How I Stretched My Business's Horizons (or the sewing machine was on sale- what could I do?!)
Author: Jocelyn Serone
A sewing machine going up in smoke can sometimes lead to exciting possibilities....
Recently, I wrote a blog post about setting your business up for the future. Well, recently, I had to put my own words into action, take my own advice and practise what I preach!
I have recently scaled back the amount of sewing machines in my business. I now own 8 industrial machines (this count used to be 10- a fact my husband has been very patient with!) & 2 domestic sewing machines. The industrials all have different purposes & 1 domestic machine is my first overlocker that I cannot bear to throw away. The other domestic machine is what we use to sew buttonholes, buttons & zigzag. As these are not processes we use very often, it has not been viable for me to buy 3 industrial machines to replace this one domestic machine that doesn’t get used on a regular basis.
However, when I walked into our work area recently to be greeted by a cloud of smoke, I realised that I needed to make a decision about how to replace the domestic machine with a burnout computer board!
Having made the decision to buy a domestic sewing machine locally so I could make sure the machine I was buying made a perfect buttonhole ( I’m pretty fussy about buttonholes, but my OCD is a whole other blog post :) ), I wandered into a sewing shop that I had not been into for 10 years. Up until now, I have been buying new industrial machines over the phone from the dealer interstate.
The very patient man listened to my requests & needs- “I sew for a living on industrials & this machine is going to sit in a box for most of its life but it must make the most perfect buttonhole”. He showed me a couple of machines before steering me towards the light…… a domestic machine that cuts thread automatically, just like my computerised industrial machines. Jackpot!
Just to test this poor man’s patience even further, I then asked him about embroidery machines. Embroidery has been a passion of mine, since forever. I have free style embroidery in my clothing range & as much as I love the creativity of this method, it is quite limited in range & quite labour intensive. This embroidered clothing range has been very profitable for my business & it was a direction I wanted to pursue more in depth.
So, the lovely salesman went on to tell me that this particular embroidery machine was on sale- $1,000 off. Well, what was I to do?! My dream machine was right in front of me, on sale!
Do I have the time right now in my business to learn how to use this machine? No. Do I have the time right now to design new garments & designs to accommodate this embroidery? No. But I will in the near future & now I have invested in this machine, I will make sure I make the time. I saw the possibilities & opportunities for my business & decided that I would make the rather hefty investment to stretch my comfort level & business (side note- isn’t funny how when we are self-employed, comfort level & business are often used in the same sentence!) I was forcing myself to take a huge leap of faith.
I went to work that morning not expecting to have to replace a sewing machine & ended up buying 2 machines & expanding the horizons of my business. Funny how life trips you up sometimes.
This whole experience has shown me that I need to keep an open mind when things seem to go wrong. Yes, I was not impressed that my hardly used sewing machine blew up in a pile of smoke but after I got over that moment of annoyance, I realised that there was a new opportunity to be had. My boundaries have been shifted & there are new opportunities on the horizon.
Stay tuned for embroidered teddy bears on every bit of Lahay’s babies clothing range & beautiful borders and flowers in the women’s range! In fact, when my teenage son was giving me cheek this morning, I threatened him with embroidering rose buds over his clothing while he was at work. Ahhhh, the new possibilities of an embroidery machine are endless!
Keep an open mind when things seem to go wrong- these times are often blessings in disguise…..