Your company sent you to Melbourne to check out the Australian International Furniture Fair. Your company specializes in furniture made from the highest-grade timber. You’re there to find out about the latest style from that market and determine whether there are concepts your company can adapt.
Apart from the furniture industry, representatives from other sectors were also present. You met someone who owns a small custom drapery business in the city. He told you his story about how he started his business and how people in and around the furniture industry played a crucial role in his success.
You’ve been thinking of going on your own and establishing your business, but your full-time employment is preventing you from focusing on it. This trip to Australia and the conversation with your new friend re-ignited the flame on setting up your business. A custom drapery business seems like a good idea. How does one start it?
Is it meant to beautify a home or space? Is it about managing how light enters your living room or your office? Or is it about maintaining privacy?
It’s probably all-of-the-above. Experts emphasize, however, that curtains or drapes play a significant role in conveying the true atmosphere and energy of a room. A set of bad cloth flowing down from the ceiling to floor can negatively charge a room.
As a curtain-maker, these are some of the critical concepts you need to understand.
Curtains and drapes are often used interchangeably. But technically speaking, curtains have different measurements, while draperies always drop from the ceiling to the floor. That’s one basic out of the way, but here are a few more things to focus on when starting your business:
- Consult with professionals. Talk to professionals in related businesses, like interior decorators, owners of textile stores, and even furniture makers. Pick their brains by asking them to tell stories about their experiences with their clients. Gain insights from interior decorators about how to create moods using fabric or colors. How do you bring out the idea of romance or tropical or casual in a room environment? Your conversations with fellow professionals in related industries will help you find answers.
- Learn. You need to learn the basics of understanding and using different colors together and improve your knowledge of sewing. Invest in short courses or lessons to boost your credentials.
- Sourcing fabrics. Find suppliers that can give you a reduced price on fabric. The cost of your purchase is factored into your design. The cheaper the value of your material, the more profits you make. Alternatively, you can include as part of your business model for customers to provide their material. You will then have more leeway to give a higher price for your design that would still be reasonable for your customers.
- Stay fluid with your ideas. Write down or draw every design idea that comes to mind. Compile them on your notebook (yes, the spiral one with paper) or a tablet. This could be your portfolio of ideas that you can showcase to your customers.
The critical phases, of course, are to complete your business plan, register your business, and develop a marketing strategy. These four key ideas will set you in the right direction.