"I’ll attempt to break my enthusiasm down for you:
"I took a (very long, very expensive) business class through our local Chamber of Commerce last Fall. The class is award-winning in my area and brought in dozens of business people, many of them business women, to discuss marketing strategies, the web, business law, how to write and fund a proper business plan, how to set up documentation, etc. None was able to explain the business end of running a bespoke shop the way you have. In the end, the class is a competition for a One Thousand dollar purse. Winning over me was a Mexican food stand! The banker reviewed my business plan, shook her head and told me I’d never make any money with corsets the way I had my business set up on paper. I was charging $150.00 American. That seemed “fair”, considering the amount of money my friends and other people in upstate New York make. Upon reading your article, I immediately went to my Etsy shop and pulled my corset down to give it a “cooling off” period. I want to become the best corset maker that I can be and I’ll never do it with a $150 corset. I read your article on how much to charge and realized how correct you are.
When Joann wrote her letter we had one article at FR about being a professional corsetmaker.
Now we have thirty, covering starting out, design, marketing and promotion, and the day-to-day
business of running your mini empire. Click the image to go to the Business section.
"I’ve been lurking around the online corset community for at least 12 years. I want my own business and I’ve studied, taken classes, made corsets and read everything I can find. Yet, my corsets never grow above a certain level. A few people online seemed to be ahead of the curve, but I couldn’t figure out what they were doing that made their garments so much more finely tailored. I’ve spent tons of money on my tools, I even have a couple of orders from friends lined up and still haven’t been able to move forward!
"I’ve made a few ‘ok’ corsets. One, for my sister in law, was self-drafted, and I was quite happy with it. After more study, I realized that I was making what everyone else was making: a nicely sewn tube of fabric with some boning shoved into it, a structurally sound garment with clean lines but no finesse.
"Period corsets are so much more than that.
"In comparing my work to the antiques at LaraCorsets.com, for years, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I finally began studying piecing of historical garments and, short of attending FIT in New York, realized I had no resources to learn to do it. The books might have pictures, but they don’t have proper drafting or piecing methods. I already sew better than most people I know, so there wasn’t any one I could ask... Clearly, without Foundations Revealed, most corset makers have hit a wall.
"You are right: we haven’t yet arrived at the late 19th century level in the present corset revival. I believe that the stitchers and corset makers of Foundations Revealed will be the first to get there. You are showing us how to get from point A to point B by intuitively understanding what it is that we don’t know.
"You are re-building the corset industry and the art of corset making by building this community. Such a shame that the techniques are nearly so lost, that we are forced to put it together like a huge jigsaw puzzle, instead of having it handed down from our great-grandmothers as it should have been.
"Easily, this is the best course/thing I’ve ever purchased off the web. I’m sorry this is so long, but I thought you should know.
Albany, New York
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I think this thing is worth saving, and so does Joann - here's what she entered in our Competition three years later, in 2013. Foundations is helping a lot of people reach their potential and realise their dreams. I hope you see something worth saving too. Help us change our small corner of the world.