Each month in the Longarm League, we hold a coaching call with one of our members to talk about their business. This month I sat down with Erynn Truex of True Threads Quilting. We talked about balancing a full-time corporate job and having young kids while building a longarm quilting business and carving out time to plan and work on bigger future goals for the business.
While League members have full access to the recording of the call, we asked Erynn to share a little more about herself and her business with our blog readers.
Without further ado, let's meet Erynn...
Located: Phoenix, AZ
In business: 8 months
Machine and software: Innova M28 with Autopilot
In the Longarm League: About 1 year. I was a rookie in the class last September.
Tell us a little about your business and the services you provide at True Threads Quilting.
I partner with each of my clients to make their quilts come to life. I pride myself on providing a high-touch experience, even for my edge-to-edge clients. They get to have input on everything from the design, to the scale, and even the thread choice. I love developing relationships over time and getting to know their tastes and styles.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out with their business?
It's a lot of work. A LOT. And a lot of it isn't quilting. Taking those imperfect actions and knocking out your list to get ramped up and starting to get revenue is important. I feel like I've seen a lot of people starting out waffle and wait for perfection, and time is money.
How did you get started longarm quilting?
Last year, I FINALLY completed an Elizabeth Hartman pattern (read 10,000 tiny pieces) after chipping away at it for six years. It survived two major destashes and a phase I went through when I quit quilting for a few years. Finally completing it felt like a major milestone, and I was ready to spend whatever it took to have it quilted to death.
I was only finishing one or two tops a year, and so it was worth it to me - but I couldn't find anyone. My now-mentor agreed to edge-to-edge it, it looks lovely, but it could have been so much more. She and I got to talking about her business when I dropped off and picked up quilts, and my partner and I had been looking for a viable idea for a small business of our. own.
I took him for the pickup, knowing seeing the machine itself would seal the deal, and the rest is history. I had some money set aside already, so I took that to convert our garage to a studio at the end of last summer, and I had my machine by Christmas.
Could you tell us about a business "win" you've had?
I love the feeling that I've built everything; this is all the product of my hard work. Getting my first not-friend customer was pretty amazing, and my first 'random' person was pretty cool. My first not-a-loss month was pretty amazing too, and I know there are some pretty great things right around the corner as well. When I had my first customer switch from E2E for Custom Computerized, that was a big deal and super exciting. She did it for all the reasons I got into longarming, and that felt so good and full-circle.
What quilting designs have you been loving lately?
I think I could put Wishbone or Modern Waves on anything.
What is your favorite notion for longarm quilting?
I love a good pair of snips; I'm super particular. I love q-tips to clean up lint. But I think my absolute #1 notion is an unopened (or 2) thread cone of OMNI to weigh down my tops and work all that fullness in hands-free.
What's your favorite part of making a quilt?
Definitely picking the fabric.
Favorite snack while sewing?
Usually gummies, but I sometimes eat too many and get a stomachache if I work too long. ;)
What other hobbies do you enjoy aside from quliting?
I actually am a pretty big garment sewer, but it's hard to find the chunks of time for that. I really get into the designing, fit, and couture touches. A little bit of gardening and DIY projects, but we have two little kiddos right now, so a lot goes by the wayside. Hobby I'm dying to get into - shoemaking!
If you'd like to watch the call with Erynn, or are interested in being a guest, we'd love to have you join us! Whether you're interested in starting your own longarm quilting business, or wanting to improve your current business, check out our Rookie Season course! You can see all the details, read about how the course has helped previous students, and get started here.
Thanks so much for talking with us this month Erynn!
We'd love to share a little bit about how we support longarm quilters through education and community. Updates typically go out on Wednesdays - we'd love to stay in touch with you!