How some entrepreneurs are growing side hustles into full-time businesses
The COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our professional and personal lives. In some cases, talented people have lost their jobs and face limited prospects for securing new ones. Stuck at home, many are relying on their creative skill sets to launch part-time side hustles and some of those entrepreneurs are turning those side hustles into full-time gigs.
Today’s new breed of sewing and embroidering machines are versatile enough to be the foundation of an entire business venture. Add a touch of creative inspiration and some social media exposure and voila, a small company is born.
Here are 5 crafts that can be especially lucrative right now, and a look at several entrepreneurs who have turned their part-time passions into full-time profits.
Taking Sewing from Cosplay to a Custom Design Studio
In Texas, Chris Tock, a Brother Sews Partner, got into sewing by chance when he participated in a local Cosplay event. He taught himself sewing basics and what he couldn’t master, he improvised. His designs were such a hit, his friends started commissioning him to sew costumes for them.
Flash forward a few years and Chris heads up Tock Custom, a Dallas-based design studio that specializes in men’s clothing, customer messenger bags, and, yes, cosplay costumes. He has a roster of corporate clients who come to him for personalized items. And on his successful YouTube channel, Tock produces sewing tutorials to inspire others who may have been just like him – looking to get into sewing their own clothing or costumes.
Embroidery: Personalization with flair
In Malibu, Celine Benz, a Brother Side Hustle partner, created C.Bonz Embroidery to create custom and personalized embroidered items which have exploded in popularity even more in today’s world. What started off as embroidered designs to as an act of individual expression turned into a side hustle upscaling clothes for her friends. Next, non-profits were calling her asking for personalized items as fundraising items. Soon, the demand was so great, she had to invest in another embroidery machine.
Today Celine’s uses combines exclusive embroidery art with comfy clothing designs and unique finds to make custom personalized items for individuals, families, clubs, charities, and other major brands, all from a new flagship workshop on the iconic Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, CA.
Build a Tie-Dye Empire
Comfy wear is big right now with so many of us spending time at home almost exclusively. That’s why when tie-dye re-emerged as a fashion trend, the colorful technique was applied to sweatshirts, sweatpants, and the like. A large part of tie dye’s appeal comes from owning a one-of-a-kind practical item that especially eye-catching on social media news feeds. But because tie-dye is a skill and is a little bit messy, consumers are willing to pay to get pre-made tie-dye pieces. Some entrepreneurs have leveraged their tie-dye skills to become a source of these colorful items. They promote their pieces on social channels, like TikTok, to help drive traffic to their online shops.
Creating Custom Coffee Mugs and To-Go Cups
Coffee and tea lovers alike love mugs that make a statement, whether it’s a witty saying or simply their name spelled out in an elaborate font. Home crafters have found today’s electronic cutting machines, can custom-cut vinyl designs which can be applied to most any coffee mug or to-go coffee.
Because design choices and funky fonts are endless, mugs can be personalized in colorful and unique ways. A base inventory of mugs is inexpensive to when bought in bulk and entrepreneurs have discovered personalized mugs are consistent sellers on marketplace sites that cater to coffee lovers (and who isn’t these days?).
Cashing in on Wall Accent Pieces
In a bid to elevate the appearance of their home offices, at home workers are looking to unique wall art pieces to make a statement to their colleagues on video conference calls. Artists at home have found various ways to create neat pieces, using techniques like embroidery and canvas painting to produce appealing items that quickly become hot sellers. And today’s embroidery machines come with a variety of hoop sizes so that a successful design can be produced in several sizes to fit anyone’s workspace.
With a little inspiration and a modest investment in today’s high tech crafting machines, crafters at home can easily turn a hobby into a viable business venture.
Amellia Diemer is the Product Manager at Brother International Corporation.