An Idea with Sew Much PotentialStuart Taverner
Growing up, surrounded by beautifully sewn clothes – handmade by her seamstress mother – it was easy for Trinette Marriott to fall in love with the art of sewing from a young age.
However, it wasn’t until many years later that she decided to pull the pin on her regular job and take the plunge: transforming her passion into a thriving small business.
Based out of Coffs Harbour, NSW, Trinette’s business Stitches By The Sea has grown into a community for sewing, patchwork, meeting up with like-minded people, and creating colourful quilts.
But needle-ss to say, things didn’t start quite so smoothly.
“It was a hard start but one I’m glad I did,” explains Trinette.
“My business’s story started with me wanting to purchase an existing business, but at the time it wouldn’t have made financial sense to do so. This left me with the only option of starting from scratch.
“It also meant that from the beginning I needed to compete with current stores and build my own ‘following’ as such.”
Since starting her venture in 2016, Trinette has worked hard to stitch together a profitable and sustainable business. Throughout the journey, Cashflow Manager has been her preferred accounting software solution.
“I’m the first to admit accounting isn’t my thing, but with this software, I can do it all.”
Trinette Marriott, Stitches By The Sea
“It’s absolutely the easiest system I know to use, I simply fill in the columns and it does the rest. It can give you all the nitty-gritty side of your business at the touch of a button.
“[The business has] definitely grown, starting with very little stock, and no regular customers, working every day, just so money was coming in, into a place people enjoy meeting up with friends to sew, a lot more stock with a great online presence.
“In 2019 we purchased a new home that could accommodate a studio to work from, so I moved the business, concentrating on lessons and online sales.”
COVID-19, rather than causing her business to come apart at the seams, prompted Trinette to pivot her business model.
“In a way, Covid-19 has actually been very beneficial to my business, with more people at home they are shopping online more and crafting more, making a lot more quilts for me to quilt,” she explains.
“In 2020 I purchased a Computerised Longarm quilting machine, and now offer a quilting service. That has more than doubled profits and is now my main source of income.
“With technology today, I’m able to receive quilts via post and communicate easily to find out how the customer would like me to complete their quilt.”
Trinette Marriott has three pieces of advice for people thinking about starting their own business:
- Have passion for what you do, set goals even if they are small, as when you achieve them, it helps you stay motivated.
- Having a presence on social media, you can reach a lot of people as there is always someone who knows someone.
- Don’t be afraid to evolve, my business now is relatively different to what my first vision was.
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