This week I want to wrap up this blog series on starting a pattern design business and thank everyone that has read it and continues to follow my blog posts. Over the past several weeks, I have talked a little bit about myself and why I decided to start my business. Additionally, I covered what it took to start the business and how it has changed over time. Then I jumped into what my average day looks like and how I handle the challenges of running a business.
Before I close, I want to build a little more on a topic I started last week. That is keeping an eye on the industry and what others are doing. Another aspect of this is getting involved with the industry by networking with others in the business. Look for groups or guilds to join, certification to obtain, or just go out and make friends that quilt. There are many reasons for this, and the primary one is that you can not run a successful business in a vacuum. No one will know you exist.
More importantly, no one knows everything, and getting out and being apart of the industry allows learning from others. For several years, I was an ambassador for Island Batiks. During this period, as an ambassador, I had to produce projects monthly for them that helped them advertise their fabric lines. In return, I receive sample fabric from them and other quilting notions. More importantly, they challenged my design skills and forced me to think out of the box. As a result, I believe I am a better designer over what I would have been without their challenges.
Then when I discovered the Studio 180 Design Tools and the Sue Pelland Designs Templates and became certified. I learned that I needed to start teaching, which is another skill that I am still working on mastering. Anyway, becoming certified has opened me to additional pathways for income for my business. On top of that, these groups host training events that only certified instructors are invited too. During these events, new techniques are covered, old skills can be refined, and most importantly, friendships are built. These new friends can be great for encouragement, lending a hand, or just being someone to talk to that shares a common interest.
Finally, I believe it is important to start attending the trade shows, for example, Spring and Fall Quilt Markets. These shows are reserved for professionals in the quilting industry. They are a great way to meet quilt shop owners, fabric company representatives, and even distributors. It is also a great venue that you can show off your latest designs and products. Attending the shows can be expensive, but in the long run, the interest you can generate in your plans will hopefully cover the cost.
Now, I want to close the series with the questions; if I knew everything back then that I know now, would I still start this business? I would answer yes to that. Although, if I could go back in time with my current knowledge, I am sure I would make some changes along the way and do a couple of things differently. However, overall, I do not believe I would make wholesale changes. My business is a lot of work and eats up a lot of time, but it is my passion that I wish to share with everyone.
Again, thank you for following along on my journey.