Remember that sewing room you’ve always wanted? Now that you’re retired you finally have time to convert that spare bedroom into that but will you really need it now considering all the kids are gone and have families of their own? The sewing room was a great idea for years ago when you wanted to create small craft projects and repair clothing but is there a need for it now in your life?
You bet there is! In fact, that sewing room can lead to an extra income as soon as you start to use it and you’ll be able to use it in a number of ways. Imagine starting your own part time seamstress business out of that spare bedroom. You can start small and simple by providing alteration service. Everyone knows someone in need of a person who can replace a zipper, sew on a button, take in (or let out) a pair of pants, raise or lower cuffs and so on. It could be the start of a great leisure time activity that can also generate a few extra dollars.
Marketing your skills
To get the word out advertise in your community with flyers, a small newspaper ad and by posting notices in places such as the local variety store, fabric shop or store that sells sewing machines and notions. You could also turn that sewing room into a classroom by providing lessons. Contact your local schools and discuss the possibility with the home economics department. They may even pay you to teach in school or to provide demonstrations that could lead to private tutoring out of your home.
Start a blog
Don’t forget to include the current technology in your quest for turning that sewing room into a paid hobby room by creating a blog or website where you can write about sewing projects and promote your business. If you are creative, find some simple patterns and alter them into something new and promote that product online and at local craft fairs. Or you could create an entirely new product line that could be so unique it becomes a separate stream of income by itself. Examples could be specific fad-related children’s clothing items or a nifty looking pet blanket or pillow. Whatever you create, be sure to cross promote your sewing business along with it to increase your customer base.
Other sewing niches
You may find a need in a local nursing home where once a month you can set up a ‘mobile’ alteration station and fix or repair clothing for a fee to family members or just provide it as a free service to help promote your business.
If you are a bit more adventurous, make contact with local or regional clothing stores and wedding boutiques and offer your services to customers who require custom fit clothing and aren’t able to buy off the shelf or happen to be of the income level where ‘off the rack’ is not in their vocabulary. You could find a whole new branch of business as a result. Yet another possibility is custom cushions, which can be simple and quick to make, and have a good markup. One woman in my seacoast town specializes in boat cushions and curtains made from marine-grade fabrics, and charges a flat $35 an hour for her services.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless when it comes to finishing that sewing room and it all depends on how much you are prepared to do, what skills you already have that can be used in such a venture and how serious you want to be about it.
The level of demand for your services will also assist in making some of those decisions but expect to be pleasantly surprised as soon as you start to find yourself in an altered state!