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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Traditional Product > Start a Costume Business from Home

Start a Costume Business

What you will be doing.  Children are braver during a performance if they have a great costume.  Costumes are great for Halloween, birthday parties, recitals, and plays.  A custom made costume says quality, durability, and uniqueness. 

Children need costumes for many reasons.  There is money in costume design and creation for children.  If you like to sew and have a creative streak, this could be the home based business for you.  You can make costumes on demand from clients or develop your own designs and market them. 

A niche is important.  Specializing in Halloween costumes means active business for only a portion of the year, but the rest of the year can be spent designing.  Because you will be bombarded around August and September, hiring a manufacturer to mass produce the more popular costumes will allow you to increase your sales. 

Costumes for dance recitals and school plays can be created and sold as sets.  The buyer gets a deal on the costumes and you get their business.  For an additional expense, offer your services for alterations on the night of the play or recital in case there are fitting issues. 

How to start.  You will need a sewing machine, hangers, clothing racks, sewing supplies, tables to work, along with equipment for the business end.  If you own a computer and printer, you are ahead of the game.  If you are a seamstress, you may already have most of the sewing needs. 

Costume material can be found at flea markets, discount stores, yard sales, and consignment shops.  You don’t have to start from scratch on all of the costumes.  A basic costume can be turned into something else with a little work.  Thrift stores can yield vintage clothing that can be tailored for plays and other performances. 

Starting costs Materials are not cheap for a costume business.  Even if you buy clothing from discount places, a starting inventory, equipment, and advertising can run close to $10,000 or more.  A small business loan would allow for the purchase of all items needed to get started and then some. 

Skills needed.  First, a children’s costume designer needs to have creative skill and the imagination of a child.  Children love bright colors so you will be using a lot of those.  Knowledge of all things theatrical is not a must but it is highly recommended.  For Halloween costumes, learning what the current trends are will keep you from creating costumes that won’t sell. 

Marketing.  This is an important part of your business.  To get the business of the children, you will have to convince the adults.  Mailings should go out at the end of the school year or theatrical season.  This gives them time to consider your proposal and see some of your works before things are in full swing again. 

Flyers should be placed in places where plays are possible for young children.  This includes churches, daycare centers, and after school centers.  Ads in local newspapers and on websites that cater to stay-at-home mothers or parents in general can generate more business. 

Use eBay to showcase and sell costume designs and groups of costumes.  This gives your work a worldwide audience.  But be prepared.  Your business may increase quickly. 

Costumes are great for children.  They fuel the imagination.  Your business can grow as much or as little as you want.  It’s linked to your ability to dream.

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