How to Make Quilting Your Business #2 – Choose Your Career

Welcome to part 2 of How to Make Quilting Your Business! My hope is for you to be as successful as you are passionate. This week we will discuss choosing your quilting career path.

First, brainstorm all of the different quilting career possibilities, many of which I listed in last week’s post. Which sound fun and exciting to you? Which do not pique your interest?

Choose Your Dream JobThink about your talents, time and resources that you can devote to pursuing your passion. Do you love creating original designs and figuring out yardage and cutting instructions? Then perhaps pattern designing is right for you.

Would you rather machine quilt than piece? Then maybe you want to start quilting for others. Are you a fast and efficient sewer who cranks out the projects and uses up lots of scraps in the process? Then commissioned work may be right up your alley.

Maybe you enjoy sharing the latest sewing techniques with your friends, family and guild members, and teaching comes naturally to you. Perhaps it’s finally time to retire and you have a nest egg that you’ve been saving to open your own shop.Machine QuiltingThis week I’d like you to jot down as many ideas as you can, no matter how outlandish they may seem. The sky’s the limit at this point. Getting your thoughts down on paper is the first step into turning one or more of your dreams into reality.

Think about your ideas for a few days and circle your top 3 choices that you think are actually doable. You can share them here, or keep them private. In the coming weeks, I will be discussing different career “paths” or choices I have made or am considering in the future. If some of these ideas are on your list, take notes and ask questions as I get to your topic. Hopefully that can help you narrow down your choices.

Now, start to do a little planning – just a little. What would it take in terms of time and money to make your dream career become a reality? Can you start it in the next month, or the next year? What is standing in your way? Where do you see your business in 5 years? By answering these questions, you can start to visualize your end goal. Backtrack from there and start filling in the steps you need to take now, a month from now, or a year from now so you can make it happen.

Sewing Summit 2013

Sewing Summit, 2013

If you are still not sure where you want your path to take you, consider attending craft and sewing related conferences that are open to the public. I attended quite a few lectures at Sewing Summit last year that really helped me define my goals.

More recently I just found out about another cool conference called Altitude Summit. I didn’t get a chance to go this year, but I’m on their email list and read their blog quite often. And this is just the tip of the iceberg – I’m sure there are tons more!

Next week we will discussing what seems to be a popular desire – owning your own shop. I’ve been there, done that, and I’ll share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Click here for the start of this series.

7 thoughts on “How to Make Quilting Your Business #2 – Choose Your Career

  1. Diane says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with us. I’ve been creating my own designs for some time now. I enjoy the creativity as well as figuring yardage and illustrating and writing piecing instructions. I’ve been wanting to turn my creativity into a business, and your blog has been extremely helpful. Thank you so much!

  2. Jolly and Delilah says:

    I’m loving following your thoughts on this career idea. I’m all over the shop. Halfway through a degree I know I’m not going to use and considering what to do about it. Should I move the credits over to some sort of design degree? Chuck it all together? Finish for the sake of finishing?

    I see quilt patterns everywhere, so I suppose the logical step for me is to move in to designing. I’d love to own a little store, but I’m still back and forth on location, and would feel very badly if I took business away from the store I currently shop at, and the wonderful ladies who work very hard to keep it going. I could take a note from Kathy and Sarah at Material Obsession in Drummoyne (if you’re American you’ve probably come across the books, but the store is a fifteen minute drive on a good day from the Sydney CBD) and do both. I’d love to move back to Australia some day, but having to import all that fabric seems like a huge pain.

    I’m yet to try my hand at the machine quilting, but I’m hoping I’ll be at least proficient enough to finish my own quilts.

    Thanks for providing a forum for discussion on this.

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