At your day job, you’re the type to knit through staff meetings, sketch your co-workers while on the telephone, or read photography blogs on your lunch break. You dream about running your own creative business in the future but you’re not ready to take the leap right now for any of a number of reasons – from money to timing to self-confidence. I’m in the same position. I’m currently finishing a Ph.D. in biochemistry but what I really want to do is start a sewing pattern company. I can’t follow my dream until I finish school, but I can lay a solid foundation so I’m ready to take the leap as soon as I graduate. Join me as I transition from science to sewing. I’ll be sharing with you a series of posts about tangible steps that I’m taking (and you can too!) so I’m prepared to follow my dream when the timing is right.
I’m SeamstressErin. I blog about Sew-Knit-Craft-Quilt-Needlework at SeamstressErin.com. I currently live in San Francisco where I have been working on a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, for the last 6 years. I’m pretty close to graduating (3-6 months?), but I don’t have a set graduation date yet. I have known for the last 4 years that being a research scientist isn’t a good career fit for me.
I’ve talked to my advisor, my mentors, my family, my friends, and anyone else who will listen, about wanting to do something different. One thing that I’m constantly asked is, if I know that I don’t want to do science, why am I bothering to finish my Ph.D.? It’s a valid question, and one that I answer differently on different days. One major reason is that I’m stubborn (I come from long lines of stubborn people on both sides of my family), and that’s been a major source of strength in getting through years of being unhappy day-to-day.
Another big reason is that I want something to fall back on. While it sounds romantic to drop everything and follow a creative dream, there are real-life, practical considerations when preparing to make such a major life change. Perhaps you too are finishing school, or waiting to have a bit more time in at your job, or one more promotion before you feel like you can follow your creative dream because you want have an alternative career to fall back on? Maybe your reasons are person – you need to build your self-confidence before you feel able to take the leap. Maybe you’re waiting for your kids to start school so you have more free time on your hands.
If I’m going to launch a sewing pattern business, I need people to buy my patterns. Some of that will come from having a great product. To make a great product, I’ll need to do market research and learn from others that have gone before me. I also need to be able to reach my audience. Once I have sales, I need to know how to track my finances. I need to know that, once I’ve launched, I’ll continue to have ideas for future products. I can’t guarantee success in any of these areas for myself or others, but I do know that if I lay a foundation for my creative business now, before I take the leap, I do have a better chance of being successful.
Join me as I share my steps to build a foundation for my creative business and (hopefully!) successfully make the leap from science to sewing. I look forward to bringing you along with me. I’ll respond to comments and questions here, or you can connect with me at my website, on twitter, instagram, craftsy, ravelry, pinterest, or facebook.