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I bought a long arm 2 years ago with the intent of making it a business that I can do from home as I'm a young mom. I've passed out cards to local shops, put up adds in craig's list and etsy and haven't had a single bite! I've posted my machine on the sale board but feel kind of defeated, I would still love to make this work.

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Do you belong to a quilt guild? If so bring some of your best work for show and tell and be ready to hand out cards, offer to do some samples for your quilt shop, join some classes and be sure to show your finished quilt after you quilt it...these are all things I did. If you have friends that quilt, offer to do one of their quilts for a first time discount and see if that gets things rolling.

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have you visited your local quilt shops? sometimes they will put your cards by the cash register.

also, if you can get them to give you a class quilt to quilt for them, lots of folks will see it hanging in the shop and might inquire about your quilting.

have you joined a guild? that's a great place to drum up business. you can bring your work to show and tell and then everyone will see your great work and want it for their quilts.

how about a quilty blog? i think this is a way to get business as well.

good luck.

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Starting a business is a little like pushing a snowball off a hill. You have to keep at it and eventually it will start rolling and picking up speed.

Every time you go to your guild, take a sample. Every time you go to your local quilt shop.... and go a lot.... take a sample.

See if you can teach a t-shirt quilt class at your local quilt and fabric shop. You'll find many of your students will have you quilt your quilt!

Make sure you have a presence on the web. You need a website and/or blog to showcase your work. Don't let it get stale! Post something once a week at a minimum to show off your skills. Be the expert that people want to turn to with questions.

Can you do some charity work with a local sewing group? Can you do some Quilts of Valor? Anything to give yourself the practice you need to grow your abilities.

Think about making t-shirt quilts for others. You can get advertising in the local high school musical program or newsletter pretty cheap. Graduation tshirt quilts are incredibly popular and a great way to get started.

Read through this board and you'll get more ideas but just remember there is no switch to flip to get things going. It is consistent, repetitive, boring, dedicated effort and that snowball will start to roll.

It is good that you are reaching out and asking for help. We've all been there and this forum is a great place to get started.

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Just curious but where do you live?

Can you start a facebook page or blog that has examples of your work and post it with your emails etc.

You might be able to get it linked to other sites that will draw in business.

Also, There could be a quilter that is swamped with quilts that might like some help :-)

Designers, home interior design shops need custom quilts. That's why i wondered where you live, that would give me an idea of your market.

The local guild is a great idea. Also.... have you thought about teaching a beginner quilting class? you can get your clients right out of the shoot ... You might even be able to kit up a few beginner projects and make money on that too..

join the forums for quilters and keep that blog site posted!

If there isn't a guild in your area, then start one. You'll be glad you did.

t-shirt quilts are HOT! get with your local schools, little leque groups etc. They will LOVE them!!!!

I'll try and think of some more ideas :-) Just don't give up..... There are some good books about starting a business, you can probably look at some of them for ideas.

when there's craft or fair days locally get a both, price list in hand, samples hanging and get the word out.

Always remember to value your work.


on the side: I am so glad that many of the quilters on this forum post site addresses. I've gained a lot by looking at them. I might have to start one myself :D:D

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I was in the same situation, and I took one of my own quilts to Show and tell at our quilt shop. For some reason everyone just fell all over themselves asking for my card, so like everyone here said, you just have to "show off" your best work. And have cards ready to hand out.

Hang in there, if you have a good quilting community, they'll find you eventually.

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Hang in there. We have all been right where you are.

I didn't think I would ever get customers and finally I have new ones along with repeats. Doing quilts for charities is a great way to get a start and if you have a Joanne's by you, put some business cards there. I have gotten a few customers from there.

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Thanks for the suggestions, I'm definitely not a 'self-marketer' so showing-off my own work is sometimes hard for me. I've done some poking around and found a guild I'm going to & will bring my current project.

Thanks again for all the good advise!

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