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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Alterations and Sewing Repairs Business from Home

Start an Alterations & Repairs Business

What you will be doing.  Have you ever had a dress or pair of pants you wanted to get hemmed or fixed? People everywhere will be in need of your service at one time or another.

Someone like you would be excellent at weddings or other formal events where accidents do happen. An alteration business requires availability and skill with a needle and thread.

How to start.  Check out the local competition. Larger outfits that handle alterations do so as part of a service because they sell the clothing on site. You will be offering an independent service of alterations.

Specify what types of alterations and repairs you feel qualified to tackle. It could be that you’ll mend curtains and table clothes and bed linens for restaurants and hotels. Private parties or people who want clothing altered will be the meat of the business in the beginning.

Starting costs.  Many who are interested in custom alterations already have a studio in their home devoted to sewing. This eliminates the need to buy a sewing machine, dressmaking dummies, and other small accessories. As a home based business, customers will come to you for fittings after alterations. There needs to be a private placed for that.

The vehicle used to transport supplies has to be big enough to carry all you’ll need to work at an event away from home. Computer software allows you to keep track of business expenses and the inventory of supplies. And, fabric is not cheap. Count on spending at least $1,500 at the beginning to outfit a home area to work comfortably.

Skills needed Skill with a sewing machine is of course the most important skill. People will count on your repairs being seamless and not change the look of the clothing. Alterations require quick work and lots of tape measures and stick pins.

You will also have to think on your feet. When called in for consultations about doing repairs or alterations, you’ll only get a few moments to look at the clothing in questions and decide what, if anything you can do to fix it. A sense of fashion and style are constant companions that will serve you well.

Marketing.  Word of mouth is a good way to start. This won’t be the first time you’ve created clothing or repaired clothing for someone else. Your family has probably been getting those services for free for years!

Create business cards with a nifty logo and hand out at church and other gatherings. Always carrying a small repair kit with you can do wonders for advertising. One never knows when your skills may be needed. Is there a seamstress in the house?

Don’t neglect ads in newspapers and trade magazines. Give a few sewing classes at the local community college and hand out business cards with your materials.

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