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guilt – sew for profit vs. non-profit

BellaGabriella | Posted in General Discussion on

On my “niche” post, I was feeling so over-the-top about starting my business, then a question was posed to me, which I took to mean to consider to sew as non-profit.

Now that idea is nagging me.

I want to start a business to supplement my income and my retirement if I ever get there. I’m so excited about it I could cry. I even sew for about an hour at night when I’m tired but it makes me feel less tired. 🙂 But there are so many others worse off than me. Is it wrong for me to want to sew for profit?

I have doubts too, but what if I lose my job? What if this business isn’t lucrative? I can’t think too long about those things because I want to spend my mental energy positively.

So my question is: am I being greedy for wanting to supplement my income when there are so many having hard times now? Shouldn’t me and my family come first?  Is there a way I could do both? Am I over-analyzing again? Why do I feel so guilty?


Edited 6/13/2008 5:38 am ET by BellaGabriella


  1. katina | | #1

    Hello again Nancy

    I responded to your earlier enquiry, commenting that you could have the quilting done by someone else if you preferred. I meant that you would then have more time freed up for the type of sewing which you love. I do hope you didn't interpret this to mean that your work should not be for profit - that was certainly NOT my intention.

    It's natural to have doubts at the beginning of such a venture. No, you are not being greedy. You are looking for ways to use your skills for your benefit - nothing wrong with that. And why should you feel guilty? May I gently suggest that you put these negative thoughts behind you and enjoy the planning and implementation of all your exciting ideas. Others have given you good advice here on Gatherings; I'm sure you'll soon be up and running with your business.

    The very best of luck - Katina

    PS I'm adding this from CherryPops in 8522.4 in response to "Starting a Sewing Business". She may not have fully realized it, but CherryPops is our 'Go To' gal for all things computer and being organized. I'm sure you'll find her post helpful.


    Edited 6/13/2008 8:11 am ET by Katina

    1. BellaGabriella | | #6

      Nope - it wasn't anything any of you said or implied. I hate when I over-analyze things...it brings about so much anguish!

      I am still so excited about this business! Everytime I think about it and see my patterns and think about the fabric and the trims I get all giggly and happy! And it's just a little thing!

      I don't think it's wrong to take care of yourself first - I agree, you probably have to. I also don't think it's wrong to want to make money.

      You all have been great and I love posting here. Your support is inspiring and I am tickled pink you are all rooting for me!

      Big hugs to you all!


      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #7

        Giving to others comes from the heart. It is obvious you have a big heart. You don't have to spend money to give to others though. Sometimes just opening a door, smiling at someone, offering a kind word of encouragement or friendship is more helpful than you realize. Cathy

  2. sewchris703 | | #2

    I do both.  I look at it this way:  by making a living at sewing, I can also give back to the community with what I learn in my business.  I've made premie baby clothing for pregnancy centers and hospitals, I've sewn for our local women's and children's centers, I've made quilts for our church's prayers and squares group, quilts for the homeless shelter, etc.  There are a lot of outlets for sewing for non-profit but I need the income in order to give instead of receive.


  3. Crazy K | | #3

    I agree with Chris.........you need to help yourself first...........One of my mom's fav. sayings....."Charity begins at home"........and I take that to mean that we take care of our own (family) before helping others.  If your own family is without, you have nothing to give.

    I don't sew alot for charity altho I do some and would like to do more (DD keeps me busy these days but I'm helping family......the right thing!).  I do make fleece hats and scarves for the homeless, have made things for baby layettes offered by a group in my area but I also give where the work to me is minimal but I am still helping.  I save all my usable scraps and give to a group of ladies that meet weekly and sew quilts for the homeless.  Then DH and I take carloads of quilts and donated items to the local Sal. Army when they have a load.  We're helping that way.  You see, there are many ways to help those less forturnate and still provide for your own.

    Don't put yourself on a guilt trip.  It's normal to question starting a business......been there, done that........but it was the best thing DH and I ever did!!  We're retired now and without that step, we would be working just to provide food for ourselves!


  4. cookymom | | #4


    I hope you'll go ahead with your business on a part-time basis if you can.  Those of us who buy quality fabric and sew it, even for donations to the homeless and preemies, know it takes time and money to construct items.

    Go ahead, give it a try and learn bit by bit along the way.  You'll know before long if you have good customers.   And I think the other women on this board will cheer you on and help with problems.



  5. MaryinColorado | | #5

    No, don't feel guilty, we all do what is best for our own situation.  Now, stop "shoulding" on yourself!!!  Many of us can drop a guilt a day and have plenty left over to spare! 

    You are so enthusiastic and working toward a new exciting goal.  Just take it a step at a time so you don't get overwhelmed.  Enjoy!

  6. Teaf5 | | #8

    Don't forget that supplementing your income will help prevent you and your family from becoming the needy ones.  While supporting yourself, you can always "make one to sell and one to give away,"  especially since sewing two of the same thing at the same time takes very little extra time or investment. 

    Even the most profitable companies donate part of their resources to charity, so you can, too.  And the profit you make on the sold items will be sweetened by the rewards you will earn from the donated ones.


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