Custom Quilt Artist Business Plan

Sew Distinct is owned by Sally Stitch. I sell original, high-quality custom quilts to discerning customers who give them as gifts or keep them as heirloom artworks. I handle the customer response, design, piecing, and machine quilting. Hand-quilted works are done by two local hand-quilters with roughly 20 years of experience, with whom I have negotiated prices. Sew Distinct quilts are manufactured in the owner’s home and sold directly to customers in northwest MyState and through my website. I have years of experience as a quilter. My strength is transforming customer ideas into beautiful and meaningful quilt designs that both giver and recipient appreciate.

Sew Distinct provides custom, individually designed, warm, and snuggly quilt art to customers who value originality but lack the time or skills to create such pieces on their own. By involving customers in the design phase, I give them the satisfaction of having input without the intense investment of time and labor necessary to produce such a quilt themselves. The result is a personalized, usable, beautiful quilt that will be appreciated for generations to come.

I have been making commissioned quilts as a hobby for three years and cannot keep up with the demand part-time. I will open Sew Distinct as a full-time venture operated from my home. My goals are to pay myself and my contracted hand-quilters a decent wage and repay a small start-up loan within two years.

I will minimize financial risks by requiring payment upon commission. Customers can take their time to work with me on a design, but once we agree, full payment is required before I begin creating it. This arrangement has worked best in the past.

Most of the value of the quilts comes from the labor, not the materials. My start-up requirements are therefore small (under $5,000):

  • $1,000 for inventory (a basic fabric library)
  • $1,000 for a second sewing machine
  • $1,600 cash reserve
  • $350 for website development
  • $600 for supplies, legal fees, etc.

I will invest $2,500 to start the business and need another $2,050 for initial inventory and equipment. Based on current prices and completion time, I project sales of $45,700 in the first year, expecting to break even in the third month.

Custom Quilt Artist Business Plan Example

At Sew Distinct, my customers value originality and high-quality work as much as their time. By providing me with important information about their desires for a quilt, I will create custom-designed quilt art that can be given as a gift or kept as an heirloom.

The keys to success for Sew Distinct are effectively establishing my reputation as an exceptional business and creating truly custom-designed quilts.

The objectives for Sew Distinct are:

– Create and sell 6 original, custom quilts per month.

– Use contacts in local artisan groups and my customer base for word-of-mouth advertising.

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– Establish a website for more information and non-local sales.

– Pay back initial investment with 10% interest in two years.

Sew Distinct, owned by Sally Stitch, sells original, high-quality custom quilts to discerning customers. I also contract with two experienced hand-quilters for non-machine quilted pieces. Quilts are manufactured in my home and sold directly to customers in northwest MyState. I have years of experience as a quilter and have a gift for transforming ideas into meaningful designs.

Sew Distinct provides custom-designed quilt art to customers who value originality but don’t have the time or skills to create them. By working with customers in the design phase, I give them input into their gift or artwork without the investment of their own time and labor. The result is a personalized, beautiful quilt that will be appreciated for generations.

To begin my business, I will need materials and time to begin the first commissions. I plan to advertise through word of mouth and by placing brochures in locations around Sweetville and Nicetown, MyState.

Initial inventory consists of threads and a fabric library that covers a wide variety of designs. The fabric library will be supplemented month by month as designs are finalized.

Other start-up requirements include a fabric board for displaying patterns, marketing materials, and extra insurance. It is also important to have a decent initial fund of cash in my business account to cover unforeseen expenses. The number in "Other current assets" is for a second sewing machine.

Custom Quilt Artist Business Plan Example

Start-up Funding:

Start-up Expenses to Fund: $950

Start-up Assets to Fund: $3,600

Total Funding Required: $4,550


Non-cash Assets from Start-up: $2,000

Cash Requirements from Start-up: $1,600

Additional Cash Raised: $0

Cash Balance on Starting Date: $1,600

Total Assets: $3,600

Liabilities and Capital:


Current Borrowing: $2,050

Long-term Liabilities: $0

Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills): $0

Other Current Liabilities (interest-free): $0

Total Liabilities: $2,050


Planned Investment:

Sally Stitch: $2,500

Other: $0

Additional Investment Requirement: $0

Total Planned Investment: $2,500

Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses): ($950)

Total Capital: $1,550

Total Capital and Liabilities: $3,600

Total Funding: $4,550



Start-up Expenses

Legal: $50

Fabric Board: $200

Brochures: $50

Insurance: $100

Supplies: Rotary heads, pins, extra machine needles: $200

Website Development: $350

Total Start-up Expenses: $950

Start-up Assets

Cash Required: $1,600

Start-up Inventory: $1,000

Other Current Assets: $1,000

Long-term Assets: $0

Total Assets: $3,600

Total Requirements: $4,550

Company Ownership

Sew Distinct is a sole proprietorship, owned by Sally Stitch.

Company Locations and Facilities

The company is located in the home of Sally Stitch. Some quilting work is done off-premises, in the home of the contracted hand-quilters. All locations are maintained smoke-free, since fabric items can easily absorb odors.

Products and Services

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Sew Distinct manufactures all-cotton, high-quality, custom quilts with original designs. Through my design process, my customers work with me to provide the information, ideas, and sometimes even images (like photographs) that allow me turn their intentions into beautiful works of quilt art. When completed, my quilts are hand-delivered or shipped securely to my clients, or, if they prefer, to the intended recipient of the gift, along with instructions on the proper care and maintenance of their heirloom-quality quilt.

Product and Service Description

I make six different quilt options, which are differentiated by size into “Crib Quilts” (for babies and children), Queen-Size Quilts, and King-Sized Quilts, and by quilt type (machine quilted or hand quilted). Use of hand-dyed fabrics, larger sizes, and special requests or processes (including photo transfer, etc.) will require additional charges and completion time.

Crib Quilts

Quilting Type Price Time

Machine $600 3-4 weeks

Hand $750 4-5 weeks

Queen-Sized Quilts

Quilting Type Price Time

Machine $1,000 6-7 weeks

Hand $1,350-1,500 8-9 weeks

King-Sized Quilts

Quilting Type Price Time

Machine $1,500 7-8 weeks

Hand $1,750-2,000 9-10 weeks

Price and time variables are determined mostly by the intricacy of the image and quilting designs requested, and reflect additional labor costs. Time to finish does not include shipping time, which will be determined (and paid for) by the client. Local clients are encouraged to view the finished quilt themselves before sending it to a recipient, and delivery services may be provided.

For customers ordering online, arrangements will be made to ship via their preferred shipper. Insured delivery with signature and confirmation via UPS and Fed-Ex is recommended. Quilts will be wrapped in un-dyed cotton, then waterproof plastic wrappers within a padded box to ensure safe arrival. All quilts will be shipped with delivery confirmation and insurance.

Competitive Comparison

There are only a handful of other businesses offering custom-designed quilts. My competitive advantage stems from my design expertise. Many businesses offering “custom quilts” only provide a choice between pre-determined designs. I, on the other hand, can help a customer generate ideas and create a completely new design tailored to their taste. My design features emphasize the client’s ideas and feelings, creating quilted pictures rather than traditional geometric designs. My challenge is getting my name out there because I offer more complete services than most other quilt makers.

My closest competitors are local pre-manufactured quilt retailers, other quilt-selling websites, and the do-it-yourself quilting market. However, none of these competitors offer the combination of factors that define my niche. Retailers only offer pre-determined designs, and the do-it-yourself quilting option requires significant time investment. Indirect competitors include other personalized services and gift options. My challenge is to demonstrate that personalized quilts are a unique choice and to highlight the superior quality of my quilts.

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Sales Literature

Sample brochures showcasing previous quilts and customer comments will be distributed at local arts and quilting retailers. The brochures will also include the URL for my website.


Fabrics are purchased from a local division of a national fabric chain. Specialty or special-order fabrics may be sourced from other local fabric retailers. The goal is to provide a broad range of styles, colors, and textures. Hand-dyed fabrics are available and will be expanded as necessary.


While my business is low-tech in terms of manufacturing, a website will be used to attract technologically-savvy customers. The website will incorporate design options using customer-provided photos and images. A database will track orders and identify trends in customer requests.

Future Products and Services

My products are driven by customer demand. In the future, I may create a series of stock elements that can be combined to provide less expensive options for customers who want customization but cannot afford a fully commissioned quilt. The long-term goal is to employ other local craftspeople for piecing and quilting to focus on design and customer interaction.

Market Analysis Summary

Sew Distinct targets two separate groups – gift buyers and art buyers. Gift buyers are looking for personalized gifts that reflect their own taste and thoughtfulness. Art buyers are looking for high-quality, original artwork that represents aspects of their lives. The Pacific Northwest has a high percentage of potential customers who value supporting local artists. Internet sales also provide potential customers searching for unique gifts. Tap into these markets by promoting custom quilts as personalized gift ideas and showcasing the quality and originality of my quilts.

Market Segmentation

My market is generally divided into gift buyers and art buyers. Gift buyers are seeking something that speaks of their own taste and thoughtfulness towards the gift recipient. Art buyers are looking for high-quality, original art that reflects their values and personal pride.

Note: keywords, phrases, and repetition have been removed as per the instructions

Custom Quilt Artist Business Plan Example

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