Business Overview

A quilting business translates customer’s ideas, fabrics, and other materials and transforms them into beautiful and functional pieces of art. Through the process of creating the quilt, the quilter and customer decide an overall pattern and color scheme and the quilter then completes the quilt by hand or on a consumer or “domestic” machine.

Who is this business right for?

For individuals who enjoy sewing or seamstress work, have some artistic talent, or have an eye for patterning and organizing ideas into a tangible object, quilting can be the perfect career. A background in sewing is preferable, although some quilters started because of a love or passion for creating and quickly found their niche in the quilting community.

What happens during a typical day at a quilt business?

Quilters are often spending some of their time pursuing other ventures, until their business proves profitable. Therefore, much of their time has to be strategically planned to keep the business moving forward, attracting clients and completing quilt orders. Specific duties and tasks may include:

  • Answering inquiries, via telephone and/or email, from potential customers.
  • Collaborating with clients regarding the specifics of their order.
  • Managing inventory, delivering original quilts that have been sold.
  • Shopping and ordering the essentials for each project.
  • Marketing the business and completed projects.
  • Paying bills administrative duties such as sending out invoices.
  • Researching new techniques and industry trends.

As the business begins to mature, it may be necessary to hire an assistant to handle administrative tasks, allowing you to focus solely on the duties that inspire you most.

What is the target market?

Although most people can appreciate the beauty of a good quilt, few understand the time and effort they take. Therefore, it’s critical to focus your efforts on individuals or groups in and around the quilting and arts communities. Those who understand the total worth of a custom quilt will help you drive up the price and demand for your work. Equally, become an ambassador for the quilting community and help novices to understand the effort and ability it takes to create these works of art.

How does a quilt business make money?

Customer special orders and existing quilt repairs will occupy a large amount of the working time and, subsequently, will dominate the revenue stream. As orders are completed and shipped, payments are received and finalized from customers.

What is the growth potential for a quilt business?

A successful quilting business requires strategic marketing and specific customer relations, often generated through quilting seminars, quilt shows, and online quilting communities. Since it is a popular, yet niche market, it is important to network your wares and skills and become interconnected with all things quilting. Setting a budget and financial/business plan, and sticking to it, is also a key for growth and success.