For sure this sewing craze you have right now, whether you've been sewing for a long time or you are just starting, is an expensive one. Machines, notions, patterns, classes and fabric. Ahhh-mazing fabric. Hobbies are by definition an expense. That is of course until they turn into businesses and (hopefully) start making a profit.
My hubs and I try to be super careful with money. We are both self-employed, entrepreneur creatives. That means money doesn't flow our way every two-four weeks, like bills do. Many of you are also small business owners like us and you might run into this issue too. Even if you are not formally a business, and you are still keeping your sewing and crafting under the "hobby" label, you might run into the problem of funding your passion.
So here's what I do to make a little side money; be it for little family luxuries, for swimming classes for our baby, for a night out, for little personal indulgences and even for investment in a business like La Fabrica Shop.
1. Sell all that stuff you have and don't use
Yup, you have like a million things at home that you don't use and sometimes don't even like. Clothes, kitchen stuff, books, gadgets, furniture. You can sell this stuff on Craigslist, Let go, Varagesale, FB neighborhood pages, FB marketplace, etc. The secret?
NUMERO UNO: Clean your stuff! Make it look good. Would you buy a dirty, ugly looking table? Probably not (unless you can see beyond the grease). Yes, it takes time, but even a quick spray and wiping can do marvels and increase your profit just because it looks good.
NUMERO DOS: Take good pictures, write a short description (yet detailed) text for your ad, research your price (what are other people's prices for the same stuff you are trying to sell?) and post, post, post. Literally copy/paste your text and pictures on every selling site and app available.
NUMERO TRES: Sit and wait.. so yeah, it might take some time to sell, but this is passive income in a way... you've done your job, now wait for inquiries to come and hopefully strike a deal.
2. Sell the stuff you don't have and others don't want
I can't tell you how many items we've sold and how much money we've made from stuff that wasn't ours. The truth is, most people don't want to bother about taking the time to sell their stuff. Some are moving soon and things didn't fit their moving trucks, others buy new stuff and have extra stuff, other just don't have the time or space. But hopefully YOU do.
I belong to two or three Facebook neighborhood pages of my own neighborhood. Those are closed groups that someone created for your neighborhood and some are geared towards overall neighborhood safety, and other towards buy/sell/trade in general, and other towards all things parenting, including b/s/t of kids things no longer needed/wanted. JOIN THEM.
I'm not gonna go into flipping, although we on occasion do that too. You know, buying something cheap and selling it for more. You can do that too, but the scheme below is a bit different.
You have absolutely no idea how many items I've gotten for FREE from those FB pages. High chairs, furniture, toys, clothes. ALL FREE because the owners just don't want to deal with cleaning up their stuff, taking a good pic and writing and short description. They want it out of their houses ASAP. And there's me. I work from home and at the drop of a hat (mostly) I can be there to pick the unwanted items. And like I said, most times it's not clean, but it is still in great condition.
Just last week, someone wanted to get rid of their babyhome brand high chair. That thing is worth anywhere from $120-$170 new. I got it for the price of the gas I used to drive 5 blocks and back. I cleaned it up that same evening while it rained and I was cleaning the kitchen. And yesterday I sold it for $50 to a local kids consignment store. The truth is, I could perhaps have gotten more for it had I waited longer to get results from my Craigslist ad. But we were already on our way to the consignment store (to sell something else), so I thought, "let's sell it now". I got $50 cash and that's pretty amazing. That's like 2 yards of custom fabric. Or half a starter sewing machine. Or like a third of a serger. LOL! You see what I mean? And I didn't have to save for it, or beg for it, or fight the hubs for it. I had nothing and made it into something.
By the way, we were on our way to the consignment store to sell some maternity clothes someone gave away like 3 weeks ago, and that literally no else claimed/wanted for themselves. I'm pregnant and I saw the listing on my FB neighborhood page, and replied to pick them up that evening while my family was out and about. There were about 3 storage bags full of clothes. Most of them maternity, some not, but all in great shape. I took what I could use now for maternity and some for later. Then made a pile of maternity clothes I would use, another pile that I would sell to the consignment store and then another pile that weren't maternity and donated them (plus whatever the consignment store didn't buy). So for that short trip I got:
- Preggo clothes for myself
- A few non-preggo clothes for myself
- Preggo clothes to sell, which we got store credit for. Around $35-$40 at the kids consignment store.
- Preggo and non preggo clothes to donate.
- A stamp on our donation card. The place where we donate gives you a card that they stamp every time you donate. After 5 stamps you get 20% OFF your purchase.
- Free clothes for our kiddo. We spent $22 bucks at the consignment store, and of course, we paid with the store credit.
- An accomplished feeling. We spent pretty much nothing and we got cash, we got store credit, and clothes for kiddo and more to spare.
3. Use your new skills to great deals
I know that most of you are already great shoppers. But now is the time to be smarter shoppers. Now that you are honing into your business skills, making deals, making money, it is time to use your resources in a smart way too.
Look for deals, use your coupons (we love coupons, right?), shop around. And while you do that keep at "the hustle" of selling the stuff you don't use and the stuff others don't want so that when a great deal comes up, you can JUMP AT IT without regret or second thoughts.
Sounds good right? Why don't you give it a try? Your creative and entrepreneurial mind can be applied to anything. You just have to go for it and let me know how it goes!
Which reminds me! My COOL + WILD collection is now on pre-order Until August 26. 15 super cute prints in Cotton/Lycra Jersey Knit and French Terry Spandex. The pre-order price is $23/yard (it will retail at $27) Aaaand! There are two awesome coupons on my FB group at La Fabrica Shop.