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Frustrated fledgling tailor looking for advice


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#19 tailleuse

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:24 AM

Thanks everyone for responding.
Tailleuse, I changed my posts; I didn't even think about it when I wrote the post. To be clear though I'm not complaining about my maestro because he's a wonderful person and a great teacher, I'm frustrated with the situation. You are absolutely correct that I'm afraid he will end the relationship if I'm too direct.
I've tried to approach the subject discreetly before and that helped me understand that a payroll wasn't part of the plan.
I guess I'll tempt increasing my presence online and hope for the best.
I'll post some pictures here as well as soon as I get a chance.
Again thank you everyone for posting.

 

You're welcome. It's easy to give other people advice.   :)

 

Again, good luck.


Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#20 HautenDandy

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:10 AM

Use instagram, its a very powerful tool for marketing. Ill give you a short master class.

 

When you post the picture make sure it is of quality enough to see the details. Mainly make sure its not blurry and the lighting is high enough to keep the picture from being grainy.

 

You can put a comment on the picture itself but no hashtags

 

After you have posted the picture then comment on it and add as many hashtags as you can, this hides an over abundance of hastags under the comment making it more likely that people will not read the comment. Hashtags are very important.

 

Keep to a general theme, meaning your business, this doesn't me never post your family, as doing this sometimes lends to the emotional similarity between client to yourself.

 

Follow other tailors and people in the general industry, clients of these other tailors see who has liked the post or commented and follow them.

 

Even if you dont have a website yet, you can post your phone number and email.

 

There is a good bit more but I have little time at the moment feel free to ask me any questions you have about instagram.


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#21 hutch48

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 01:01 PM

There is perhaps another approach which does not exclude at least some of the suggestion made here, ask the old fella what he would suggest so that you can make some money on the side apart from the work you do for him so that you can better support your wife and child. While I may disagree with greger on the purity of pursuing a bespoke manufacturing career to the exclusion of any other form of tailoring work, keep in mind that a vast number of very experienced and successful tailors DO in fact do alterations for customers and it is a lot less capital and machinery intensive than setting up your own business from scratch. The purity of failure earns a lot less money that the success of doing something that customers can identify with and pay for.


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#22 MANSIE WAUCH

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 07:08 PM

I would take the advice from Hutch. You need to walk before you can run and. You have a wife and child to provide for. Alterations would bring in a reasonable income for you and, at the same time you could be building up a new client base for yourself in handcraft tailoring. (Slow but sure!)


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#23 greger

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 02:44 PM

If the old tailor is willing to help you fit your customers in his shop and he doesn't charge to much I would certainly do that. He will point out stuff you might not notice.

Back in the 70s a local tailor charged $20 per hour for alterations and $30 per hour for custom/bespoke. He probably did m2m, too.

"Alterations Of Men's Clothing" / David Carlin / Tailoring
http://catalog.hathi...ecord/009113334
If you are going to do alterations this is a book to look at. Perhaps buy a used one.
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#24 pfaff260

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 03:25 PM

There's a new edition.

 

http://www.amazon.co...ds=david carlin


Edited by pfaff260, 02 October 2015 - 03:26 PM.

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#25 jeffrey2117

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Posted 06 October 2015 - 12:50 PM

Hello all,

 

   I have not been online very much lately, suffered from sudden illness and was not able to work for a few months, thought I was going to have to retire earlier than planned. 

 

 I had to pass off much work to my assistance, while I supervised or offered advice on how to complete more technical work. 

 

I am back at it now and full of vigor, just in time for the busy Ball season!  Narrowing lapels on a nice suit jacket tonight and working on gowns tomorrow morning! :-)

 

 As Greger posted,  Carlin's book is a very good practical book that is beneficial to most alterations shops or someone who wishes to have a good alteration reference book. 

 

Another good book is:  The Art of Tailoring, by Hazma Simrick (1983), this book covers good basic information for most general alterations you would find at a upscale men's store and also gives advice for marketing, management and analysis of your shop.

 

Mansie and Hutch gave good advice also, you can start with alterations to get money flowing and start drumming up business and establishing yourself and reputation.

 

Websites are great, with nearly everyone is online nowadays, it has increased my business wonderfully.  If you can get some clients, get advice and supervision from your Master, and use his tools and shop that would be great.  

 

When your starting out, you need to be very frugal and learn to budget, keep track of each months income and expenses to help identify and plan for following year.  

 

Being married and having a baby, while starting in this business can be tough, you need to bring steady money to support the family, you cannot afford the feast or famine routine at this time. 

 

You really need to get experience with how to identify alteration issues and how to properly correct for different figures and estimate how much to charge to be able to make a living. 

 

Kind regards

 

Jeffrey 2117


Edited by jeffrey2117, 06 October 2015 - 12:52 PM.

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#26 cperry

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 08:20 AM

Sorry to hear of your illness, Jeffrey2117, but I'm glad you're through it. I'm glad to see your comments here. You're a good example of a success in the alterations business.

One thing I'd add related to starting a small business when you go to set uo a website or online store, watch closely the fees/contracts for online services, particularly the hidden contracts. When I started a small business in 2006, my bank at the time put me in touch with an online ecommerce service, I signed up without being provided the full contract and not noticing that little fact. It was a three year contract at $30 per month. I paid it and went on with life, but not everyone needs to make that mistake. One author on starting small businesses suggested it takes an average of 5 years to build a business. You'll want plan for that... especially with a young family.
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#27 jeffrey2117

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 12:27 PM

Sorry to hear of your illness, Jeffrey2117, but I'm glad you're through it. I'm glad to see your comments here. You're a good example of a success in the alterations business.

One thing I'd add related to starting a small business when you go to set uo a website or online store, watch closely the fees/contracts for online services, particularly the hidden contracts. When I started a small business in 2006, my bank at the time put me in touch with an online ecommerce service, I signed up without being provided the full contract and not noticing that little fact. It was a three year contract at $30 per month. I paid it and went on with life, but not everyone needs to make that mistake. One author on starting small businesses suggested it takes an average of 5 years to build a business. You'll want plan for that... especially with a young family.

 

Hello cperry,

 

    Thank you for the kind note and appreciate it very much.  I am also happy that I am still here to be able to read it!

 

The author was correct, it does take time to build a business, gaining experience in working, troubleshooting alteration issues, proper corrections, this takes experience and time to build up a customer base. 

 

He has to be able to establish himself and reputation, draw customer base and work to support the family.

 

Kind regards

 

Jeffrey 2117


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"An intelligent man knows he is ignorant, a ignorant man knows he is intelligent".




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