November 7, 2007

Thank you for joining us! We hope you are enjoying the newsletter. We are learning as we go and this past issue we learned that it would be nice if the pictures could be larger. We are working with a set format here and aren't able to do that yet. But when our new archive website is up you will be able to see the pictures better there. Until then we will try to make any photos as large as possible.
Happy sewing!

Business Tips from Chris

I've often been asked how to start a pillow business. Of course, watch my videos. First: starting with "The Basics" make each pillow 3 times, from start to finish. The first time you make a sample, plan on that pillow being practice. Use inexpensive fabrics until you get the feel for the techniques. When you make your second pillow, really pay attention to the details and focus on learning the information. The third one, this is the important one. Time yourself, use nice fabrics and keep a journal of whether you enjoyed or disliked that particular pillow.

Once you have worked your way through the 5 videos, you will have completed at least 30 items to use as samples, gained a good idea of how long it took you to make each pillow and most importantly, if you like to make that pillow.

If you really dislike a particular style, you have 2 options; either do not offer it or charge enough to make it worth while for you to produce.

Second: The next step is to take your time log and based on an hourly rate, translate the time into labor charges, add in your supplies, i.e. zippers, thread etc. and establish a price guide. I highly recommend Kitty Stein's book Price your work with Confidence to really get a hold of the business side.

Third: Now armed with the samples and price guide, you can present yourself professionally, ready to discuss details with confidence. You will find it is much easier to sell more pillows when there is so much variety to show.


What's in your bucket?

Installation bucket that is.....

One moment I'm enjoying the autumnal splendor in the woods and the next people are moving way far away from me. Somehow I got poison ivy on my face and it is quite lovely. I'm sure everyone is afraid of what they will catch. If only this had happened before Halloween- I would have been set for a costume!

Thankfully I'm off to stage a vacant house with only my assistant to enjoy this embarrassment. My car is packed and so is my bucket. I use many of the same tools when staging as when installing draperies and I've learned- from Chris - to pack a few nontraditional items.

Included are:

Booties to cover my shoes
Spackel in a baggie - last week's tip
Post its
Sharp pencils! I hate it when you grab a broken one
Pencil Sharpener
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser-cleans the wall and so much more!
Paint Pens to cover screw heads
Furniture Pens- cover scratches on rods

Hope this gives you a few ideas-


Questions for The Pillow Lady

Dear Chris,
What is that tape measure you are using in the Dust Ruffle Video, I want one!

Hi Agnes,
That is a Center Point Tape measure. Pretty nifty isn't it! You can get it from Shasta at Unique Expressions. You will be seeing a lot of things available from Shasta in the DVD's to come. I am reattaching my edge rulers so you can see how much more efficiently I run around the table using them and the clamping bar will be used on the Roman Shade series.

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