Only a woman will fully understand that feeling of satisfaction when one gets a good deal. It applies to anything from clothes, shoes, to make up, and practically everything that can be bought. I love a good bargain, but what I love even more is a good buy.
I have always wanted to have my own business, one that involves designing and making purses for women. I needed to start my project and needed a sewing machine, but I did not have a lot of money to cover everything that the startup I have thought up needed. My mom offered her old sewing machine, but it was not really in the condition that I needed it to be but I did not have enough to buy a new one either.
The solution? Rays Vacuum. They sell, not only vacuum cleaners, they also sell sewing machines new and slightly used ones, and repair them as well. Rays Vacuum has been in business in Denver for 40 years; they are a trusted name in business. We decided to get a used sewing machine from them, since they cover it with a 90-day warranty. I was able to choose from a range of brands, such as Singer, Brother, Kenmore. Elna, Necchi, among others. The slightly used units were in good condition, which was not surprising since they are reputed to be good in sewing machine repair work. Needless to say, I was quite happy with the purchase. It suited my needs and my pocket.
I started with small pouches and sold it online. My small, initial success, spurred me to expand and graduate to toes, carryalls, and even small bags for children. I have since then bought a brand-new sewing machine, still from Rays Vacuum, to incorporate additional features that enabled me to make embroidered decorative patterns on the bags. I was also able to train young women to learn to sew, crochet, and embroider handmade bags. I send them some work when the demand grew in volume. They also make some on their own and sell them in fairs and bazaars.
In a way, they are competitors, but we do have a special code and that is to respect each other’s rights in terms of design for the bags. Social entrepreneurship is still a hit-and-miss exercise, but some have been successful in their ventures. The prospect of profit-sharing is a very attractive incentive to employees, and a motivation to do their best at work, because they have a share in the gains.
My business has grown in small, steady steps in the last two years. I research, I innovate, and I check trends in design and color, customers’ buying partners, and prices. On days when I feel the going is slow, I take a step back and think of how I started with just an idea, some designs, and a used sewing machine that I could barely afford to buy. I look at how my business now, grateful of its progress. It’s not a monumental success, but it is doing well, and it is moving forward. If I could pat myself in appreciation of a job well done, I would. For now, let me go back to my workshop and make my dreams come true.