I can teach beginners to advanced, kids and adults. I would have machines available and all the basic tools you would need.
I'd also like to set up a recurring "open studio" time when students (or anyone) can come and work on their projects for a small hourly fee.
I'm thinking about ongoing beginner to advanced classes, special workshops for things like zippers and pockets, single classes for holiday themed projects, kids' camps, etc.
There is nothing like this anywhere near my area, so I would have no competition.
However... I have no idea how to gauge demand, without diving in and trying it a little. And I have no idea how to set pricing, except based on how much I need to make to cover costs and income requirements.
I'd love to hear any thoughts on A) whether this even seems like a feasible idea B) how do I go about setting class fees? Advertising?
Let 'er rip...
She opened a stained glass shop. She was profitable in 2 years which is evidently what they tell you to plan for. She ran it for another 15 years and then sold it when she and her spouse were ready to retire.
Classes were a big part of what got her into the black. She loved it too.
We run a beekeeping business out of our home and do ok making a small profit. My H has a business degree and has set everything up. Im just a worker bee. Lol.
So if you know someone that has started their own business talk to them. Decide if you want this in your own home or need to find another location. Do you need start up finds how much would that be? Then do you need a loan to Start up?
They also sell high end fabric, sewing machines, and brag they have one of the last remaining factory-trained technicians in the US for a now discontinued line of fancy sewing machines for repairs.
Unless there is an untapped market for your type of classes in your area, you might have to be open to some type of expansion that involves selling more than just classes.
[This message edited by MinorBee at 9:51 PM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
There's a community college near me that offers sewing lessons (it's a 12 week class) and the lady that teaches it has your background.
When I was a teen, I took sewing lessons at the local Singer store. They had a classroom in the back and me and all my friends went every Saturday.
Maybe to gauge demand you could approach a community college in your area and teach a class or two? That'd get your feet wet and give you ready audience.
Both stores offer high end fabric, notions, classes and machines that you can rent. The Workroom has been around for four or more years. I am sure there are other places that operate on this model successfully, those are just the ones I know of.
I took a class at Needlework last year to brush up on my sewing skills. I have friends who take a lot of classes at the store in Toronto. There is a huge resurgence in sewing, some great blogs, and independent designers producing great patterns. If you can tap into that I think you've got possibilities.
I checked the local CC and they do offer some classes, but they are of the *extremely* rudimentary variety. I checked out the Etsy page of the teacher and let's just say... it was very home-sewy and not the highest quality work. But then... she really only teaches beginners. I would be able to offer much more advanced and varied instruction, I know that for sure.
MinorBee, I also thought that I could sell tools and materials that students would need, and perhaps also some used sewing machines that would be good for beginners.
I've had my own home business before, doing alterations and custom sewing- so I'm at least basically familiar with the protocols of business finance, taxes, etc.
I work weekends with a young woman who runs her own martial arts school. We work together tomorrow so I'm going to pick her brain about how she finds students, how she decides on curriculum, etc.
Also I've gotten in contact with another woman who runs a very similar business on the other side of the state. She's offered to talk to me about how she got started, how she runs her business, etc. That should be helpful.
I'm considering trying it out evenings and weekends for a while to see if I can build something- and then deciding if it's possible to go into it full time.
I don't like the idea of renting machines, but I do like the idea of opening up the studio for people to come use them there. So... sort of like a rental, just under my supervision LOL.
There's a lot to think about.
Good luck with this ... I would also take lessons from you too.