It’s that time again… time for another crafty edition of Urban Entrepreneurs! Urban Entrepreneurs is where we feature sellers of any kind who have decided to take the plunge (with the help of some UT designs) and start their own small biz. We have our first international Urban Entrepreneur today, with Nadine from Germany!
With a little help in translation, Nadine tells us all about her growing business and dreams of selling awesome embroidery abroad…
What started you into embroidery?
I stared my own business in September 2010. At that time, I often dreamed about owning an embroidery machine. I saw all those nice motifs available, and I especially liked American vendors because of their variety, and customers were asking me more and more frequently for personalized embroidery like names and such on their orders.
In December, right before Christmas, my husband drove with me “just to look” at machines at a Brother store. That evening, I took home my Innov-is 1500.
How did you first find Urban Threads?
Good question… I think it was a link on facebook, but I’m not sure. When I found it, it was love at first sight. I sat there and devoured the whole shop! 😀
Describe your shop. What kind of products do you offer?
I mainly sew bags, and many orders are special requests. I let my customers choose their favorite fabrics/colors, closures, length of handles, lining and – of course – embroidery designs! In addition I sometimes “pimp” a small assortment of ready sewn bags, with new fabric covers, ribbons, bows – and embroidery designs too! I also sew accessories like wallets, personalized key tags and scarves.
What made you take the plunge into starting your own business?
We live in the countryside, so jobs are hard to find. I think my early education in sewing was the best thing that could have happened to me (beside my husband). I hadn’t tried it in awhile, but one day in 2009 I took it up again and loved it more than ever! Starting out my skills were a little rusty, but I kept practicing, and the feedback I was getting got better and bigger. Eventually I took the plunge into starting my own business.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you began?
Customer contact is very important! And can be quite interesting too.
I love getting feedback, and my contact with the customers is always friendly but respectful. I want to be respected, so I respect my customers. Sometimes it’s hard, but the fruits of this labor are so juicy and sweet!
The second thing I’ve learned: You can’t be everybody’s darling! If you love what you do, then just do what you really love.
Where would you like to see your shop in one year?
I wanna try many new things! Maybe more than I ever can handle 😉
I would like to get customers from abroad. Germany is a great place for handmade products, but there are so many more great countries out there. Not to grow super big, just for the chance at sharing my work. I have more than enough to do and I’ll keep making my products by myself, for as long as possible.
I also hope to get my etsy shop fully set-up sometime… this will be the first step for me to sell my stuff abroad!
Nadine’s beautiful hand-stitched bags and self proclaimed “pimped” pre-made bags shine with personality that hopefully with make it overseas soon, but at least all the lucky folks in Germany get to enjoy them now. Do you want to check them out? You can have a peek at her website (in German) and buy stuff from her store (also in German, but don’t let that stop you!).
I have to say, Germany seems to be all over the cool embroidery scene. I’ve seen UT designs pop up on all kinds of awesome German blogs (thank goodness for google translate!) and they all seem to have fabulous taste. Best of luck to you, Nadine, in all your embroidery adventures!
Do you use Urban Threads designs to create one of a kind products? Want to see your story or your store featured here and join our gang of Urban Entrepreneurs? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your store/website or attach sample photos, and you could be featured!