I killed my favorite pair of jeans last week. It was terrible. I was out on date night with my husband when a worn spot on my inner thigh became a hole.
I ended up learning the most from this tutorial on Spruce Crafts.
I absolutely did not take pictures of the in-process conversion. That's not my thing and I'm a pretty darn slow seamstress to begin with. It did take me over an hour just to rip out the seams! I used up most of an evening to get the skirt to the point shown below.
Yep, it's not hemmed.
After over 3 hours you might be thinking, "Dang, girl. You should be done!"
Like I said, I AM NOT A FAST SEAMSTRESS.
I'm taking this beauty with me when I visit my mom. She will help me hem it up correctly (i.e. adjusting it so the back hits the same location relative to my leg as the front.
I am quite proud of how it's turned out thus far as it has a good fit.
Here's a link to my follow-up post: Favorite Jeans Converted to Skirt Follow-up
But January was disheartening. I'd talked to my knitting friends and my inlaws. Let's just say who you ask advice of is as important as the advice you receive.
Asking non-entrepreneurs about pricing is the wrong move. So is being the lowest priced. When it comes to knitting patterns Free and $0.99 means crappy and poorly put together.
I raised my prices to the $3 mark in early January plus added my patterns to Ravelry. January ended up being my best month with $16.41 in sales after Paypal fees.
Get ready to slowdown...
February had a single sale and I'm at no sales for March. Not a single sale came from Ravelry. (Considering how convoluted Ravelry is to use, it's not winning any affection from me right now.)
Winter is over in the United States too. It may be several months before I have another pattern sale.
It's not all bad...
Still, this little business paid for my domain and requires nothing to maintain. It's pretty much a passive income, abet a seasonal one. So I'm keeping it open and will add more patterns as I can. I am not going to be knitting like crazy.
Truth is I never intended Ruth Designs to be a full-time effort. Its a side hustle for some cash and a creative outlet. I'm cool with it being what it is. I'm not going to be spending more $$$ until it starts earning again.
I'm the primary caregiver for a 4-yr old and an 8-mo old. That's my full-time plus job right now.
I'm looking forward to when my youngest hits a year and my oldest enters pre-K4 in the fall. Until then, Ruth Designs will mosie along. I'll be working on some house project, enjoying the outdoors, and writing more in the coming months.
What do you think about my business that I'm intentionally not growing? Every penny it earns is still all profit. Is that something you could see yourself doing? Would you just look at it and go, "Yeah, ok, whatever," like I have? Or would you try driving it more?
Ever tried to start a business for free? I thought it would be easy with lots of info on the web. I was wrong. There's plenty of advice but it all starts with...
1) Get a Domain
2) Setup hosting
3) Build a website
Um, those ain't free!
$100+ was too high an initial cost. Seriously, I didn't want to put even a penny down until I was earning. I needed to start using only what I had or could access for free.
Here's what I did to build a business for free.
How I picked my business...
Typical Advice: Aim for something that utilizes a skill and materials you already have (or can access for free).
For me that meant knitting (and, to a lesser extent, crochet). Why?
1. I know how to knit and crochet
2. I own knitting needles and a few crochet hooks
3. Websites to sell knit/crochet stuff already exist
4. I could join those websites for free
The real hardship with my business idea came in two areas: yarn and final product.
Yarn can get expensive fast. I overcame the yarn obstacle by initially creating patterns based on what was in my stash and yarn donations. In total honesty, it was a large yarn donation to my knitting group that allowed me to start.
As for the final product, well, due to time constraints (two young kids, remember), I decided to create patterns only. I focused on hats too. Hats are fast to knit up. Plus it was October when I started and that's the beginning of hat season in central Illinois.
The beauty of a pattern as the final product really appealed to me.
I opted not to go with Etsy or BigCartel. Those sites are known for wearable finished products.
Instead I used existing memberships at Ravelry and Craftsy as my selling locations. My personal computer supplied the software to write out the patterns. My iPhone served as my camera.
It can be done.
Need some ideas to get you started?
Here are some links to pages that will help you brainstorm possible options.
No Money to Start a Business? Try These 5 Options
Business Idea Center
Low Cost Business Ideas
1001 Business Ideas
50 Small Businesses You Can Start on Your Own
I'd love to hear from you.
Seriously, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments if you have questions about starting and I'll do my best to help. If you've started a business, please share your story. Thanks for reading this post. I appreciate your time.
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