1. What did or does starting look like for you?
I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking I’ve “started” something because I’ve thought of it, or made some incremental step towards a goal without actually committing to anything. I think commitment is the difference between “starting” something and “dabbling” in it. Going for an occasional run doesn’t mean you’ve started training for a marathon - that happens when you establish a routine, have a race to train for, and are committed to finishing!
2. How did you know you needed to start?
I’ve been sewing as a hobbyist for five-plus years, and I’ve made things for people, and people have paid me. I suppose I could just keep doing that (or stop at anytime), but all my life I’ve wanted to build a business of my own - even if it’s a tiny, part-time thing. Since my wife and I moved back to Florida this year, it seemed to me that it was a good time to ride that wave of change and make 2017 the year that I make Sew Hard a real thing!
3. Looking back, what struggle are you most grateful for?
For a 20-month period in 2011/2012, I was either un- or under-employed. Sitting in our apartment with nothing to do, I started playing around with my wife’s old sewing machine, and then started posting sewing videos to YouTube. It was a cathartic way to provide some purpose to my life while I wasn’t working. Not working was tough, but that time period, while challenging, provided the opportunity and motivation to do something that has profoundly changed my life for the better!
4. What’s one resource you'd share with someone wanting to start?
This is going to sound obvious, but it’s so obvious it hides in plain sight sometimes - the internet! We have the collected knowledge of the entire world in our pockets all the time! When you need motivation, information or support, you can find it. SOMEONE knows what you need to know, and they’ve put it on the internet somewhere. Social media is great, but go seek knowledge from that magical box in your pocket!
Allow me to give an example of what I mean: I’m making a bag for my brother, in a particular type and color of fabric that is not commonly available. My usual supplier stopped carrying that color. Googling the type and color of fabric initially didn’t help, until I switched to an image search and found an image of a color swatch for the fabric. Clicking “visit page” led me to a fabric supplier (literally on the other side of the country) I had never heard of, who not only had what I needed, but lots of other stuff, too! I have no idea how I would have found them in any other way. Learn to navigate the interwebs!