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I have been working at stating a business for the past 9 months. It has been slow. I have joined the quilt guild in my area, with no response. There are 195 people in our quilt guild. I have advertized in local craft newletters, with little response. I am trying to pay back the loan for my machine. Word of mouth seems to slow. What do I do now? Everyone that I have quilted for really love the quilting I do. I get about 2 quilts a month.

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I found that when I started my business that things were a little slow at first, but I will share with you what worked for me.

I belong to a smaller guild, so I knew I was going to have to work hard to "sell myself" . I began with quilting my own quilts, & sharing them at guild for show & tell. I then took on quilting "comfort" quilts for donation for my guild. I also went to several organizations in my town that makes donation quilts, & quilted for them.

The practice & skill I gained in doing this is just what I needed. But, it also fostered many, many loyal friendships, who in turn are my biggest customer base.

You could also offer to do quilt shop samples, either at a discount or first one free (?) with your name attached. Many shops have newsletters, you can pay a small fee to have your name listed?

You could also get to know the teachers in those shops, as they are busy making samples, but no time to quilt!

Many newspapers have free announcements for new business, send in your picture of your smiling face :-) with a write up on your business!

My guild also has a Raffle quilt every year, if your guild has a Raffle, can you offer to do one of these either discount or other arrangemnt that works well for you both? You could also have your business cards handed out with the sale of each ticket?

Do you have a local group of Longarmers in your area, that is a great place to network.

Before you know it, you will be wishing you had more spare time! :-)

Let me know if I can help answer any questions, all the best to you~

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For me, the best thing was just the word of mouth. I think the business will come but it just takes time for them to find you. If someone has been using a longarmer for a while, they may have had to book a spot with her for 6 - 10 months in advance so even though someone sees your work and likes it, they may have a reservation already with the longarmer they've been using.

My recommendation would be to use your free time to do some exquisite quilting on something you can enter in local shows or county fairs. Do some real eye catching quilting.

When I first started, I'd do something really outstanding (or in my eyes it was outstanding) and I'd take it to the local quilt shop and spread it out to look for binding fabric (even though I probably already had the binding fabric!). But I hated going in and handing out cards. The quilt shop ladies would always ask who quilted it and I would say "ME!!" They would ask if I did it for others and then offer to let me leave cards there.

The quilts shops really are inundated with longarmers wanting business and I think if we want their referral, we have to be pretty darned good! (and . . easy to work with!)

Like Linda said . . it will be no time til you're wishing for some free time!

Judy Laquidara

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Linda S

Check with some of the quilt shops in your area. I don't have my machine yet, but a few I talked with mentioned that they might let me quilt some of their class tops if I would do them at a discount, then they would hang them in their shops with my card and brochure. That's a sure way for quilters to see your work. I sure hope they will make good on that idea when I'm ready!


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