Whether we like it or not, the sewing community has a bit of a dilemma – we NEED more people sewing (particularly younger people and males) to keep this industry alive and sustainable.
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This topic seems to be the elephant in the room – sewing and quilting events are largely female and the ones I’ve attended skew over 40+ age wise. Of course, we love ALL sewing enthusiasts – but in order to move this community forward – we are going to have to expand our ranks.
While it may feel like there are more young people sewing (through Instagram and blogs) – when I talk to people in everyday life – the majority know NOTHING about sewing and don’t do it themselves.
So what can we do to change this? Let’s discuss…
My own thoughts in bullet points:
Buying a sewing machine needs to be EASY – millennials and younger customers may not have time or the desire to visit a physical store. Businesses need to adapt to customers, not the other way around. If you don’t – you’ll lose out on $$$. Strategize like it’s 2017, not 1977.
Anyone with a sewing-related business – check out a few Gary Vaynerchuk keynote speeches:
(Note: he does curse a lot, but his business advice is very applicable)
PODCAST VERSION: https://goo.gl/sRJaVQ
Marketing needs to be appealing to a more diverse crowd. To me, it feels like it’s aimed at two demographics: older women and stay-at-home mothers. I just can’t relate to this – being a younger professional without kids.
Commercial sewing pattern companies – the envelope photos seem pretty dated on lots of patterns, indie patterns tend to use more modern fabrics. It’s hard for many people to envision what it would look like in different prints/styles.
Fabric companies/sewing machine manufacturers – photos / project inspiration also seem intended for more of a “grandmotherly” audience. If you want to attract a younger customer base – the styling and photography needs to appeal to them.
We need to be welcoming – not making other sewists feel dumb and helping them in their journey. I’ve been in situations where older women automatically assumed they were more experienced and knew more than I did, when that might not have been the case. I’m an adult woman, and don’t want to be talked down to or treated like I’m a little kid.
Men – I’ve talked to quite a few men who’ve expressed an interest in learning to sew, but the strongly feminine vibe scares them off. One friend mentioned he’d like to see more words like “bespoke” and “custom clothing” used, and that might attract more people like him.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE OF MILLENNIALS + SEWING:
Editorial: Why the Sewing Community Must Attract Millennials
Editorial: Attracting Millennials to Sewing
WHAT I DO WHEN I’M NOT SEWING… JEN TALKS FOREVER CHANNEL
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Eversewn 6-pc Accessory Quilting Foot Kit Low Shank
Thank you to EverSewn for providing Sewing Report the Sparrow 25 used in our videos!
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Helping you discover your love of sewing at sewingreport.com through videos, articles, and tutorials. I’m Jennifer Moore – obsessed with sewing, and want you to be if you’re not already. Come on in!
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