Welcome to Day 12 of How to Earn $ From Sewing and Quilting! We are looking at Teaching Others How to Sew and Quilt this week, and today we will be discussing where to hold classes.
So you’ve worked out that you CAN teach others how to sew and quilt… you know WHAT you are going to teach them… now to work out WHERE you will teach them!
To be honest, this can often be the toughest part to work out! If you don’t have somewhere in your home, you need to go out and find somewhere else. Some places may charge you for using their venues, others may be happy that you are providing a service to the community and let you use their space for free.
General Considerations for Holding Sewing and Quilting Classes
There are a few things that any venue you hold your classes at should have. They include the following:
- an accessible place with plenty of parking
- on the ground floor so that there is no lugging heavy sewing machines up and down stairs!
- big enough to each have a decent amount of table space for sewing, space for cutting stations and ironing boards
- bathroom close by 🙂
- tea and coffee facilities (can’t sew without a cuppa or two.. or three..!)
- if there is a charge for hiring, it needs to be not too expensive otherwise you won’t make a profit on your class without charging a ridiculous amount for the class
These are a few of the main things you need to take into account when looking for a venue.
Now for some specific places you can try to hold your classes….
Teach Classes at Your Local Quilt Shop
This is by far the best place to teach classes! If your local quilt shop has an area to hold classes, this is the ideal situation for you and for the shop owner. You will be bringing customers to them, and your students will be able to get any supplies they need for your class – before, during and after.
Some quilt shops will charge you for holding classes at their shop, but most will not. After all, you are bringing them sales. Your students will buy what they need at the shop, and mostly buy a few things that they don’t “need” as well 🙂 Make sure you work out if they will charge you before you teach your classes and set your prices.
The best way to approach a quilt shop about teaching, is to first of all be their customer. Get to know them a bit. Show them that you are a keen quilter, and serious about your craft. Show them your finished projects. Then show them what you would like to teach and ask them if you would be able to hold classes at their shop.
Sometimes you can work together with the shop owner to make up kits for your class. This again benefits the shop.
You don’t only have to be a quilter to teach classes at your local quilt shop. At the shop in Arabia we have a lovely lady who teaches dressmaking and uses our classroom. The ladies who come to her classes will still buy supplies at the shop, and some of them end up becoming quilters as well.
~ Teaching classes at your local quilt shop is a win – win situation! ~
Teach Classes at Your Home or Someone Else’s
Of course the other obvious place to teach others to sew and quilt is in your own home. Whether you have a cottage all set up in your backyard like my dressmaking friend in Australia, or you invite your students to sit at your dining table, you can quite easily teach others in this setting.
I have another friend who has a tiny house, but she has taught many people in her home. She moves all her lounge furniture aside and sets up some trestle tables for the day. It is a lot of work, but she enjoys it and her students are happy to learn a new skill.
When my dad built my beautiful sewing studio I was planning to hold classes there. I did have ladies come by for some sit and sews, and a Accuquilt Go! demo, but then of course I moved back to Arabia… but it will be waiting for me when I get back one day!
The first beginner’s class I taught in Australia was to some of my neighbours. One of them offered her home as the venue – she had more space than the rest of us. We didn’t have to walk far for the classes, there was lots of space, and it was a good way to get to know some of the ladies in the area.
This is probably the easiest way to get started with classes, especially if you keep the class sizes small.
Teach Classes at Your Local Community Center or Church
The most popular place for holding classes would have to be at your local community center or church. I know in Australia many churches hire out their halls, or rooms in their buildings. Community centers do too, and these are two popular places for people to get together for activities.
Our local community center where I go to craft on Mondays (when I am in Australia), has rooms for hire and their main activity room. The problem I had with this center was that their hire prices were just too high. Even with the cheaper rooms – by the time I calculated the cost of three or four hours for the class… (and only four people could fit in comfortably) it would not have been worth me holding the class there. Most of the ladies who wanted to come to my classes were pensioners and could not afford to fork out a lot of money for their hobby. And the bigger room was more expensive of course.
Some of the smaller country towns have halls you can hire for more reasonable prices. And often the churches do too. Ask around and see where you can get the best deals.
Setting up at a venue like this is a lot of work. You need to get the tables set up, bring ironing boards and other supplies…. so while you may have more space at community centers or church halls, there is more work involved in the set up and tidy up afterwards. Some venues require you to put all the tables and chairs away and vacuum afterwards as well.
So my preferred places for teaching classes are really in the order I mentioned – first at the local quilt shop, then in your own home, and if the cost is reasonable, hiring space in a hall or community center.
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about Teaching Others How to Sew and Quilt – What Skills and Supplies do You Need?
PS Please remember I am answering your comments in the comment section below and not via email like I usually do. Sorry for the hassle, but I am hoping this month we can share ideas!
PPS The main page of this series is here along with links to each post for this series.
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