different places. We’re really good at making the space work and we’re more than comfortable teaching kids in many different atmospheres. A sewing birthday party feels really comfortable and cozy when it’s taking place in your home. Or if you’d like to hold it in a local place of business, most places are okay with it, as long as you’re purchasing something from their establishment. The possibilities are endless when you can take the sewing birthday party on the road!

4. Since sewing is usually a brand new activity for the kids, they’re (almost) always really into it!
What kid doesn’t want to learn how to use a machine that allows you to make clothing, stuffed animals,accessories and stuff to decorate your bedroom? Especially a machine that has a gas pedal attached to it that they are allowed to control. It’s rare that you’ll find a child who is not immediately really interested in learning how to make something with a sewing machine. There’s a sense of pride you get when it’s your turn to use this machine that is ordinarily used by adults. And when learning to use it in this party setting, accompanied by our train instructors, you feel safe. You know guests are learning how to use the machine properly and safely.

5 Quick Website Tweaks you can make TODAY  to  get more sign ups

1. Create a very visible page that lists ALL the possible class options in one place.

People don’t like to go searching for what they’re looking for on a website! Even if you have different classes and sections and specifications, it doesn’t matter! There should be a place that customers can first click easily to what all the options are. want to highlight the differences between the classes.

2. Make every page on your website lead to another page.

Don’t bring people to your website and then lead them down a dead end street! Every page on your website should lead you to at least one more page (if not a multitude of pages). This way you are getting them to your website and keeping them there! Chances are you offer a multitude of services that you need your customer to know about. Figure out which pages are your most popular destinations on your website and then make sure there are links to the other less popular (but important) pages.

3. Add customers to add themselves to your mailing list every chance you can.

Include multiple opportunities to get on your list and be notified of future classes. Use plugins that will add pop up boxes to pages  that remind people to get on your list. Offer a discount or coupon or free gift for getting on your list.

4. Make your website menu your close friend.

Create a clear menu, post it as the header on every page and make sure it includes easy to navigate sub menus. Period. The menu is the road map to get around your website. It should offer a snapshot of all the awesome things you offer.

5. Have your phone number very visible on each and every page.

Not everyone loves to use the web to gather information about what to spend their money on. (I know hard to believe – but true!) if you have your alternate contact info clearly on each page, you’re giving those people a super way to get in touch with you in the way they feel comfortable. Yes, it can feel annoying that you’ll basically have to recite from your website. But the phone is just how some people roll and you don’t want to lose those customers by not having clearly listed your phone number.

Email marketing to promote my sewing classes – Where the heck do I begin?

SEW you’re ready to up your email marketing game!

Awesome!

Let me help you get started!

First off – Don’t worry about how small your email list is!

That will grow. Everybody has got to start somewhere, right?

But right now, just jump right in and start writing an awesome email to your database!

Write an email that is immediately going to have an impact on people signing up for your classes!

Couple pointers:

  • Get right to the point. Don’t beat around the bush. You’re telling your customers about what you have going on and the purpose is to get people to sign up. Try to just that.
  • Don’t include EVERYTHING you have going on. I find emails are way more effective if you stick to one or two majors things you have going on. Too many messages gets way overwhelming for your reader!
  • Don’t include a bunch of photos. People love emails that seems like they’re personally talking to them. Everyone is sick of real promotional type emails full of huge images, selling selling selling. Describe what you have going in non-pushy sales language. Maybe include one photo and that’s it.
  • Use your BCC & NEVER write an email from your regular email system and copy a bunch of people on it. All it takes one angry person to hit reply all and you’ve got a situation!

Okay……..Go!

Not sure what to write? Okay we can help with that as well!

Would you like a free example of high converting promotion email we sent recently?

Get your Free Promotional Email Sample

And start promoting your awesome sewing classes today!

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It's easier than you think to get started creating fabulous promotional emails!

And start promoting your awesome sewing classes today!

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Do you want to get started teaching adult sewing classes ASAP? Try this clutch project!

Back in the day, would you believe M Avery Designs Sewing Studio got our start teaching sewing classes “Girl’s Night Out” Handbag Parties!

Ladies would book themselves and their closest girl pals for a night of wine, snacks, laughter and of course, learning how to sew their very own handbag.

It was a great Friday or Saturday night activity, creative bachelorette party or even unique baby shower! We still do these parties today because they’re SEW much fun. They’re also a great way to show a bunch of ladies who don’t normally sew, just how fun sewing can be!

If you’re looking for a great project to jump in and try teaching in a class at your own studio (or even at a coffee shop, boutique or some other mobile location) we’ve got the perfect project to get your started!

fold_over_clutch_megan

This adorable fold over clutch, that even has a zipper is easy enough to complete sewing novice can complete it in a 2 hour workshop! But it’s also fool-proof & way cuter that you’d expect a 2 hour bag to come out! I mean, it even has a zipper!

Don’t let that zipper fool you!

You don’t need to take my word for it! We’re giving this bag pattern, tutorial and lesson plan so you can try it out for yourself!

Just sign up here to get the download. It’s that simple!

Get started teaching today!

Fold_over_clutch_megan

Download this FREE zippered clutch Hipstitch Academy sewing project curriculum! Includes project pattern & tutorial.

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