When you think of running a longarm business, websites and social media are naturally part of the procees, right? Not necessarily! In Season 2, Episode 2, we talk to Brandie Nelson from Sun City, Arizona, who is running a successful longarm business without being on social media.
In her words, "I was born and, with the exception of a brief stint here in Arizona when I was 10, raised in California. I was raised with a gypsy spirit brought on by my fathers work which continued with me into my young adult years. I moved when I graduated and wound up living in many different states until I met my husband, an active duty Army officer, in 2003 and continued the gypsy lifestyle until he retired in 2016. I have been sewing since I was 8 when I declared myself bored and my mother sat me down and taught me how to thread and use her sewing machine. I became a quilt piecer in 2016 and a longarm apprentice in 2020 transitioning to professional in 2022. In 2020 I also became a part-time employee in a quilt store which became a pipeline for my business. I am so thankful to have discovered longarm quilting and the ability I have had to convert a hobby into a flourishing business."
Brandie relies on word-of-mouth as her primary advertising. This is easily supported with the tote bags she uses to deliver quilts. They are printed with her contact information and repeat customers bring them back with their next project. She explains that using a computerized system on her longarm allows for faster project turn-around and allows her to set lower prices. Having a lower rate and higher volume equals decent profits. You'll have to tune in to the full podcast episode to hear all the details!
Brandie has graciously offered a discount for her longarm service to new customers. If you are interested, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and mention code QotS10.
When we asked Brandie what quilt pattern she has made more than once, she mentioned the Garden Path free block design from McCall's Quilting. (Find the pattern here.) The colors in her version are wonderful!
Brandie's favorite notions, when she is not at the longarm, are her Sew Steady table and Machingers gloves. Find the golves on Amazon and support the podcast when you purchase from our affiliate link. The Sew Steady tables are custom fit to your specific brand of sewing machine. Learn more on their website.
Thanks to Brandie for sharing her story. It's so fun to hear about the different business models and revenue streams that quilters use to make money from their craft.
Please leave a comment and tell us what you'd like to hear more of on the podcast!