Several months ago, I decided to make a durable tote bag designed to carry all of our family’s water bottles. Each child has a Camelbak water bottle in their chosen color, but it is quite a chore to keep track of them in the house, haul them back and forth to the van, and keep them organized while we’re out.
A couple of people asked where they could find one, and Shawn commented that I should sell some. I though it over for a couple of days but realized that I could never make bags fast enough and sell them for enough money to make it worth my time.
But…I could develop a sewing pattern to teach others how to sew them.
Around the same time, I had read an article saying that the #1 thing people regretted in their life was that they didn’t take more risks. Selling PDF sewing patterns isn’t a great financial risk, but there is a risk in putting your ideas, your work, and your art out for public consumption. It made me want to try it. So with Shawn’s encouragement, I began working on the pattern.
I have truly loved this whole project (well, maybe not the actual “business” tasks so much). I learned so many valuable skills in this process, and discovered some new ways to use my creativity to encourage other people.
In an effort to find a specific fabric for my tote bag, I came across Spoonflower (a print-on-demand fabric company) and learned to translate my own designs into digital files which could be printed directly on the fabric (or wallpaper, gift wrap, or decals) of my choice! I discovered that my years browsing fabric stores have given me a love for textile design as well.
The last few steps of this process are the (less fun for me) business tasks – setting up a merchant paypal account and configuring the website to accept payments. I hope to launch my business website in a 2-3 weeks.
It’s relief to share the “secret project” I’ve been working on for so long.
I’ll announce the launch when I finish up some administrative tasks and hear back from a couple more pattern testers!