Thursday, October 27, 2011
Start Your Own.....With Simply Solids
My mum taught me to sew when I was little, but I never did a huge amount other than curtains till after the kids were born. In 1989 I went to a quilt exhibition of slave quilts in Atlanta, Georgia and swore that one day I would make my own quilt, it took a good 11 years before i started one and another 7 years before that was finished! 3 kids got in the way, but once they were past the baby stage I signed up for a block a month workshop and that was it - I was hooked.
When I started quilting I was into Japanese Daiwabo fabrics so everything was very muted, but after joining flickr and discovering the blogging world I discovered new modern fabrics and fell in love. I love bright colours and simple designs and my quilts today reflect this. I have a mad confidence in that I will try anything and love a new challenge!!
The shop came about because I was struggling to get hold of certain Kona cotton solids in the and thought maybe I should order it in in bulk myself and sell a bit on Etsy. Then a friend (lilysquilts) kind of bet me to start a shop - so I did!! My job before the children were born involved web design and I have always managed my husband's business so I had a lot of the necessary skills already, I started small and am just building it up as I go along.
My goal with Simply Solids is to have the complete range of Kona Cotton Solids combined with a few other ranges - Amy Butler Solids, Kaffe Fasset Shot Cottons and some plain Linens. I will always order in any colour a customer needs and am always open to suggestion for different ranges. I also stock Gutermann Cotton threads and wadding meaning that customers can get everything they need to complete a quilt. I stock Moda pre-cuts because I love them, the ranges are always changing and they offer such flexibility. I have only been going for a year so my stock and ranges will continue to grow and grow!
I would love to expand to a bricks and mortar shop in the future, but the time is not right now with the kids, I am very involved at school and they need me around holidays and after school. Maybe once they are older I may be able to do this and have a workshop space as well.
As for advice - I think having a business background and the ability to run my own website makes a huge difference, it keeps the costs down as I don't need any outside contractors. I am also lucky in that my dad is an accountant and has set up my accounts system. I would advise anyone thinking of starting out to consider all these things, profit margins are tight so you need to be able to do as much of the admin as you can and get good systems in place.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have turned my hobby/passion into a career that fits in around my family. I don't make a huge amount of money from it but hopefully as I expand it will make a difference to our household income.
Posted by Cindy at 8:07 AM
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