Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gearing Up for Summer Season

I'm approaching the one-year anniversary of officially licensing Mountain Quiltworks in my state. I can hardly believe it's been a year already - whew! My accountant wasn't all that impressed with my endeavor, but, hey -  it's a work in progress.

Last winter I began Mountain Quiltworks for two reasons. Well, maybe three.

  1. The winter is my 'off' season and I have very little to do, so sewing and quilting and planning and setting up my own business was intriguing and fulfilling.
  2. It was a way to challenge myself. Could I really do this? Could I make things people wanted to buy? Could I make it successful?
  3. And, it was a way to make money. 
Making money isn't openly talked about on many of the quilting blogs. And that's fine. But it lingers behind many of the blogs in the form of pattern and book sales to Etsy shops to monetizing blog sites and on and on. So bear with me just a bit more as I talk about the making money aspect of quilting.

It's been a learning process to sit back and watch what others are doing and take a stab at incorporating some of the things that work for them into my own business.

I must say I have learned a tremendous amount this past year. I accidentally discovered quilting blogs last fall, and was amazed at how open everyone was with tutorials and information and compliments. Such a nice place for women to gather online! And such tremendous talent out there!!!

Before I accidentally discovered Etsy, my method of selling my wares was at arts and crafts fairs. Here's a pic of my booth at my first fair, the Mountain Mama's Arts and Crafts Festival in Stanley, Idaho.  Again, this was a learning experience, but I made my first sale, and then my second, and third, and so on. It was fun!

I certainly didn't sell out, but you know what? I learned a lot!

My business has taken some twists and turns as it evolves into a better (hopefully) critter. Thanks for taking the ride with me.

Are you planning to sell at arts and crafts fairs this summer? Let me know and maybe we could compare notes.

I'ved linked up over at Marcia's Minutes for Me Party


  1. I am with you on the struggle to making money from our small business, but the love of sewing keeps us going. I also do several craft shows and markets and by far this is the place that I make most of my money and what an enjoyable experience. I love visiting with everyone and meet the wonderful people that come to our fairs. Have fun this summer and I am looking forward to comparing notes and pictures with you. :)

  2. I'm new to sewing/quilting too. I started sewing when my little girl told me she wanted a pretty dress last year. Once I made her the dress I couldn't stop and then I discovered quilting. I love the Missouri Star Quilt company and all their tutorials. I too was amazed and surprised at how freely women shared their 'how tos'. The more I learn, the more I love it; but not just the quilting. I'm beginning to see and read the stories behind the quilters. Anyway, thanks for sharing. Little Mama Hen.

  3. Loved reading about how you got started. I'm doing the same thing together with my Mom, and it's certainly been an adventure. But I really agree with the concept of struggling to make money on this, but that we love working on it together so much that it's keeping us going!

  4. Best of luck with your shows and selling! I did Arts & Craft shows and had my quilting in several stores for about 7 years and really enjoyed it. I stopped about 13 years ago and find myself feeling the urge again. I remember doing the last show of the year usually at Thanksgiving and then sewing like crazy over the winter to build up stock for the next year. Small items seem to sell the best, I never tried to sell a full size quilt........didn't have time to get any made :) I'm interested in how shows are doing now.

  5. Good to hear about your business... Most importantly you sound happy ! That is one of the most important parts of a business -- are you happy? It's contagious!
    Thanks for linking up to Minutes for Me Linky Party!
    Enjoy your day!

  6. I started with the small 'craft' type shows. Now I am known enough that I get invitations to larger, juried shows. Also, we have a family business in the house. Last year our communities were hit hard by Irene - so we did some smaller shows, with small items at a discount - to help people have a Christmas - yes, we donated a lot too. Quilt guilds are a great source as they usually have vendors' booths at their shows - yes, quilters buy from other quilters - they appreciate the work and know the value.


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