Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Well here i am again.... been sewing some for myself today. Made a St.Patrick's Day scrub top for work. Going to start on some baby outfits for a lady at work who saw the ones I made for the grandbaby and now wants some for her great-grandbaby.

Many of my co-workers are urging me to start a small side business and I have been really thinking about it. I love to sew and crochet and have made a few dollars in the past by selling a few things. I want to come up with a catchy name, print some cards and get an e-mail address for my crafty stuff. In our area twice a year we have  home shows that allow crafters to rent a booth and sell their things. I hope to have enough made up by then to attend, if not this year then next year for sure.

I always take pics of my project s and had prints made this week-end and put them in a binder to show off my things. For a while now I have wanted to have a craft business and this could be the start I need.

Appreciate any advise from fellow sewers and crafters....

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Comment by Marcie Jones on March 12, 2012 at 8:57pm

I'm starting a new embroidery business. I worked retail for 20 years or more and then I have blogged for about 8 years as a business. You need to decide how big of a side business this will be (or may become). Think big or decide you will never let it get so large that you will be sorry you didn't do the homework and protect your personal assets.

You can protect your personal assets very easily and inexpensively by getting and LLC (limited liability corporation). If you do that, then when thinking about  a name, you must make sure that the name you have selected is ...
1) Not already taken in your state
2) The domain url ( is not already taken if you are going to have a dedicated blog or site.

You can see you are also branding yourself while doing this process.To get an LLC, you have to do the homework on the name of the business (go through your state web site to figure this out). Once you have the name, you file for a name reservation. When that is received, the paperwork for the LLC goes forward and then...
4) IRS Federal ID EIN number (online - 5 minutes) I used the name on my LLC.
5) City business license - They allow you to name your business differently than the LLC.
6) County business license (if mandated) - Name matches city.
7) Business insurance - Got mine through a company named The Hartford.

Sounds complicated but it isn't. I did my online research and got the name reservation online, filed and paid for it.- $27.00

  • The LLC paperwork I did myself - again I found the info on the state website, filed at the court house. $67.50 versus $500 to an attorney.
  • Business License $45.00
  • Overall, everything I needed was under $300 in the state of Alabama. I found the ladies at the court house were MOST helpful. They know as much as any attorney about what paperwork to file and in what order. I did mine from start to finish in 3 days. Took me longer because I broke it up.
  • Branding - Name of business CAN be different than the name of the LLC. 
  • DO NOT open a bank account for the business until you get all the above paperwork back. A business bank account is very different from a personal account. They want the Fed Tax ID # + Business Lic. Must have LLC to get business license. One begets the other.

Ultimately, you must find a name, make sure it isn't used by any other business FIRST. When you couple that with finding the matching URL domain name it gets a bit harder but worth the effort if you are going to use the same name across the board. If you are using a different LLC name than business name, your chances are a bit better. If you already own a domain name, you'll have to see if that same name is available via your state.

Having an at home cottage business is a great tax deduction too. Just save all of your receipts, utility bills, track mileage when you shop for supplies etc. I've set up some simple files at home as well as a small coupon type file in my purse and another zippered one for in the car. If you use Turbo Tax for Home & Office, it will do 99% of the work for you when tax time rolls around.

LOTS of info to digest but you won't have to hire anyone to do it if you just go slow, make notes, print instructions and check them off as you are done. If you are stumped, call the city clerks office to get more info. I promise it was easy!

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