Tips for Starting Your Handmade Handbag Business
So you have decided to start your own handmade handbag business... wonderful! and CONGRATULATIONS on taking the first step of becoming an entrepreneur. Now decide if you are going to do this for a hobby or to make a profit. I would go with the latter. : ) You should decide on a name, that is unique and describes the type of handbags you will be creating. The name of my business was Sew Impressive Designs (unique and affordable handmade handbags). Next you should register the name (fictitious business name), then get a business license, sales permit, domain name (if you plan on selling on the internet), website, business checking account (dba name of business), business cards, and a whole lot of spare time, because being a business owner is very time consuming. You literally work 24/7, however, the pride of being a entrepreneur, creating, marketing, and sharing your own merchandise for profit is very rewarding.
Choosing Your Fabric
This is the fun part and can be as fun as being a kid in a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory or can be as overwhelming as trying to find a needle in a haystack. Unless your customers are providing their own fabric, make your fabric choices from sturdy, bright, one of a kind, non-stainable fabrics. You best bet is to go to a discount fabric outlet, where you will have tons of fabric choices at affordable prices. Also, DO NOT go overboard with buying fabric. If you aren't going to use it right away, do not buy it, or you will soon have an enormous inventory of fabric and notions that will overtake every empty space in your home, before you can say "Avalanche."
When choosing your sewing machine, my advice is to go with an affordable, heavy duty machine, since you will be sewing large volumes (we hope) of handbags. I have used Singer, White, Esante (for embroidery), and Husvarnia. I would also suggest purchasing an industrial machine, if you can afford it, because you will get a lot more stitches per minute, which will save you lots of time.
Should I Hire A Manufacturer?
When I owned my handmade handbag business, I was also working a full-time job and found it very hard to keep up with the demand for my bags. Therefore, I hired a manufacturer, which was a BIG MISTAKE. I had to rip most of the bags apart and redo them, because they did not get my "care and quality" stamp of approval. Therefore, I preferred creating and sewing each bag myself, because I knew I would put care into each stitch, and produce a quality product. So, if you want something done the right way, do it yourself. Remember: Your name, image, and business is on the line here, so you should do it yourself, and do it RIGHT the first time. Happy Sewing!
-Carlotta : )