My Unorthodox Business Model

I don’t want to open up a tailor shop.

I like sewing what I want to sew for people I want to work with. If I take on alterations or projects like the homecoming dress for my friend, it’s because the person means something to me, is fun, appreciates the work and artistry, and respects the years of research and apprenticeship I put in to get where I am.

A Victorian ensemble like this from my studio will cost over $1,000 USD. I’m sorry, there is no getting THIS on the cheap. Not from my studio.

My client list is small and exclusive. Very exclusive, and pretty much only local. You cannot buy your way onto it. I am never at anyone’s beck and call. My project list revolves around my health and my family schedule.


As a rule, I don’t take on rush jobs. My health can’t take the stress.


In the past, I’ve shut people down before they ask because I really didn’t want to prioritize paying clients over my own pet projects.


I am cantankerous, mercurial, and my rate is $35 per hour, plus materials, with a healthy deposit in advance. That can go up or down without warning depending on whether the client is disagreeable and entitled, or a salt-of-the-earth sweetheart in a bind.


Think of me as Edna from “The Incredibles.”


If you act like you’re doing me a favor by bringing your mending to me, I’ll do you the favor of politely refusing.


If I just wave my hand and shrug over price, what I do for you is a labor of love to meet an emergency that has cost me nothing but time. To date, every labor of love has been well compensated, one way or another.


If I didn’t change your diaper, or your child’s diaper, or your grandchild’s diaper, do NOT expect your project to be a labor of love with any discount whatsoever.


If a client tells me how to do the job, I fire the client and let them do it themselves since they already know how. The same goes for pompous or patronizing.


If a potential client tells me how much more cheaply they can purchase a dress, outfit or ensemble from the internet, then be assured you have my blessing to go forth and purchase said outfit more cheaply on the internet. Our interview is at an end.


And if you tell me how simple a thing is to do, then I’ll tell you to do it. I have Victorian things I can be working on instead.


This is my side hustle as the kids say. I offer my services to few. I’m not offended when someone goes elsewhere. My health doesn’t always allow me to accept requests from people I like. My demeanor never allows me to accept requests from people I don’t like.

Taken all together, it’s not a very good business model, but it’s MY business model. I rather like it that way.


I believe I shall have to copy this bit about my business model and post it on the door of my studio. A hopeful client wasted four hours of my time the other day by pretty much doing every one of the items listed.

I need a meme of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi which reads: NO SKIRT FOR YOU!!

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