Costume, Business & Youtube: A Panel/ #CoSy2021

Costume, Business & Youtube: A Panel/ #CoSy2021

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B: Hello welcome to the business  CoSy chat! So, starting with Lina,   introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about  you where you're based and your business. L:   I’m Lina, as loud cars are going past! I’m Lina,  my business is very imaginatively named Lina   Piprek Design which is my full name. My channel  is also just called Lina Piprek and I occasionally   do commissions mostly corsets and bridal and I’ve  started in this past year working on doing digital   sewing patterns. I’ve started writing a book also  about sewing and I’m based in the UK. M: Hi, so  

I’m Marion. I’m from France and I live in Grenoble  in the French alps. I’m a seamstress for hire so   my specialty is 18th and 19th century and corsetry  I do bridal gowns and a lot of alterations. J: HI I’m Joanna I run Blue Lady Couture um  it's not my business and that's also the name   of my YouTube channel. I’m based in the UK but  I do have clients all over the world, I send   my orders all over the world. I do all sorts from  historical through to kind of a steampunk cosplay   and I do a bit of vintage and some more  modern kind of bridal wear piece. T:  

I’m Tiffany of Stitchin' Addiction and that's  the name of my business and the name of my   YouTube channel. I do commissions for specifically  regency era and the mid Victorian era for mostly   women I do some girls designs as well and I  am based in the USA, specifically in Texas.   M: I’m sorry I just realized I forgot  to say I’m Green Martha online! B:   I’ll put everyone's handles and stuff in the  description down below. I’m Beth I’m the host   of this panel. I’m based in the UK and I do  mainly patterns and some ready to wear stuff.  

I have done some commissions but I’m kind of  moving away from commissions now and just doing   finished pieces. Second question, What is your  sub and view count? An estimate is absolutely fine   and we'll start with Marion. M: So I just passed  800 subs like around now it goes up and down a   little so I’m around that. View counts can  vary a lot because I do sewing videos and I   also do bullet journal videos and those have very  different view counts in general. I have one I had  

one video past 4k, that's a max I got for now. J:  On YouTube my subscriber count is currently at 430   I believe and like Marion my views can vary  at the moment depending on what video it is.   My best performing video um I have over 3k  views on it but generally I’m sitting around   sort of just under 100 to over 100 depending on  the video. T: I have around 360 subscribers and   I mine is fairly new I just started last year. My  view count greatly varies too just like you guys,   like my most popular is up in the 1300s and then  all the way down to like some of the least popular   ones are like 30 or 40 views so it really  depends on like what Green Martha was saying,   it's what type of video it is too. It seems  like certain ones are more popular than  

others. B: For you what kind of videos do you  find are more popular? Like making videos or?   T: Yeah, the tutorials like the making ones are  really popular and the ones that have been the   most popular are the ones that have to do  with corsets, stays etc and then this one   really surprised me, the corded petticoat. I  think that's actually my top video right now. B: Interesting and Lina? L: I have just shy  of 4 000 subscribers at the minute I think   like four or five to go which is very exciting.  view count I mean like everyone said it varies   hugely by video. I think the sewing ones generally  have nearly a thousand up to a couple thousand.   B: Is there a particular video of yours that  just kind of surpasses the rest? L Yeah, I did a   corset video and well not quite corset myths  but about corsets in films specifically and   why actresses complain about them and  that has 85,000 I think which baffles me   a little bit. M: It's well deserved go watch it  if you haven't! B: I think anything with the word  

'corset' in is like automatic algorithm fodder.  How much business do you get from your YouTube,   if you are if you are able to quantify  it? We'll start with Joanna. J:   In terms of actual sales, I don't think  I have anything you know in terms of it. I did start YouTube with the understanding that  I would be probably reaching a different audience   to what my usual client base are, who would  commission me to make items but at the same   time I realized that YouTube was also a very  good um platform to support my clients and show   things to my clients as well. So I’ve got kind  of a crossover but I certainly don't think I do   actually get any sort of commissions through  YouTube. T: So it's very similar to what Joanna   was saying. I knew when I started mine I would  get a different reach. I kind of was doing it  

to play with the fact of are people interested in  paying for the type of tutorials that I’m offering   and I also offer some simple downloadable patterns  through my YouTube, but what I didn't realize   was that I get a lot of traffic to my shop  from my YouTube, like a surprising amount.   I actually just started asking my customers  when they order from me 'How did you find me?'   and I haven't gotten any answers yet of YouTube,  so far it's been like Etsy or Instagram but I’ll   be curious to see once I get a good number  of them to start breaking down percentages   of how many people actually found me through  YouTube. So I don't have anything quantifiable   but I do know that people are going to my  shop from YouTube through Google analytics L: So the digital sewing patterns, all of my  sales from those are through YouTube because   I’m not advertising them anywhere else. Those were  sort of created in conjunction with the channel. As far as commissions, most of my commissions  have still in the past year been real life. I   do have one at the moment that I’m doing  because someone found me through YouTube   but then I’ve sort of stopped doing  as many commissions at the moment M: So I haven't got any commissions yet  from YouTube but I have got inquiries   and it means it's part of more general strategy to   get more SEO. So, people find me on one platform  and then they will follow me on Instagram or   Facebook, so it's kind of difficult to know  exactly for some people where they come from   but there's definitely a lot of them who find me  through Google, and YouTube is part of that. B:  

So I know we kind of touched  on this a little bit already   but do you design your videos around your  business or your business around your videos?   do you have an idea for a video first and then  it kind of goes from there maybe a product or   a pattern or whatever or do you come up with the  product and pattern first you know do all your   mock-ups and things like that and then make  a video on it. We'll start with Tiffany. T:   So, I actually come up with the products first.  The YouTube video was like the last addition to   my business basically and so at that point  I just decided to do videos based around   things I was already working on and one of my  logics is that if I give them the tutorial and the   free downloadable pattern and then they find it's  too challenging they know where to come to buy it. L: Oh I do a bit of both I think because I sort  of set up my channel as a whole, together with   shifting focus on my business so it's all sort of  mixed together, but with the patterns specifically   I do pick things that I think would do well as  YouTube videos and then go and make the pattern   and make a video about making the final thing.  Then with the book I’m planning on doing a   video series that's like  the making of that and that is the other way around. B: That's fine it's  a good way to do it, having a bit of both.

Marion? M: So I make the video and it goes pretty  much between the cracks in the rest of the work   like Tiffany. The YouTube channel is the latest  addition to my business so I usually film personal   projects that I am doing and I think will be  interesting. So I don't film everything I do,   sometimes I will just talk about one  part of a project and I try to have   a focus not just I’m making this. I can  show the alteration and pattern making   or how I will decorate one bit. I try  to have a general arc to the video  

so usually I have a project and then I decide  I can make the video out of it, but it can be   the other way around for collabs when someone  suggests a sew-along or a collaboration and the   topic is something that excites me like I can pick  up a project that wasn't originally on my list. That's not to say that I will  change my whole schedule just to do   something with other people but if  I find it interesting and exciting   I say yeah okay I add it to the  schedule and make the project. J: I’m kind of probably a bit like Marion, a lot  of the projects I film for YouTube are kind of my   personal sewing projects. There's sometimes  the projects that I can share a bit more,   kind of behind the scenes. I feel a bit more  comfortable if I’m filming something where perhaps   I’m not quite so professional. You know, if I make  mistakes and things like that I don't want to be  

sharing that kind of thing obviously working  on customer projects. Also if I’m working on   bridal garments or anything like that then I can't  show those on film. So I do tend to try and focus   on some projects that are for me, experimenting  on new ideas or new techniques but I do try and   sort of filter that with stuff that is more  relevant to my business side of things, where the   sort of the products I make showcasing how I make  some of those products. Then again, like Marion,   if something comes up you know that like peaks  my interest I will probably go off down that   rabbit hole. I do try and have a vague plan of  projects that I want to film throughout the year   and I started off really well at the beginning  of the year but then I just got distracted by   'oh that's really interesting'. I do try and  look at my statistics on YouTube as well,   so you look behind the scenes and you can see the  keywords that people are searching for to find you   and the sort of YouTube vloggers that  I follow. Her channel is all about how  

you kind of get successful on YouTube  and one of the things she recommends is   using those keywords to see how people are finding  you and kind of thinking about what other videos   you can make that fit into that algorithm. So I do try to do a little bit of that but yeah,   I’m still quite a new channel so it's all  kind of all over the place and I’m sort of   trying to find where I sit if that makes sense. B: Yes, that definitely makes sense, the problem   is with creators and sewers especially,  is you end up with a list of things that   you want to make as long as your arm. It's  just like, I want to start all of this stuff  

and you just do not have the time physically to  do it and that's kind of annoying sometimes. J:   I mean that's one of my other things as  well is that because I do this full time and   I say working for clients it's finding  the time to obviously sew for myself.   It's really hard so that kind of influences you.  You know, I would love to, like some Youtubers,   put out a video of what they're making every  week but that's just absolutely impossible for   me. There's just no way I could do that so  I’m sort of filtering in other interesting   subjects to kind of keep my channel bubbling  along and kind of keep content coming out. B:   Okay so we you know we make videos and stuff and  we've touched on this a little bit before but what   are your stances on commissions? Obviously  we want to dedicate a good amount of time to   making videos on content and things, but do you  do commissions? Do you take whatever comes in?   Do you have a set of slots every year or do  you just go no I’m not doing commissions,   I can't deal with the unpredictability of  it, which is kind of my stance on it just   the unpredictability of it. Things go wrong and it  just ruins everything, but we'll start with Lina.

L: Particularly when I was still working  in costume shops for theater and film   and things like that because I wanted to  have like my own business so any chance   to feel like I was getting closer  to that I sort of grabbed on to,   but as I’ve spent like more time and over the past  year I I’m taking less now even though I guess   theoretically I have more time just because it's  not the direction that I see my business going.   I would rather put my time into something  like a digital pattern which is going to be   like this digital thing that sits there  indefinitely rather than spending that time making   one single garment that's for one person that's  only sold to the one time. So I’m doing less now   basically. B: Yeah that's pretty much the same as  me, just you know I think everyone should at least   try to and they might really enjoy it. Like,  problems will come up and they'll solve the   problems and that'll make them feel great and  everyone should try it I think. For some people  

they just don't like it. Marion what about  you? Do you take on commissions? M: Yeah I’ve   gone the opposite way a little so I started  making some ready-to-wear and small scale   accessories and I wasn't comfortable doing it so  I decided to phase that out and work mostly on   made to measure and made to order. I work mainly  with people coming to me. There's also the fact   that I’m the last seamstress doing alterations in  my town, no one else is doing it so I have people   calling me and asking if I was doing alterations  and doing small jobs. They had no one to do it, so  

I just can't let them just throw away a perfectly  fine sweater just because the zipper is broken.   So there's some eco-conscious part to this because  I don't like the idea of creating stock and   creating items that might not sell and that will  take space in my home because I work from home. So   right now, I’m just mostly working on commissions  and alterations and in the future I would like to   go, like Lina, maybe the road of patterns and  digital things but that's a further away goal. J: So my business is entirely commission based  and I did originally start out like Marion,   I was also making kind of pieces for stock but it  was just a completely impractical business model   because, like Marion said, I would end up seeing  they were perfectly good items but they wouldn't   sell and it's not because there's nothing wrong  with the item but because it's in a set size and a   set colour you know unless you find that perfect  right person for it or you've got a big enough   reach that you can reach enough people, you know  that you can't sell those kind of things easily.   It's a very hard business model to follow I felt.  So with the advent of Etsy and selling on Etsy,  

it's just easier to make to people's  kind of specifications a little bit more.   So I have a set range of, on Etsy in particular  I have a set range of of styles for people to   choose from and then they can pick their colour,  sometimes the trim colours and then they send me   their measurements and then I make it to  measurements. Then I have my more bespoke   side as well which tends to be more for my UK  based clients, so mostly all commissions for me. 

T: I have gone from ready to wear to commissions.  I started out, just well let me back up, I love to   sew and I have like a million ideas, like we were  talking about and it was too much like I couldn't   use all of them and my family was tired of all  of them. So I just started like listing them on   Etsy to sell them but, like some of the other  people have already mentioned, the problem is   that some of them are perfectly good designs but  because of the size or the colour they never sell   so I actually switched to mostly commissions  about a year, maybe a year and a half ago,   and that actually sells way better  than my ready to wear stuff was before   and I actually really like it because I grew up  fitting my mother who has pretty severe scoliosis   and so fitting challenges are like a puzzle for  me to figure out as well as like design challenges   and so I actually really like the commission side  just because it gives me a chance to experiment   with fitting different sizes and body shapes and  different designs and all of mine almost is long   distance very few are local so that adds another  challenge to it that I’ve really enjoyed. I do,   like Joanna, have a specific set of designs that  people can generally pick from and then once in a   while somebody will message me and be like can we  add this to this or do this and then I just have   fabric in stock that they can choose from and then  if they want their own fabric they pay an extra   fee for finders fee for me to find that fabric. B: Okay, this question comes with a caveat of   a lot of people who are watching, you know, sew  for a hobby and you do not need to monetize your   hobb,y no matter what people say. They  might admire your work so much but you  

do not need to monetize your hobby if you do  not want to. I just want to put that out there   but I want to ask you guys, and some  of you have already touched on it,   why you decided to monetize your  hobby. I’m going to start with Marion. M: So I was in a very privileged  position where we had financial stability   no matter what, thanks to my husband and some  other income. So the university degree I got  

led me to a job that was literally killing me so  I ran I found another job but it wasn't making   as much money as I would have paid for child  care, once I had two kids so I decided if I had   if I was not going to bring in any money at  least I could have fun and do what I loved.   J: Why did I start? I don't know why I started.  Dressmaking and kind of designing and my   passion for costumes, I’ve always had since I was  a child. It's kind of what I always wanted to do   when I had the option of going to onto  further studies or college and university,   I went down the fashion studies  route but I never really knew   what exactly I wanted to do. I always had my eye  on bridal wear I fancy doing bridal wear design  

but I quickly realized that that's such a  challenging industry to establish yourself in.   Or if you want to work in the industry,  say for a brand or something like that   it would mean completely uprooting from where  I was and at the time, when I left university   I was engaged to my now husband and we were just  setting up home together and so I didn't want   to do the whole going off to London or you know  wherever to to pursue a career in that respect.   So yes, I just kind of fell into it. I said,  I can design, I can set up my own business.   It seems like such a simple thing to do. Looking  back now I probably wouldn't have done it that way   but yeah I am here now how are we going to do it?  T: So I touched on mine kind of in my last answer.  

I was just sewing so much that I had to find  another outlet for it but also I’m a teacher and   everyone knows that teachers burn out, at least  in the USA, That's a big problem, as well as you   always feel like you're walking a very fine line  as an educator because educators can get fired for   pretty simplistic reasons here in the USA and so I  just kind of wanted a back pocket plan. So that's   kind of the other reason that I started it was  because I was like at least I’ll have something   already going if I either burn out or something  happens that I can't foresee at the moment. L: So I mean I guess my answer  is a little bit different in that   it wasn't necessarily ever a hobby. I decided  when I was in high school that I wanted to do   costumes for film and historical costumes  and was able to go and do a degree   in that and then luckily, because it  can be quite hard to get a job and   breaking into the industry because it's  all about who knows who, I managed to get   a job after I graduated, and then last year  happened and that shifted it away from working for   someone else making costumes for  productions to sort of shifting it   to working for myself, which was more or  less out of necessity, out of what I have   to do something now and this is what I know how  to do, o I guess that's what we're doing now.   B: So you weren't like sewing from an early  age, you literally just did a course in it? L: I mean I learned to sew when I was a kid and   I don't know like maybe that sounds  crazy. I know certainly not everyone  

just makes up their mind and decides what they're  going to do and then just sticks with it. Maybe   this is a little too philosophical but I don't  think there's like one correct choice in life for   everyone I think if it's something you enjoy then  you can find a life that you like in that, and I enjoy sewing. There are so many aspects  to it you know, I mean even with just   everyone in this panel everyone's doing something  a bit different and if I don't like the exact   aspect of it that I’m doing, I can always change  I can always find something else within that.   B:I think that's a really nice way of looking  at it because everyone I kind of know in this   sewing community, it started as a hobby. You  don't meet a lot people who didn't have it   as a hobby first so it's a really interesting  point of view. Like you said, in life in general  

things change, what you like changes and I think  that's something that's really important to   keep in the back of your mind especially when  you're running a business. Things will change   and your preferences will change and it's okay to  change your business idea and change the direction   you're going in because you need to be happy.  At the end of the day your happiness is the most   important I think. It's really refreshing  to have a slightly different point of view   on that one. L: But I suppose just one last  caveat on that, I do think it's important to say   that if I’ve done where you've pursued or gotten  a degree that doesn't necessarily mean that I have   like more skills in it or anything like the  direction that you come at it from isn't what   determines your success, isn't what determines how  good you are or how good you can be or anything   like that. B: I mean I have a degree in psychology  and I’m not using my degree in psychology so  

yeah but yeah like I think that's really  important to realize that what you've done before   isn't always the be all and end-all of where  you're going. T: You said it's weird for people   to know from the time they were a kid what they  wanted to do, that's not always true. I knew I   was going to be a teacher when I was 12. so that's  a different part of my life but yes I’m with you   on that. B: Going a bit more into business,  what kind of platforms do people sell on?

J: I mostly sell on Etsy and that's where I have  my online shop and I have a presence on Instagram   and Facebook. I also use Pinterest as well  but not really for selling it's yeah um ah brain! It's just gone, sorry. B: That's  fine it's quite hot here in the UK. J:   and it's gone really humid, don't know if it's  just me! so I mostly sell on Etsy, mainly because   it's just I find it really easy. I know there are  other similar platforms out there but I’ve been on   Etsy since 2008 and I’ve kind of obviously grown  and developed with kind of a lot of the changes   that Etsy had put in place and I just find it such  an easy platform to use to set up. It does all   my currency conversions for me, it does language  conversions for me, albeit not always very well,   but you know I manage and it also deals with  all the current things like in America, specific   state taxes, it deals with all that for me, the  new EU/ European VAT taxes and everything as well.   It deals with all that for me and it's that kind  of infrastructure that I just can't spend the time   investing, you know, that time into setting up a  standalone website. I’m a one-woman business and  

I want to do sewing you know, I’m not I don't  pretend to be a massive business guru you know   figuring out algorithms and it's such a  headache, you know I just want to be able   to like say here's my products if you like them  please buy them. So that's where I mainly sell   and I do have friends on Facebook and Instagram  which I’m currently in the process of linking   with my Etsy shop but again different platforms  talking to each other it's a nightmare. And then I have uh let's say my local  clients who come to me directly as well.

T: I sell on Etsy as well and, for many  of the same reasons that Joanna mentions.   I’ve been on there a long time too and it I’ve  kind of grown with it one of the things I like   about it is you don't have to put any outlay  like you literally pay that 20 cents for your   listing but you're not paying anything else  to Etsy until you actually make that sale.   I will eventually probably launch a Shopify  site once I am ready to do. That's the platform   I’ve already decided on but even with that at a  reasonable cost you're looking at thirty dollars   a month for that and so you're having to outlay  whether you're going to make very many sales or   not that much but at that month versus with  Etsy you can just pay as you go basically. L: So at the moment I just have digital stuff  that I’m selling, obviously the commissions are   a sort of a separate thing and that's all in  person or sort of directly communicating with   someone if they live far away and the  digital stuff I have on kofI which I like   a lot. I’m not sure how it does with  physical products because obviously   I don't have any on there but certainly for  digital products it was super easy to set up.  

It had the first pattern that I put up I wanted to  have the variable pricing so the pay what you want   thing and that was I think the only one that I  could find that wasn't like make a shop yourself.   They've got, I feel like I should have looked it  all up before now, I don't think that I do pay for   the sort of the upgraded membership  which means that they don't take   a cut at all and I think it's something like  five pounds a month or something like that.   As well as what Tiffany was saying, I would  like to set up my own website at some point,   well at some point this year. I suppose  because I am trying to write a book and I   want to have the patterns linked together  so I want to have a domain name that's   mine that I can have, you know, in text that's  not going to change but I think if it weren't   for that I would probably just stick with kofI  to be honest because it's been problem-free. M: I started on Etsy a while, a long while back  and I never really found my, how do you say,   my client there and I found I ended up  having to pay a lot for many many listings,   and not really balancing that with sales. So now  I use a French equivalent, it's the same thing   except you don't pay upfront you pay a little a  fee that's a little higher once you make a sale.  

So for all the products that are ready  made and like I said not as many now   I use this site and I have another one for  my illustration work it I use Redbubble,   it's a print on demand and I don't have  to worry about printing the thing right.   I don't have to because I tried printing it at  home and it was, I never could recoup the costs   of that and I don't need to create stock up front,  like if people like it then buy it and it's okay.   So for me right now I choose the option that  costs me the least up front I will probably   redo my website and maybe have a web shop in  the next year or so at least it's a plan. B:  

A business question again. Is there any kind of  business gurus that people follow? Are there any   costuming specific or sewing specific or  seamstress specific ones they follow? Because   a lot of the ones I know of are either specific  to Etsy or just kind of specific to selling online   in general. Ha anyone got anything that is even  more specific to costuming or sewing. I’ll start   with Tiffany. T: So my three favourites, and  they're all specific not to costuming but to   handmade businesses, so people that make their  stuff and sell them in our small businesses,   is the Merriweather Council um run by Danielle and  she has a ton of free content. She has a podcast,   blogs she's on Instagram, Facebook,  all those good places, YouTube   and she just has a ton of free content  out there that really helps you   in your business. And she has a paid membership. I  haven't tried that yet. Paper and Spark is another  

one that has been amazing for the financial side  of my business. She also gives a lot of really   good tips but most of them have to do with  finances and how to set goals based on your   finances and how to break down your data and all  of those things. I’ve paid for her finance course   and her spreadsheets and they're a lifesaver. And  then the final one that I really like, and once   again I’ve only used her free stuff I’ve never  actually paid for any of her stuff, is Creative   Hive by Mei Pak and her YouTube videos are my  favourite like I’ll just put on her playlist   and watch through them and get a lot of really  good stuff to help me with running business. L: I am the wrong person to answer  this question! I’m so terrible for it   it's not that I don't consume business content  but it's just that I’ll have a question and I’ll   just you know plug that into google or YouTube  and whoever happens to come up and I’ll either   take it or leave it or agree  with it or not, so I don't I just   pick and choose from everyone to be honest. B: I  think that's a legitimate way to do it. Obviously,  

YouTube is a search engine in it's very basic  form and if you have a question you type it   in and if there's a video that speaks to you  watch it. I think that's a very valid answer. M: I’m a bit like Lina I’m subscribed to   I think the one only business account  I’m subscribed to is Cathrin Manning and   I honestly don't watch everything she puts out  because she puts out a lot of videos but sometimes   I will google or ask Youtube a specific question,  or if I find a topic that's interesting I will go   through a little rabbit hole of like keywords  or how to do this on this aspect of marketing   but no one person or no several persons in  particular that I would be super faithful to.   J: Like Marion, I actually thought of Cathrin  Manning as well, she did come recommended but   I think some of the other big name Youtubers in  the costume community recommended her as someone   to follow, and again like Marion says some of her  content is really interesting when she breaks down   like how her algorithm works and how,  like I mentioned before, she uses her   keywords and people are finding her to kind of  plan her video content so I do some of that on   the YouTube side. On the general business side  I follow a lady called Nichola smith and I am a   member of her business club which is A Handcrafted  Business and she's a UK-based business coach,   small business coach essentially and she  specializes in craft businesses and people who are   making to sell and she's been really really  helpful. She has loads and loads of content   and she does have some free content on her  Facebook groups and I think she's just started   on YouTube as well and as I remember her paid  business group as well where she brings in   experts on different subjects which again has been  really useful. I would say that it's not something   I would have done early on in my business, it's  not like the cheapest thing to do you know it's   sort of costing you know around 15 pounds a month  so it's not something that's for everybody and I   know not everybody is in a position to do it but  I was at that kind of point in my business where   I just felt I was kind of stuck in a kind of a  bit of a rut and kind of in a rhythm that I just   couldn't kind of break out of, I had a lot of  bad habits that you know I would be like sewing   constantly and then struggling to find time to  do the actual business side of things like my   marketing and just managing things like that, so  I found it really useful actually to join her and   she sort of helps you get into focusing on that  if you're going to run a business you've got to   get split that balance between your actual sewing  and your making and the actual business side of   things because that is equally as important  because there's no point running a business   trying to make stuff if people can't find you. So that's that's what were the two main people  

that I follow and there's probably some other  people that I’ve kind of been introduced to   through the Handcrafted Business Club I’ve sort  of followed from it so follow some of the experts   that we've seen as well. I can't remember my head  who those individuals would be but yeah, that's   that's kind of what I do. B: So the last question  is the question that Lina got from her Instagram,   and we'll start with you, and it is how do you  know when you are good enough which is a really   difficult question but what are your thoughts.  L: So I think the obvious one is probably  

that there's a lot of imposter syndrome involved  for everyone but the thing that I really wanted to   touch on is how undervalued sewing is as  a skill and with the way that things are   right now there's so few people who have really  like visibly succeeded doing it and those tend to   be the people who are either so incredibly skilled  that people are willing to pay lots and lots of   money for their work or who are incredibly  fast or who have found a sort of adjacent   way to make the field work for them and because of  that I think everyone feels that it's impossible   and that they're never going to be good enough but  I don't think that's the answer, because I don't   think anything will ever change if everyone just  accepts that, and you know crawls in a hole and   says 'oh I’ll never be good enough it'll never  be enough', because what we really need is for   everyone to believe that they are enough and to  you know change the way that sewing is valued   and that helps everyone. If everyone values their  own work and their own time and themselves. M:   So, I know for me the kind of turning point or  was a sewing for someone else and on a deadline   that was the two things that, and that's also  where I recently saw someone spectacularly fail someone trying to go pro who  hadn't any experience sewing for   other body types than their  own and yeah it went bad So but yeah impostor syndrome is really really  strong and I think half of the evolution   in since I started as a seamstress was learning  to tell it to shut up. J: Likewise as everyone   else has said you know imposter syndrome it's  probably you know once a week you know when I’m   probably starting doing this you know 'Am I good  enough?', but I kind of look at the kind of the   testimonials on my Etsy shop and you know, it does  give you such a boost and it is amazing feeling   knowing that you've made something that somebody  enjoys wearing but that is really wonderful   but I do think you have to be honest with  yourself and seriously assess your skill levels,   well how you do that how you kind of assess  yourself I mean that's a very personal thing,   how do you feel about, if someone was wearing  your clothing and how it's a very hard question   to answer. I do also think you have to look at  it from the whole aspect of going from a hobby   to a business and focusing on the whole  business aspect of things because it is a   whole other you know kettle of fish as we  say here in the UK. Yeah, it just turns into  

something else and I think as we've already  touched on you know dealing with deadlines,   dealing with clients and kind of what they  want, learning to say no to clients as well   is also very important and because often it  kind of touches in on what Lina said about   valuing your skills and people, a lot of  people out there honestly have no clue   what goes into sewing and that is why sewing and  dress making is so undervalued and is seen as a   cheap job you know or you know it's a quick  job you know or you can just quickly do this   for me or you can quickly run up this dress for  next week. You've got to know in your mind how   you work and whether you can meet those  deadlines and be comfortable saying no to people,   don't take on jobs that you are going to either  struggle to meet that deadline or to fit it in,   or if you're not going to enjoy it. At the end  of the day you are the person with the skills,   don't feel obliged to do everything or have  a go at everything. It is a hard one and  

I think you just have to be honest with  yourself assess your skills and focus on   the business aspect as well as the sewing aspect. T: So imposter syndrome um is definitely an issue  and I started out pricing myself really really low   because I was like' oh people aren't gonna pay  for this' right and then I had a really nasty   experience with a customer and just realized  this is not where I want to go I’m not enjoying   it when I feel like I’m having to rush through  these things as fast as possible in order to   try to turn a profit in order to keep my prices  low and some of the business gurus I mentioned   earlier actually kind of helped me realize that  the pricing was part of what was causing the   problem with getting nasty customers like that and  so that was kind of my turning point of realizing   'how do you know when you're good enough' because  yes, there's always more to learn and we're   creators and we always want to learn more like we  were talking about with our sewing lists that are   huge and long, I’m sure we have skill lists that  are huge and long as well, that we want to learn   but you have to stop, at least for me I had to  stop and look at what can I bring an offer to   the table. So like I mentioned, I have experience  fitting my mother with her scoliosis and I have   30 years of experience at this point. I learned  to sew when I was nine years old and I’ve sewn   like a lot every year since then so like I have a  lot of experience that I’m bringing to the table,   and I just had to realize that this is what I’m  bringing. Yes I still want to learn, and this is   what I should be paid for bringing these things to  the table so for me that was the turning point and   then kind of tying into what Joanna said, as  far as making sure that you're able to say no   I keep telling myself this year this is kind of my  mantra for my business this year is you run your   business, your business does not run you and so  I don't have to pick up every order that people   ask me to do and I’ve done this long enough now  that I can say I know I’m not going to enjoy that,   I know I can't make that timeline, I know I  can't make it for that amount of money and so   that is also a very important point of getting  to where you can actually enjoy your business, is   actually you taking control and running it  and not letting it just be you're at its   beck and call instead. B: I think that's kind of  a common thread you know, the same common thread   for pretty much everyone I think when you start  your business you you are going to make mistakes,   you are going to say yes to things that you don't  know how long they're going to take, and you think   'oh I can bash that out in a week or a month  or whatever' and it'll take you so much longer,   you have to order more material and more supplies  and I think kind of setting yourself a deadline   of maybe a year or two years and try lots  of different things, try ready to wear,   try pre-made things like patterns, obviously  they don't have to be patterns, try commissions   and then after a year or two you will find out  what you like and what you don't like, what works   for you and your business. It's really hard to  be real with yourself because you want to please  

people, you want to make people happy because  those good reviews are just like, 'I love wearing   this, I love carrying this, I love this thing' and  you're like 'great I want to do that for everyone'   but you have to realize that you can't, there's  just no way that you can do that for everyone and   if there's you know if you prefer one thing that's  great, but learn to say no and realize your own   limits. You set that deadline for yourself and  set that barrier and boundary for yourself J:   Can I just add in, because you know you said  there about a year, two years, I actually think   that's a little bit of a an under evaluation  I think for a sewing business, unless you   do happen to hit it and you are phenomenally  successful right off the bat, I think you could   be looking at like several years if you're talking  about big commission pieces especially bridal or   kind of high-end cosplay or historical costumes  because they're such big projects and they can   take such a long time to you know process and  then to probably even start making potentially.   It's how many of those do you can you fit in in  a year, so yeah I would say, if you want to have   a go for like for five years even or longer I  think that's yeah don't give up after a year   and you need to evaluate kind of every kind of  year, but yeah I would say go like long term. M:  

If I can just go from what you said, if you are  doing like I’ve done craft fairs so if you're   doing ready to wear and want to sell locally at  regular fairs, you have one of these like every   year so one year you may be trying out a lot of  these and finding the good ones and the not so   good ones so the first year you will probably  burn out on a lot of them because you will find   some that are really not good for you, or a good  fit and some others that are really phenomenal and   like it took me I think two years to have a good  idea of where I could sell my ready-made products. B: I think that's a very good point, obviously  timing isn't my thing because I generally do   completely underestimate the time products will  take. Don't they say something like it takes   five years for your business to make a profit?  Something like that, and I didn't think that you   know full historical costumes would take a long  time, so you kind of have to evaluate you know   what you personally make at the time of that but  yes good point. T: I would say that the two-year   mark was pretty accurate for me though so like  I think that that was probably, that's probably   your lower end and then maybe going on like five  kind of like what Joanna was pointing out. B:  

So it's the end of my questions, does anyone  have any final thoughts or want to add things in?   M: I just thought of one question while we  were talking, and it's what's your general   upload schedule? How often do you have  one? If yes, how often do you make videos?  I'll start. I make two videos per month,   about that. I try to do more but I never manage  to do more I don't have a regular schedule but   I know I can do about two each month so  what about you? T: I do about one a month that's the same thing I try to do more I can have  elaborate plans I have footage I’ve had filmed   for over a year that's still not edited and out  there, but as far as time it just doesn't happen.  

J: I’m probably the same I kind of aim for at  least one a month I did start of the year really   well I was getting one out a week at the start of  the year but yeah I couldn't keep up with that. But I kind of had a plan that if I had like  a big project I fell into the trap last year   of kind of really messing up my timings and  was trying to film big projects all in one go   and then it would end up being an  hour long video, and although some   people who do watch hour-long videos, I feel  that the kind of the sweet spot is the kind of   20 to 40 minutes really. So I really wanted  to try and kind of break down bigger projects   into kind of into a series, into parts  and that would also then hopefully give me   content, if there was a week I wasn't filming  anything, I could fall back on content that was   already filmed and ready to go out and kind  of just keep my sort of schedule running.   But it hasn't quite worked out like that it's kind  of falling off by the way a little bit but as I   said it's getting distracted by other different  projects and different ideas and that as well.

L: yeah I mean like Joanna was saying it's  I’ve yeah fallen into the same trap of picking   like really big projects I would like to start  splitting big projects into series is what I’m   trying to say I’m hoping that I’ll actually manage  it because now that I’ve decided that I’m doing   videos about writing a book, I don't think I could  physically fit that in a single video if I tried,   but that's essentially exactly what's happened  on past projects, either it's a little project   and then it just gradually grows and grows and  grows because my brain goes 'Oh well it's only a   little project I could just film this bit as well  that's fine' and then suddenly it's still a 40   minute video or I go into it thinking that it's a  big project and maybe I’ll split it into a series   and then I never do split it into a series and  it's still just a giant video that takes so long.   J: That's the thing it's the editing isn't it, a  big video or a big project that can be long hours   and hours of time to edit. L: Oh I didn't answer  your question Marion. About once a month-ish but   very inconsistent and just when I managed to  finish the projects that I vastly underestimated.

B: I think that's the problem like, because  I started just before CoCoVid last year   and I tried to do the weekly thing and I think  I kept it up for like a few months especially   after CoCoVid, but I’m really susceptible to like  overwhelm and things like that and then trying to   do these big elaborate projects, and then the last  year just kind of... so I haven't put up a video   in a while I’m trying to get back into it slowly  so I’m going to try and do one every three weeks,   three to four weeks that I can manage. I think  the one week thing you'll do great at first,   and then it'll just go downhill. M: I mean it's a  full-time job to do one video a week because you   can spend like the beginning of the week doing  the thing or scripting the video and recording   the talking head and then you spend the rest  of the week editing and then you don't have   any more time for anything else. J: And then  you're trying to run a business as well. Yeah   I am I’m very open with my viewers on my channel  that I do have paying clients who have to be my   my priority for my sewing so therefore my  sewing content is sometimes a little bit,   you know, not as consistent as it could be,  but hopefully people follow my channel then   they understand and they appreciate that. B: And  I mean some of us also have muggle jobs as well   so add that into the mix and it's just like  where do we find the hours. T: Right well I  

was going to say it boils down to priorities  too, it's like we talked about how many sales   are you making through your YouTube channel and  none of us are able to actually quantify that   so like if you're going to prioritize, 'I’m going  to do this new design' or 'I’m going to do this   commission' or 'I’m going to do this photo shoot  so I can advertise this new design or create these   new Etsy listings so I can sell this design'  that's gonna give you more payback for sure,   than your YouTube channel will, so at the end of  the day you have a limited time and you prioritize   too. At least that's what happens with me and I  mean you said you have anything final you want   to say and don't feel bad about prioritizing.  Think about 'what's my big goal?' My goal is to   run a business and whatever that is if you want it  part-time or full-time and you have to prioritize   what's making me the most money, what's working  the best, that's what I’m going to put the most   time and effort into and if YouTube isn't  one of those things then yeah it's gonna fall   lower down on the list. B: Anything they want to  add? M: Yeah, to add to what Tiffany was saying,  

like I started YouTube because I wanted to to  share what I was doing and I found I keep doing   it because I enjoy the process of making videos,  it's maybe a bit masochistic but I enjoy editing   and I wouldn't do it otherwise. Maybe if or  when I reach monetization and at some point   it ends up making money my view will change and  my priorities will change, but for now it's a nice   thing that I do both for my own pleasure and for  marketing to be more visible on the internet and   also for me to feel there was a  gap of French speaking channels,   there's almost nothing in French on costuming  so there was a demand and I regularly get   comments from people saying 'oh I’m so happy  to finally find something not in English'. B: Yeah, I think it's important to remember  that YouTube in itself is a business and if   you want to do that full-time then that is  a business but for business people who sew   for their business it is more of a social media  thing and it should be treated as a social media   thing not as a business. M: It can also help to   give another perspective or go into an a  slightly different and adjacent direction.   I know for my other, for example my blog I will  talk of about my products and my photo shoots and   my some of my clients and on YouTube I have slowly  added a bit that's more 'How to start historical   costuming' and 'How to make corsets', like  questions that for more beginners in historical   costuming or corsetry and that's not something  I would have talked about on other platforms. B: If you enjoyed watching our video give it  a like down below, I’ll put everyone's links   and anything we've mentioned in this panel in  the description and thank you for watching along,   thank you to my lovely participants  I’ve had great fun this evening   and if there's any questions you have stick them  in the comments and we will do our best to answer   them if we haven't answered them in the panel  so far and I hope everyone has a lovely evening.  

There will also be a badge, I’ll stick  the link in the description and in the   pinned comment as well so pop your email  address in there to receive your badge.

2021-08-21 08:44

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