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  • Hello

    Hi, I have just joined this wonderful group. I am a married mum to 3 (no longer children) 21, 18 and 16. I have 2 dogs, a cat and 5 chickens and live in the Hertfordshire countryside.

    I am just starting out having completed a curtain and blind making course. I found the forum whilst searching for tips!

    I had wanted to set up a one stop business, but I am finding it very difficult to find fabric suppliers who don't insist on me spending hundreds of pounds on sample books. So I think I may have to get clients to provide their own fabrics and me provide the rest.

    Any hints and tips would be gratefully received, great to meet you all!

  • #2
    Re: Hello

    Hello Pinkgem - thanks for introducing yourself. Glad you found us.

    Some of the workroom supply companies also have small fabric collections (eg. Jones Interiors) and Hallis supply iliv. You would need to open a trade account with them though. Other suppliers do ask that you commit to a certain number of books, but have a monthly payment scheme to spread the cost. Many forum members with accounts are happy to supply on an ad hoc basis if you post a request with fabric details.

    You might find it best to build a bit of a customer base and get to know their general taste before committing to too many books as they can be expensive and you have to keep then somewhere! Also be sure you know about any local stores/discount fabric places nearby so that you don't invest in books to find that customers then just toddle off to Dunelm (or wherever.....) to place the order as it is cheaper than you can buy for.

    There are already a few posts here about starting to supply fabrics, but perhaps you've already found them.

    sigpic Simply Sewing


    • #3
      Re: Hello

      Hi Pinkgem

      I grew up in Hertfordshire - one of Englands hidden secrets. I grew up near Welwyn and my sister and brother are still in that neck of the woods.

      This forum has been a real support over the years, people who are full of knowledge, practical solutions who are prepared to share with others in the industry.

      I and others are very happy to supply from our accounts so that you can make more money on a job without making the commitment of opening your own accounts. Making money on the fabric can be the difference between subsistence and making a living, particularly in the early days of setting up a business.

      If you want more details of how I operate you are very welcome to email me on griffin.interiors.oxford@gmail.

      I look forward to hearing from you

      Griffin Interiors


      • #4
        Re: Hello

        Hello Pinkgem

        I was in a similar position to you when I started (5 years ago) and customers supplied their own fabric. I felt that by doing that I was helping to support local fabric shops as well. However as time went on the local fabric shops seemed to carry less and less stock because of their overheads and I joined the Iliv book club through Hallis Hudson. I pay a monthly amount for which I get all their new collections and access to all of their back catalogue. Their range of fabrics in terms of both style and price is pretty good I think. It is difficult to know where to start initially so it is really helpful, as Louise and Katie have said, to be able to order from forum members for individual jobs. You can look at the fabric companies collections online (as can your customers) to choose the kind of thing you want and you can always send for samples, for which a small charge is usually made if you don't have an account.
        Good luck with your new business- you'll find this forum a treasure trove of knowledge and support.

        Best wishes


        • #5
          Re: Hello

          Hello Pinkgem, I'm originally from Hertfordshire & not far away now, just over the border in Essex. I started out by buying fabrics from one of my workroom suppliers & thats a great option for a one stop shop including hardware & the pretties such as tiebacks etc... Good advice to gauge what your customers like although I often think they like what you put in front of them. Perhaps start with some basics & varied price points. Good luck & enjoy your new business.