Here in Victoria, B.C. there is an ad plastered on the back of a few of the public transit buses that depicts a woman in her mid-20’s sitting cross legged on a comfortable armchair with her pajamas on, her cell phone beside her and her laptop on her lap. The ad is for a school who claims you should enroll so that your future will include the depicted daily work-life.
As a small business owner, I know that working from home is NOT like this for me and I don’t really want it to be. So far I have really enjoyed the challenge and also the pride that goes along with owning my own business. Also, on the flip side, I have already experienced just how easy it is to let work consume me when there isn’t a set hour when I am finished work each day. While there are many challenges to come (I’ve only just begun!), I am extremely happy with my decision to take the risk and follow my dreams.
In case you were curious (and because this blog post just happens to have been a school assignment), the reasons I have decided to start my own sewing pattern company are as follows:
1. My Personality: I have always felt that my biggest skill is working hard and maintaining motivation. Once I set my sights on a goal, I will persevere doggedly to reach the goal and check it off my list regardless of all outside strains or difficult barriers. Running my own company uses that skill and makes me feel like my personality and lifestyle are an asset to my business. I am often quite hard on myself and I really enjoy this chance to realize that I am good at something.
2. Timing: I realized, as I finished my bachelor degree and started exploring how I wanted my live to move forward, the industry I am most interested in (hobby sewing) has a gaping hole that to me seems desperately in need of being filled. Also, starting an indie pattern company is suuuuper popular right now making me feel as though a way to fill this hole was very possible. There are all sorts of amazing companies to be inspired by and a huge community of sewers that have connected on the internet and are willing to give advice and support.
3. Lifestyle: This point is probably a fairly obvious one to anyone who has chosen to own their own business – I like the independence and the confidence it gives me as well as the cohesiveness it creates. Working amid a hierarchy of other employees in a large company has never appealed to me. I don’t like the competition or the rules for the sake of rules. It has frustrated me in the past when employers expect “home life” to be completely removed from “work life” as though one must be considered more important than the other for a worker to succeed. I like how owning my own business seamlessly combines my personal life, my work life, my hobbies, and my work-related skills so that my life is the unbroken whole that I experience as rather than something artificially segmented by someone else.
4. Support: I am extremely lucky to have the support of my husband, my family, and my school to help me through the more challenging parts of starting up a business. A huge reason that I have chosen to start a menswear sewing pattern company is that Matt, my husband, is equally interested in such an opportunity and his skill sets have, so far, perfectly complimented mine making the start up process much smoother and cheaper than it would have been if I had done this on my own. I have the sewing knowledge while Matt and has the computer and coding skills. I enjoy learning about marketing while Matt has been eager to study bookkeeping. I cringe at the thought of paperwork (and Matt jumps right in) while Matt is overwhelmed by the many revisions needed to the instructions and patterns (and I see this as a logical and simple progression).
At school I am surrounded by inspiring classmates and extremely knowledgeable teachers (not to mention, lots of useful equipment). My teachers, especially, have been so helpful in critiquing my ideas, designs, and website, providing me with connections both for design inspiration and patternmaking, and of course teaching me the base knowledge needed when designing and sewing professionally.
My family have been constantly eager to jump into brainstorming sessions and have helped me out with financing, modeling, and pattern testing.
All this support is the perfect example of why I want to own my own business – what is more rewarding than having all areas of my life united and full of excited energy to create something new! This leads me to my last reason…
5. Blending Academic and Creative Skills: While I am probably more of a logical than a creative person, there is nothing I like more than the excitement and passion that accompanies creativity. Owning my own sewing pattern company allows me to blend my penchant for writing, thinking and researching with my love of creating and designing. Many other career options I have considered have been parked clearly in one camp or the other and it pained me to have to choose between the different styles of thinking, learning and doing that I enjoy. I am glad to have a use for my writing through this blog and I am thrilled to dress a model in a garment that I designed. I enjoy the logical puzzle of writing instructions and also the creative outlet of photographing the collection. Thread Theory allows me to explore every area I am interested in and has also led to me learning about other areas that I was previously fairly oblivious to (such as legalities and budgeting).
Would you consider owning your own business? If so, what business are you dreaming of? What are the perks for you?