I really wish that I had more time for sewing and writing, I’d even settle for sewing or writing. Or drawing. Or something.
It feels like I’m on this never ending hamster wheel of doom. I don’t really blame my day job, I like my day job, but it doesn’t help that I don’t make much at my day job. So it’s a catch-22. I could do more if I had a bigger budget, and I’d have a bigger budget if I could do more.
I’m not going to accuse anyone of being shady, but there are some practices that some new businesses are trying out that look very shady to those of us that have been taking on out-sewing and overflow work from home for a minute or two.
The very first is insisting on short notice to an interview for out-sewing work. I don’t mind providing samples of my work, providing references, doing skill tests, letting anyone know the specifications and capabilities of my machines and providing my personal and business information but unless you’re offering me an actual job with a schedule, work place, equipment, coworkers and benefits you don’t need to interview me and you especially don’t need to interview me on short notice.
It feels like I would be signing up for a lot of stress working with someone that doesn’t plan ahead or utilize time well and wants to cut into my day job hours. Also it’s pushy– and weird. Literally no one interviews for out-sewing.
Next big no-no: Do not ask for a deposit on materials. As a small business owner just trying to get established you might think it’s a great idea, but you’re retreading an old work at home scam, whether you mean to or not, where the business insists on a materials deposit well above the worth of the kit and simply refuses to accept the finished work and pay for it. If you’re a legitimate company that pays workers fairly, you’ll get your materials back as finished product.
Also, don’t require I buy materials that either you or I source with my money. I won’t do it. I will think that your business isn’t stable enough to reimburse my costs or pay for my work. I’ve made the investments in my equipment and skills. Pretty much don’t ask us to give you anything of value in order to work for you; don’t ask us to share machines, or leave samples with you, draft patterns or scale for you, give you drawings.
Actually, I might bring you a latte or a chai tea if it’s on my way, but only if I like you. I’m not a monster.
Last but definitely not least. Don’t pretend. Don’t try to fake it until you make it. Don’t act as if you know things about soft goods manufacturing or apparel construction or fashion that you don’t. First of all, it comes off as shady and we’ll run away. More important though, most seamers have been around the block a few times and will happily share what we know with you because we want your business to succeed.
Now that I’ve vented I feel better. I suppose you can guess what I’ve been dealing with while looking for a bit of work on the side based on the above.
This is my drawing.
Sometimes I draw first and then choose fabric. This isn’t one of those times. I started with the fabric and designed the dress around it.
Every new year there’s a handful of friends that curse the last year and swear that this next will be better. 2017 wasn’t the easiest year for me ever, but I’ve had worse years.
I accomplished quite a bit in 2017 in fact: a new job, a major career change for the better, made new friends, paid off old debts and started rebuilding my life. My kids are healthy. My boyfriend is kind. I have love and stability and hope and many reasons to be grateful.
Stability means it’s time to start writing again. Reentering the work force after 17 years as a stay at home mother and wife three years ago was an adjustment that required sacrificing the time that I’d previously had to write. Now that my schedule accommodates things like eating and sleeping on a regular basis it’s much easier to budget writing time. Not always easy, but easier.