Don’t Miss Your JUKI National Accounts

Continuing from last week, today we’re going to introduce the final 13 shops from our JUKI National Accounts. At JUKI, we know that great feeling you get when you find your favorite sewing shop!

Whether it’s because they carry unique fabrics, accessories you need, or that JUKI sewing machine you love, they’re here to help you create. So follow along below as we finish introducing our current National Account dealers and how you can reach out to them today!

Lake Loveland Sewing Company

Located in Loveland, Colorado, come and visit the Lake Loveland Sewing Company! Offering various options from the JUKI sewing line, from long-arm machines to sergers, their team is excited to help your designs come to life with the suitable machine and accessories you need!

Check out their notions, fabrics, and classes offering the chance to learn new skills and create fun projects! To find out more about Lake Loveland Sewing Company, visit us here today.

McDougal Sewing Center

What began as a humble small store in the Houston Heights area known as Bob McDougal Sewing Machine Co. has transformed into today’s McDougal Sewing Center, one of America’s largest sewing machine dealers! Focused on building long-term customer relationships through honesty and hard work, customers can enjoy a sense of friendliness the second they walk through the doors!

On top of their customer service, their shop has benefits focused on the quilter advancing in their skills. Enjoy benefits like their no-risk, one-year trade-up program, unlimited machine usage classes, professional technical service, and more! If you’re in the Katy, Texas, area, you can visit their shop today! Check out their location and learn more about McDougal Sewing Center’s machines, services and classes by visiting our page here today.

NorCal Sewing and Vacuum

At Norcal Sewing & Vacuum Center, you’ll find a family-owned business ready to help you find the suitable machine for your needs! Offering sewing machine repair services, a diverse inventory of notions, parts, and accessories, and old fashion customer service, you’ll be able to learn more about the JUKI product line and which features and machines are best for you.

To visit Norcal Sewing & Vacuum Center and learn more about their customer benefits, visit here today!

Pocono Sew & Vac

If there’s one thing Pocono Sew and Vac has, it’s an experience! After serving customers for over 40 years and with a team of over 15 people, most with 30-40+ years of industry experience, you can trust that their team is ready to help you start creating! So test-drive their extensive line of JUKIs before you buy, attend classes in their growing education department and trust that your machine is in good hands when shopping at Pocono Sew and Vac, located in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Need project supplies? Find 3,000 bolts of fabric from the best designers, collect your sewing notions and join their club to receive even greater savings on their already marked-down fabrics. Want to visit Pocono Sew & Vac? Visit our site here today to learn more!

Quilters HQ

To help you become the best quilter, stop by Quilters HQ the next time you’re ready to begin creating! Providing you with the best tools, notions, fabrics, and JUKI sewing or longarm machines, their team is prepared to help you get started today.

Since 2017, this family-owned and operated quilt shop has provided edge-to-edge quilting services, sewing and quilting classes, workshops, and a service and repair team ready to help you maintain your machine. Want a sneak peek of what Quilters HQ can offer? Check out their LIVE sew-along! Visit their Facebook site every Tuesday from 6 – 7 pm for tutorials, inspiration, new products, and more. To learn how you can visit Quilters HQ and meet their team, visit us here today!

SEW-MINI Things

What was once known as Perrine Sewing & Vacuum Center in the late 1960s in Perrine, FL, has now transformed into the beloved SEW-MINI Things in Lake County, Florida! Offering a variety of our JUKI Sewing and Long-arm sewing machine line, SEW-MINI things is ready to help you find the perfect machine for your project needs.

Here you’ll be able to find a diverse collection of 3900 bolts of fabrics, grab those notions you need for your next project, and receive expert assistance from their team when you visit their shop! To find out more about SEW-Mini Things, visit our website here today.

Southeast Sewing Products

Southeast Sewing Products, also known as Sewingmachine.com, first started in 1982 with one location in Atlanta, before 1995 when owner Mel Tramell expanded the business onto the online world! With two locations in the Atlanta area and a large warehouse, Southeast Sewing Products is ready to help you find the perfect machine by offering you the chance to test-drive your dream picks.

With over 60 years of business, owner Mel Tramell is an enthusiastic leader with a knowledgeable staff ready to teach you those tips and tricks to sewing and quilting on your new machine. Learn more by clicking here today!

The Fabric Center

Quilters all over the Midwest know about The Fabric Center! Located in Morris, Illinois, with over 7,000 bolts of fabric choices, a large variety of JUKI products, and a large assortment of quilting patterns, books, and notions quilters like you can visit knowing you’ll find what you need! In addition, their staff is ready to answer your sewing and quilting questions and help you test-drive and find the perfect machine for your space!

Enjoy the perks of buying from The Fabric Center by using their phone and in-person technical support, attending their post-purchase one-on-one machine lessons to get you comfortable with your machine’s ins and outs, and using their authorized service center when the time comes! Whether you’re a new quilter ready to dive in or an experienced quilter looking for fun new patterns and fabrics, The Fabric Center can help your project ideas come to life. Please find out more by visiting us here today!

The Sewing Machine Shop

Those familiar with the San Francisco Bay Area will love The Sewing Machine Shop! Located near many cities, this shop is ready to help quilters and sewists like you find the perfect machine and tools to help your project dreams come to life. Filled with our JUKI Sewing and Long-arm sewing machine line, you’ll easily find the suitable machine for your project needs and sewing space!

Enjoy their shop showroom and experience the machine before buying by test-driving on various fabrics and machine options. Also, sign up for their sewing class to familiarize yourself with your new machine! If a repair is needed, you can return to The Sewing Machine Shop and know your machine is in capable hands with their award-winning service department. To learn more about The Sewing Machine Shop and how you can visit, click here!

The Sew’n Place

Providing the community of Fayetteville, PA, with quilting and sewing essentials since 1982, check out The Sew’n Place! Family owned and operated, their shop goal is to help all customers that walk through their front door find the perfect machine for their project needs.

Check out their large selection of premium cotton fabrics, Horn sewing cabinets, sewing notions, rotary cutting tools, quilting supplies, books, patterns, and more! Here you’ll find the tools you need and a large selection of JUKI sewing and long-arm quilting machines ready to help you start crafting. With over 30 years of experience on their staff that offers repairs services, a wide range of sewing and quilting classes, and knowledgeable support, stop by The Sew’n Place to find your next machine! Visit us here today to learn more about The Sew’n Place and how you can visit.

The Stitching Post

Opened in 1986, The Stitching Post is here to find suitable sewing machines and fabric for your projects! Operating out of the heart of corn country, Washington, Indiana, you’ll find a wide variety of materials, books, patterns, and notions. As Southwest Indiana’s largest quilt store, they pride themselves as a space for quilters to visit and leisurely browse its extensive fabric collection and JUKI machine line!

From our long-arm quilting machines to our sergers and even direct to-garment printer RICOH Ri 100, you’ll find suitable machines for your dream projects here.

Welcoming visitors to their version of heaven, quilting in the country, you can learn more about The Stitching Post and how to visit them by going here!

Tops Vacuum and Sewing

A community name in the sewing and quilting world, Tops Vacuum and Sewing offers eleven retail locations with certified technicians and a variety of our JUKI machine line. With Tops, you’ll receive free delivery and set-up on all long arms in the continental US, free shipping on all orders over $50 in the continental US, a free Quilt Motion lesson, and so much more! These benefits make shopping with Tops Vacuum and Sewing fun and easy!

If you’re looking for a sewing machine or thinking about purchasing your sewing machine online, check out Tops Vacuum and Sewing and learn more by visiting us here today.

Village Sewing Center

If you’re located near Santa Rosa, California, it’s time to check out Village Sewing Center! Opened for more than 40 years, this sewing center offers hundreds of options for your crafts. Whether you’re working on quilts, embroidery, or creating garments, owner John Furtado pride themselves in having the basics you’ll need to get started.

Enjoy browsing a variety of JUKI sewing and quilting machine options, browse their large collection of fabric choices, and attend one of their sewing classes to learn a new skill or build a new project! Lastly, shop with comfort, knowing this shop is ready to handle your JUKI repairs and answer any technical questions! If you want to meet Village Sewing Center’s knowledgeable staff and browse their collection visit our site here for more information!

Why Shop at a National Account Dealer?

  1. One-On-One Training: Throughout the year, JUKI trainers visit these dealers to keep their staff up to date on the newest JUKI home products to help provide you with reliable support during and after your purchase.
  2. Qualified Service Department: JUKI’s National Account Retail Dealers maintain a qualified service department, which is trained on JUKI products and has direct support from JUKI America. They’ll be able to help you keep your JUKI expertly tuned up.
  3. JUKI Access: National Account Dealers have access to the entire JUKI Home Sewing product line including direct-to-garment printing, compact commercial embroidery system, longarm quilting, and tabletop quilting along with a full line of sewing machines and sergers for you to experience.

Wherever you’re located, JUKI is working on bringing you the sewing and longarm machines you love and want! Our National Account dealers are a great place to start, thanks to their goals of being your one-stop shop offering notions, fabrics, machines, and so much more. To learn more about our National account dealers and how you can visit one, check out our site here.

Meet Your JUKI National Accounts

At JUKI, we know how great it is when you find your favorite sewing shop! They’re equipped with every accessory you need, fabrics you can never say no to, or that JUKI machine you love. Today we’re going to introduce our JUKI National Accounts, dealers around you that aim to be your favorite by carrying every JUKI product! From your favorite quilting accessories to impeccable customer service, National Account JUKI dealers are there to help you on your sewing journey. Follow along below as we introduce our National Account dealers and how you can reach out to them today!

1st Sewing Center

Minnesota quilters know and love the 1st Sewing Center! Family-owned, this business has been around for over 50 years, initially established by Darrell and Lu Jensen in 1960 to help quilters and sewists in their community achieve their dreams of creating. Proud carriers of all JUKI products, they offer three locations around the state with exceptional customer service and high-quality sewing products.

Step into one of their shops and enjoy the world of options available! From your daily notions to classes and events offered to sewists like you, 1St Sewing Center is ready to help your sewing, and quilting goals come to life! Looking forward to seeing you. You can find their contact information and more by clicking here.

35th Avenue Sew & Vac

From one shop focused on vacuum sales and repairs to becoming one of the largest independent sewing machine stores and fabric businesses in the southwest, check out 35th Avenue Sew & Vac from Phoenix, Arizona! With over 30 years of business, this family-owned shop by Bill and wife Rita, as well as their daughter and son Jacquelyn and John, has been supplying customers like you with JUKI machines and beautiful fabrics all around the world.

Offering a variety of JUKI sewing machines that range from our long-arm Miyabi J-350QVP to our MO sergers, 35th Avenue Sew & Vac has created a matching variety of classes and events to inspire your creativity! Whichever hobby you love, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, or quilting, this one aims to be your one-stop shop. To learn more about 35th Avenue Sew & Vac, meet them at Rusty Barn Phoenix from January 26 – 28 or learn how you can visit them and click here today!

Angels Sewing and Vacuum Center

Learn and grow your skills with Angels Sewing and Vacuum Center in Salem, New Hampshire! Recently named Best of New Hampshire Shop by New Hampshire Magazine in 2021, customers here will find various products available. Browse and test-drive their extensive collection of JUKI sewing, quilting, embroidery, serger machines, parts, and accessories, and know your sewing machine is in capable hands with their repair services.

Enjoy their customer benefits and receive unlimited free quilting lessons and five free embroidery lessons when your purchase a machine, helping beginner quilters grow their skill one class at a time! Attend a quilt class, create at an event, or find your next machine by visiting here to learn more about Angels Sewing and Vacuum Center.

Aurora Sewing Center

Are you located in New York? Check out Aurora Sewing Center, located in East Aurora, New York! With over 40 years in business, this sewing center offers a variety of JUKI sewing and quilting machines ready to help you create!

They also offer over 300 classes each year that beginner and advanced crafters alike will love, getting you ready to create new and exciting projects! If you’re a project lover, you can enjoy this shop’s seasonal Sewing, Embroidery and Serger Clubs! With special sewing guests bringing in their unique ideas and tips, you’ll love getting a new perspective on your favorite hobbies.

To learn how you can visit Aurora Sewing Center, visit us here.

Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting

Meet one of the oldest sewing and quilt shops in Central Texas, Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting! Opened in 1953, this shop has been around for over 60 years, offering quilters and sewists like you the notions, tools, fabrics, and machines you need to help your creations come to life. With Bob Clark and his wife Ruth owning and running the business since 1984, they’ve stayed as a family-owned shop that focuses on quality service backed by decades of experience.

Known for their community outreach, Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting has continued to give back by providing their local churches with used sewing machines for community projects and donating them to Central America with their churches group! Want to check out their shop? Visit us here to find out more!

Barnes Sewing Center, INC.

Since 1978 Barnes Sewing Center’s priority has been you, the customer! With a focus on providing invaluable support, Barnes offers customers complete guide lessons on their machine or software, 20% off all notions, threads, and stabilizers, one year of free service, and a support system ready to help keep your sewing and growing.

Visit Barnes Sewing Center and find the best machine for your project needs by speaking with one of their experienced sales team members, ready to help you get what’s right for you! Visit us here to learn more about Barnes Sewing Center and how you can visit.

Blue Bars Quilts, Inc.

Modern quilters all over the country will love Blue Bar Quilts, Inc.! Focused on modern quilters located in Middleton, Wisconsin, and their shop is ready with the sewing machines and fabrics creators love and need. Offering all JUKI QVP machine models, a full line of JUKI sewing machines, sergers, long arm quilting machines, and of course, our personalization machines, the TAJIMA Sai and RICOH Ri 100, you can find everything you need to start creating today.

If you’re new to sewing and quilting, take advantage of the classes and projects offered by Blue Bar Quilts, Inc.! Offering a variety of classes that range from machine sewing to color theory, they’re ready to help you succeed in your next creation. In addition, Blue Bar Quilts, Inc. is an active member of their community, consistently giving back by hosting programs like the Days for Girls Middleton Team, receiving finished quilts for donations, and more!

So whether you’re new to sewing and looking for help finding the suitable machine for you or a creator looking for new accessories and inspiration, Blue Bar Quilts is here to help your projects come to life! Click here to learn more about the Blue Bar Quilt’s Inc. shop!

Country Stitches

Since 1982 Country Stitches has been ready to help you sew and quilt! From our Miyabi long arms to the highest quality fabrics and fun classes, this shop is ready to help your creative dreams come to life!

Know your machine is in capable hands at Country Stitches! With their three full-time, industrially skilled technicians with a combined 40 years of experience, which offer services at East Lansing and Jackson, their ready to handle your JUKI machine at any time, with a limited-time warranty promise.

Visit here to learn more about Country Stitches and how you can shop with them!

Gigi’s Fabric Shop

Gigi’s Fabric Shop of Tampa Bay, Florida, invites you to visit and enjoy the passion of quilting and sewing! Opened in 2013, Gigi, a fun nickname given by her granddaughter, opened a shop and began sharing her love and passion for sewing and quilting with the community. Here you can find our JUKI sewing and long-arm machine line surrounded by notions and designer fabrics.

Please stop in and attend sewing or quilting classes, place your children in a fun sewing program or speak with friendly and knowledgeable staff when you visit their 4200 sq. ft. shop, the perfect place for a beginner. Can’t make it to their shop? Visit them here to learn more about their JUKI Junkies online shop! And to find out how you can visit Gigi’s Fabric Shop, visit us here!

Grome’s Sewing Machine Company

Created and upheld by six generations of the Grome family, meet Grome’s Sewing Machine Company in San Antonio and Universal City, Texas! Ran by Sisters Cyndi Grome and Irma Tremillio, Grome’s is a deep-rooted Texas quilt and sewing shop that offers a perfect place to drop off your sewing machine for servicing and repairs, the opportunity to browse a large variety of JUKI products, notions, and fabrics you can’t turn away from!

If you’re new to sewing, Grome’s is ready to help your creative dreams come true! From helping you find the perfect sewing machine to offering basic sewing and quilting classes that will get your creative flow going, they’re ready to help you create every step of the way.

To learn more about Grome’s Sewing and how you can visit, read along here!

Jackman’s Fabrics Americas’ Premier Quilting and Sewing Machine Superstore

One of the longest-standing quilt and sewing shops, Jackman’s Fabrics Americas’ Premier Quilting and Sewing Machine Superstore has been locally owned and operated for 119 years and is ready to help you start creating! Offering our full JUKI line and RICOH Ri 100 direct-to-garment printer, JUKI creators from all roads can find what they need at their locations!

With fabric that ranges from quilting to home décor and then garment creation, Jackman Fabric features a wonderful selection for all creator types, including quilting notions, backings, battings, books, patterns, and supplies. Be sure to sign up for their free embroidery and sewing classes and clubs open to adults and kids! To find out more about Jackman’s Fabrics, visit us here!

Ken’s Sewing Center

Shop comfortably knowing you’re in good hands at Ken’s Sewing Center! With a full-service department and shop open for over 50 years, they’re ready to help you find your first machine or fix your favorite one! With same-day service for locals and free classes for customers, Ken’s team focuses on ensuring you’re comfortable and ready to use your machine.

Don’t worry if you’re out of state! Ken’s Sewing Center will work with customers over the phone and give instructions on how to operate your new machine just as if you had bought it in the store! They also assist with repair orders out of state, complete with a free estimate over the phone. To learn how you can shop at Ken’s Sewing Center, visit us here today!

Why Shop at a National Account Dealer?

  1. One-On-One Training: Throughout the year, JUKI trainers visit these dealers to keep their staff up to date on the newest JUKI home products to help provide you with reliable support during and after your purchase.
  2. Qualified Service Department: JUKI’s National Account Retail Dealers maintain a qualified service department, which is trained on JUKI products and has direct support from JUKI America. They’ll be able to help you keep your JUKI expertly tuned up.
  3. JUKI Access: National Account Dealers have access to the entire JUKI Home Sewing product line, including direct-to-garment printing, a compact commercial embroidery system, longarm quilting, and tabletop quilting along with a full line of sewing machines and sergers for you to experience.

Please stay updated next week as we share our other National Account Dealers with you! Whether you’re located right by one or looking for a trustworthy online shop to buy your machine from, our National Account dealers are ready to help you start creating. To learn more about our National account dealers and how you can visit one, check out our site here!

JUKI Small Business Seminar: 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Small Business

Mistakes have a bad reputation in society, and we always try to avoid them, but mistakes can be seen as a lesson. Most people are afraid of opening their own business because they don’t want to make mistakes. However, those who own a business know that mistakes happen, and what you do after that matters. 

Business mistakes don’t stop your company from succeeding, but what they can do is help you figure out where you went wrong and help you create a better plan for the next time. Of course, you can’t avoid mistakes, but you can turn them into a learning experience and build a better company from them. 

The good thing is that we can prepare for some mistakes and hopefully prevent them from happening! So today, we will go through some of the top mistakes new business owners make and how to avoid doing it yourself. 

5 Common Mistakes New Businesses Make

Mistakes happen, and that’s okay! The key to avoiding them is having prevention plans in place. Here are the common mistakes we’re going to cover today and how you can avoid them:

  1. Don’t Forget Your Business Plan
  2. Know Your Finances
  3. Don’t Spread Yourself too Thin
  4. Know Your Target Audience 
  5. Don’t Forget Your Marketing Plan

Business Plan

Before you begin your business, one of the first things you should create is your business plan. This plan alone can help you succeed and stand out from competitors. What a plan can do for you is help you build momentum by creating a clear and researched idea that you can now put into play. 

Many people who want to start their own business tend to bite the bullet and do so without constructing a plan. Unfortunately, when you don’t know your niche, finances, business model, and logistics, you’re setting yourself up for future problems. These mistakes will cost you money, time, and effort. 

To avoid these mistakes, you need to create your business plan first and identify any unknown aspects before starting. For example, how are you going to ship your products? Where are you going to buy inventory from? How will you get your product out there?

Whenever you create or do something in your business, read back on your business plan to ensure your logistics, finances, and marketing can handle it. By creating your plan and having something to reference when making changes, you can fully comprehend what is happening in your company and improve.

Know Your Finances

When you don’t know your financial health, your company could be in trouble. 

When you start your business based on a hobby, we often skip the part where we get our ducks for finances. However, ask any business owner, and they’ll tell you that knowing your finances is one of the most important things to stay on top of. 

The good thing about business math is it’s pretty simple seeing how profitable your business can be:

Profit = Demand x (Revenue – Expenses)

The thing is, these expenses are everywhere and can pile up quickly if you don’t stay on top of them. Here are some of the costs you can accumulate in your business:

  1. Operating 
  2. Marketing
  3. Product
  4. Shipping
  5. Team

Here’s an example of the profit formula in play:

Assume 10,000 people are searching for handbags online per month. If half of this audience finds your e-shop, that is 5,000 potential buyers. 

Now let’s convert these viewers at an average of between 1% and 2%; that’s 50-100 sales. So if your average order value is $100 and you have a net profit margin of 30%, your profit will be anything between $1,500 and $3,000 per month. 

While these are rough estimates, if you’ve done the math on your product or service, you know what to expect once sales begin. Avoid common financial mistakes by keeping track of your potential profits and cash flow using the above formula.

Need help creating your business finance budget? Check out our article here on how to make your budget and calculate profit today. 

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

While it can be exciting to open up your shop, one of the common mistakes many make is selling too many products. We know that when one item doesn’t sell well, our first response could be to add new and exciting products, but this isn’t always the best solution.

Remember to focus on your brand, not the products, when it comes to deciding what merchandise you’re going to sell in your shop. For example, if your brand focuses on a niche for handbags, you shouldn’t post products that aren’t related, like pet accessories or gadgets. Knowing your brand and audience is how you’ll obtain sales. 

A better example of adding a product is if you create handbags, you can add new products like wallets. It keeps within your niche and stays true to your brand. Spreading yourself thin with by-products can often be due to not knowing your brand or audience well, so it’s best to plan out what products you’d want to create first, then make and add them.

Know Your Target Audience 

When you’re planning your business, take into account who your target audience is. The best research for this will lead you in the right direction for what products to create and where you can reach your audience. It’s easier to create a product for an established niche than to create a place for a product. 

When it comes to researching your niche, keep in mind to review their numbers and analytics and how to interact with them. Keeping up with your niche can assist you in making sales, updating or creating new products, and building that connection between your business and the consumer. 

Remember, even niches have niches, and finding your ideal customer can take time and research. 

Have trouble finding your niche? Check out our article here for some tips to start today.

Don’t Forget Your Marketing Plan

You could have the best product in the world, but without proper marketing, no one will know about it. So if you’re setting up your online shop, that should mean you have a business plan ready. Within this should be your target audience. Creating your marketing plan should be easy once you know who your customers are! 

Keep in mind that if you don’t know who your customers are or where to find them, you will have a difficult time creating a marketing plan. 

Try and focus on a well-rounded marketing plan that hits all corners of your niche. Of course, some channels will have more traffic than others, which is okay! However, whatever channels you decide to market on, make sure that they receive the focus needed to get your brand and product out there. Whether organic (non-paid) or non-organic (paid advertising), ensure your plan is in place before opening your shop.

Have trouble creating a marketing plan? Check out our article here on how to write your marketing plan today. 

Mistakes Happen, Be Prepared! 

Don’t let mistakes be taboo for you and your company. No one can predict when things will go sideways, but we can be prepared and ready to bring it right back on track. Keep in mind these tasks below when it’s time to start your small business:

  1. Make sure to create a business plan
  2. Keep up with finances and have a budget ready. 
  3. Focus on what products are essential, and stay away from stretching yourself too thin. 
  4. Know who your niche is and how to reach them
  5. Create your marketing plan before setting up a shop

These tasks may take some hard work, but you’ll be happier with the success rate of your company and the comfort of having something to follow along with or fall back on when those mistakes happen.

Are you ready to start planning your business? Join us here to learn more about how JUKI can help you become your own boss today!

It’s Always Halloween with Christina O.

With the fall season upon us and our favorite spooky holiday around the corner, we’re here to introduce Christina O, owner, and designer of Agashi! A handmade collection, the Agashi style focuses on modern gothic apparel & accessories; intended for those who love to celebrate Halloween every day of the year. Join us this month as we get to discover the history of how Agashi came to be and how Christina found her passion for fashion and running her shop.

From a young age, Christina became obsessed with sewing and crafting. From creating outfits that her Barbie dolls could wear to upcycling projects on her mother’s old Kenmore, Christina would constantly find a way to work on her craft. Then, with dreams of leaving her small town after high school to become a fashion designer, she focused on what she would need to do to achieve her goals.

Classic & Bat Wing Kiminos

Coming from a family where becoming a fashion designer seemed more like a faraway dream than reality, Christina was prepared to do everything it took. Evaluating her options, she entered her community college before transferring to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for their fashion merchandising program. While her path to becoming a fashion designer changed for Christina and may have been different than she planned, her dream is still happening!

“It wasn’t going to happen easily for someone like me, and I was prepared to do whatever it took. Not having many resources will force you to become resourceful.”

While Christina admits she would’ve chosen the path of the self-taught designer over school, her hard work was beginning to pay off. After college, her downtime was focused on sewing and creating. However, after trying her hand at creating accessories for her shop, she soon realized apparel was her favorite project to focus on. By Halloween of 2010, she was able to move to Philadelphia, where she ended up meeting her future husband, Paul.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Christina launched her current fashion brand Agashi! With only $50 worth of material, she was able to put together a few harnesses and kawaii-style dresses for the first few months of her shop opening. Over the next couple of years, Christina would go on to add theatrical crinoline pieces and obtain some of her first custom-order customers, burlesque performers! This success was a step in the right direction, leading to her career change in 2015, where she could quit her day job and place all her focus on her brand.

Battress Gown

It was in 2017 when Christina and Paul moved into their first home in Philadelphia. Agashi began growing faster than ever, surpassing their home space and pushing Christina to open up her first official studio space in 2018, including shop assistants. While the shop continued to see great success over the next couple of years, 2020 brought the shop to a slow down, causing Agashi to be brought back home after closing the studio due to the pandemic.

Due to Christina’s passion for the business, Agashi is still live and running! She also launched her first YouTube channel for sewing, DIY, and Behind the Seams content during the summer of 2020, creating a new connection to her community of followers and new sewists. During this time, she began modeling a new path for her business, one where her passion for creating fashion and teaching sewing skills could intermix. Now, Agashi offers smaller quantities of made-to-order wear at faster turnaround times, allowing Christina to slow down and push her passion for teaching into the mix.

One focus about Agashi that never changed was sustainable fashion. While she acknowledges that not everyone has the financial ability to only buy made-to-order, Christina sees sustainable fashion as “buying with a purpose and purging clothes slower.” To avoid over-production, Christina focuses on creating made-to-order pieces and upcycles 90% of her fabric scrap pieces when sewing.

“My entire process is slow, intimate, and intentional. I’m grateful to have customers who invest in my custom pieces. They aren’t ordering for instant gratification, but rather an affordable luxury item they can cherish.”

Battrix Velvet Bralette (made 100 from upcycled velvet scraps)

Avoiding offers from manufacturers, the quality of her work and products is what Christina focuses on when creating her apparel. With each project feeling personal, she continues to place a lot of thought, time, and labor into each stitch of her pieces. Her dedication and message seep into her packaging with a handwritten thank you note, sustainable packaging, and self-sewn reusable gift bags.

While the shop’s plans for sales may have changed, her fashion design hasn’t! Those lovers of the gothic aesthetic and Halloween can find a piece they’ll love in Christina’s shop. Christina was inspired by cinema with darker themes like Addams Family Values, The Dark Crystal, and The Return to Oz. She found herself naturally drawn to the characters portrayed, connecting to the “weirdos” of the films. As someone who grew up having trouble making friends, finding a connection in these films inspired her to design fashion for grown-up sizes. With a variety of minimal designs, horror lovers like herself can easily wear fashion with spider webs and bat wings, celebrating their gothic ways!

Her style inspiration can also be pinpointed to vintage lingerie catalogs and old runway shots from McQueen, Mugler, and Gaultier. Victorian and Rococo fashion inspire Christina heavily over today’s fashion, feeling that the style now is only a repetition of the past.

“Agashi is for anyone who celebrates Halloween once a year or every day.”

It’s this niche design and theme that brings attention to Christina’s shop, where lovers of all Goth and horror can find fashion pieces that fit within the modern world. Thanks to social media, Christina has been able to build a community of over 100 thousand followers that have followed along the journey to where the business is today. Whether they’ve followed because they found interest in the shop, or her recent videos showcasing tips and tricks to sewing, she’s been able to utilize these platforms to grow her business and expand her brand awareness.

Ayumi Seifuku Classic Collection

As a business owner focused on social media for branding, she consistently posted content multiple times a week that revolved around her work and brand aesthetic. With Instagram being her platform, she’s focused on showcasing her work and her as a creator and behind-the-scenes looks. Focusing on building that connection between her customers and art is one of the reasons she’s been successful, with social media allowing her to connect with other creators, customers, and sewists.

While today’s social media can be more brutal to gain popularity on, Christina’s advice is to diversify your social media presence and focus on platforms that will help build your community. She recommends focusing on video content that’s popular right now and seeing how you can share behind the scene looks or process videos, as viewers will always love feeling like they can relate to you! Sites like Tiktok and YouTube are her favorites. This is thanks to their ease to use and the sewing communities that have been built.

Her new focus on sewing tutorials and tips is an excellent passion for Christina. When asked about her current sewing machine choices and what she would recommend for a new sewist, she reminded us that finding the perfect machine is just like dating!

“You want to know what you’re looking for and find the best machine to match your sewing needs and goals. And yes, just like dating, you will be disappointed with some machines.”

Her first tip for new sewists is to find a second-hand or vintage machine. Focusing on budget-friendly when entering a new hobby will allow you to get a taste of the craft while letting you hone your skills. A few basics, like a straight & zigzag stitch and a buttonhole feature, are perfect when starting off. Once you feel more comfortable or your skills begin outgrowing your machine, you can start focusing on upgrading and buying the suitable machine for you. For Christina, this answer comes in a rotation of 3 domestic sewing machines, 4 sergers, and 1 coverstitch machine, one being her trusty TL-2000Qi!

Greta Peignoir

It was in August 2020 when she searched for a “straight stitching beast,” focusing on the features wishlist, the budget, and the space, she chose the TL-2000Qi. Looking for industrial power that would fit her studio space, Christina loves its power and the finished quality of her projects when she creates on it, using it for her final seams on every order. Her dream goal? All industrial JUKI machines!

Beyond her tips and tricks for sewing, Christina also has advice for sewists out there who plan to open their small businesses. “Always invest in yourself and learn from your mistakes,” she says, encouraging those out there to keep investing in their passion and to never stop learning. While Christina earned a degree in Fashion Merchandising, she still acclaims herself as a self-taught sewist and designer. She encourages you to find your best path, whether it be fashion school or self-taught, and to learn at your own pace to enjoy the journey.

Focus on building relationships with those in your community, and choose it over the competition. Christina focuses on finding her own identity and experiments by not comparing herself to others. Because of this, she’s been able to plan the new future for Agashi. With a new effort to prioritize her mental health, Agashi will begin scaling down on made-to-order apparel and start focusing on teaching sewing next year. This will include DIY sewing kits for clothing and accessories and focus on those who don’t have many resources to learn sewing beside the internet.

“There is plenty of space for everyone to succeed together.”

Grateful to the community she’s been able to build and proud of how the brand has grown and evolved over the years, Christina and her brand Agashi will continue to flourish in the fashion industry! We can’t wait to see the new changes soon to come, and we’re excited to learn alongside her followers! If you love Halloween or want to learn new sewing tips and tricks, join us in following Christina’s journey below and wishing her a Happy Halloween!

Find Agashi and Christina below!

Agashishop.com

Instagram

Facebook

Etsy (Paper Bats)

Tiktok

Pinterest

Starting Your Sewing or Quilting Blog

Have you wanted to start your own blog? In today’s post, we’ll teach you steps you can follow for creating your own blog today. Businesses, creators, influencers, and more can all benefit from having a blog. With this channel being a great way to back up your expertise, share your story, and inspire others, having a blog is the perfect addition to any business. Follow along as we go over what a blog is, where you can start yours, and tips for designing and writing your post.

What is a blog?

A blog can be many things. For some, a blog is a journal documenting their journey. For others, it’s a great way to promote their business plans and products. Focused on a specific topic, a blog is more personal than a news outlet and pushes toward creators having a deeper connection with their audiences. Whether we’re sharing our passions, teaching others, hoping to make money, or a combination of all of them, blogging can be a fun and rewarding venture.

Anyone can start a blog! Readers enjoy blogs because of the different personal perspectives they gain. With an informal and conversational style at the forefront, you can write about various topics without needing to be an expert, just a new view. In addition, readers want to know about your experience with techniques, projects, products, and more.

Now that you know what a blog is let’s start planning yours!

Blogging is also a commitment. You can choose the regularity for your posting; some will do it weekly, some monthly, depending on your preference and audience. The aim should be consistent and create content that people want to see. Bloggers rarely see results when they first begin, but those who stick to the idea find themselves in a new community.

Step 1: Naming Your Blog

Your blog name is a small preview of what readers can expect to find on your page. First, think about what you want to call your blog. Yourname.com? Yourbussinessname.com? Maybe you want to title the blog something creative and different and use a wordplay name like “That’s Sew Susy.” Get fun and creative when creating a name so it can stand out! Once you’ve written down a few ideas, the next step is confirming the domain name is free.

You can check with multiple ways to confirm if the blog idea is free. Depending on what platform you use to create the blog, they’ll have a check system that will inform you whether or not the idea is available. Some tips to keep in mind if your idea is being used, try different extensions (like .org or .net), or add small fluff words like “my,” “a,” or “best” (SewSusy.com vs. ThatsSewSusy.com).

Remember, most blog sites will offer a free domain with their site on front; (wordpress.thatssewsusy.com.) If you’d like to have a domain with only the blog name, this will cost a monthly or yearly fee; depending on the platform’s options.

Step 2: Finding Your Niche and Topic

Let’s go through those blog ideas now! While there are a wide array of blogs out there, there are always readers looking for new perspectives. So when it comes to choosing the topic for your blog, pick a topic that allows you to consistently create content without burning out the idea. The more breathing space you allow yourself, the more content you’ll be able to create posts that readers are interested in.

For example, if we’re creating a quilting blog, we don’t focus on only sharing patterns. Instead, by covering cover quilting as a whole and including pieces like projects, behind-the-scenes, how-to’s, personal messages, and more, readers get personal while learning new ways to approach their interests.

Keep in mind that blogs can often lead to opportunities for monetization. Whether through advertisements or connecting the blog to an e-shop, you want the message to align with your future goals. Just like creating videos for YouTube, or content for social media, look for what solutions and perspectives your blog can offer that differ from others out there.

Step 3: Hosting Your Blog

Once you’ve settled on the blog’s name and general topic, it’s time to research host sites. To fully create a blog online, you’ll need a hosting program and blogging program; luckily, these two programs usually come in a package deal.

The host is the website that readers will access. All your blogs will be stored and organized according to tags and design. On the other hand, the blog software is where you’ll write up and design the content for readers.

Below are 3 recommendations for hosting and building your blog. Each offers package deals that allow you to host and create your blog in one location.

WordPress.com: Designed to let you build your blog quickly, WordPress allows users to upload and manage media, text, blog posts, and eCommerce products online. Completely free and open to anyone who wishes to download the program, WordPress is both popular and influential.

Completely hosted by Automattic, bloggers only need to choose a free or paid plan and the domain. All other aspects of hosting are handled by Automattic and WordPress directly. Easy to use and set up, WordPress offers creators a variety of template designs that can be edited to fit their theme and topic. You can also include plug-ins for an eCommerce store, blogs, social media channels, and more.

There are multiple payment plan options, ranging from freelance bloggers to businesses requiring more storage and freedom in design and coding. Powerful, WordPress is known for being one of the top blog sites for creators.

Wix.com: Wix offers accessible design features and free or paid subscriptions for your site. In addition, you can easily add in media content like videos, photos, and PDFs, as well as a variety of applications that can interwork into the blog. In this case, you can easily add applications for e-shops, reservations, and so much more.

Like WordPress, Wix offers blog creators an opportunity to host and build their blog on one site. In addition, their site will offer full technical support, even on free accounts, and has a beautiful SEO system to help you get your blog up on search platforms.

Squarespace.com: Stylish and easy to edit, Squarespace is comparable to WordPress for its power and popularity. Offering over 140 template designs for your blog, Squarespace focuses on keeping a clean design for their sites, adapting the screen size for tablet and phone users on its own. Like the two programs stated above, users can host and create their blogs on one site.

The only cons of working with Wix is that larger websites exceeding 50 individual pages experience slow loading or difficulty. You’ll need to look for alternatives like WordPress for a more prominent website host.

Squarespace offers bloggers the opportunity to create teams with multi-author functionalities, engage readers with their comment features, and allows you to easily organize and schedule your blog posts. Thanks to their Squarespace application for bloggers, you can also blog on the go! With a larger page limit than Wix, hosting up to 400 pages while containing excellent resolution and speed, Squarespace can be a great alternative to WordPress for your website needs.

The cons of working with Squarespace are that you can’t create a large assortment of menu items, as this will slow to load down, and all save when editing automatically publishes onto the website in real-time.

Once you’ve decided on your host and blog site, you can begin designing! Look for designs that relate to your topic and theme while offering easy navigation for readers and a clean look. All programs we’ve recommended above come with built-in templates that can be edited and improved according to your needs.

Step 4: Writing a Blog and Publishing

Let’s begin with setting the site up and creating the content readers should view when they first find your blog. Some basics to set up on your blog are the about page, contact page, and any other page readers should browse with your focus.

Other items you can add to the site include a photo of yourself, a logo, images, a comment section, your social media channels, and other applications to which you’d like readers to have direct links. Your blog represents yourself and the topic you’ve chosen, so make sure to have fun designing and personalizing the site!

Moving on to the blogs themselves, focus on being informative and engaging! Our top recommendation for bloggers is to create a supply of idea topics and plan ahead to ensure you’re always on track for posting. Remember, consistency is what builds your blog following. Using a calendar or spreadsheet is perfect for keeping those ideas organized and will help the creative process go smoother.

When you write your blog, there are key aspects you should focus on like post titles, engaging and lengthy information, original content, and editing. No matter what topic you focus on, having an intriguing article title will bring a reader’s attention. Likewise, having engaging and informative information in your article while keeping it personal and including your perspectives will keep readers coming back.

Need ideas for your blog post? View below for posts you can include in your schedule.

  • Curated content: Focusing on your niche, these blog posts gather valuable pieces of information that readers are interested in learning about.
  • Topical content: stay in touch with current events and topics in your niche! Readers will enjoy seeing your perspective on current happenings in your community.
  • Visual content: Incorporate photos, videos, sound clips, and more to engage readers beyond reading.
  • Feature pieces: Interview popular creators and businesses in your niche! Networking and spotlighting others in your community is a great way to meet new friends and bring new readers to your site that are in the interviewee’s community. 
  • Evergreen content: answer your blog posts’ questions and educate readers on your niche topics.
  • Interactive content: Countdowns, quizzes, word finds, giveaways, and so much more will encourage audiences to interact with your site and blog. In doing so, they’ll help your SEO and give you a better insight into who your readers are.

Step 5: Getting Your Blog Out There

Now that your blog is running let’s get some readers! The first step is creating a plan to promote your blog. Then, follow along as we go over strategies you can implement to start getting your blog out there.

  • Word of Mouth: Contact your friends, family members, and colleagues to tell them about your new blog! By asking them to visit, read and follow, you’ll begin getting your site out there and raising awareness. Encourage them to share your blog posts, and don’t forget to thank them!
  • Social Media: Whether you use your personal page, or create a business solely for the blog, getting your blog link onto top social sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest is the place to start. Post relevant photos, videos, and announcements for your blog on these sites to bring attention to your brand and writing. Asking friends and family members to share your profile and links will multiply your reach and help you gain that following you’re looking for.

Another significant aspect of social media is networking and using their search systems to your advantage! Reach out to other members of your niche, and use notions like hashtags and profile tags, to raise your posts on the algorithms.

  • Interacting with other creators: One way to create a name for yourself in a community is by interacting with other creators’ content. Leave comments, like their posts, re-share and more to begin building those connections within the community.

When you build these connections, you have a higher chance of broadening your audience and the opportunity to speak with others in your niche. In addition, this is an opportunity to create bonds leading to future collaborations and new projects.

  • Interacting with your readers: Let them know you care and interact with them! Whether liking their posts, replying to comments, or discussing your blog topics, readers like to know the author cares about their community.
  • Post regularly and keep in contact: Consistency is vital when building your blog. So create that calendar we mentioned and follow a routine for posting. This will keep readers engaged and waiting for a new post each time. Also, don’t forget to create an email list! This way, you can keep in direct contact with your readers and keep them updated when new posts or news about your brand are happening.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Blog!

Whether you created this blog for your small business, or your hobbies and passions, remember to enjoy the creative process! While building your audience at first can be difficult, remember these projects take time. So post regularly, engage with your community, plan ahead, and you’ll begin seeing your audience and opportunities grow.

Focus on creating content you’re proud of; remember, this project can be a stepping stone to new opportunities!