Many teenagers and young adults dream of someday becoming famous fashion designers. Maybe that was dream that you once had and for one reason or another decided to follow another career path. If you have always had that dream and find yourself interested in starting your own business, you should consider designing custom made costumes.
Right about now you may be thinking that you wanted to design trendy fashion clothing; however, there is actually really good money in costume design. Think about costumes that you come across in the store during Halloween, they are not priced cheap. What about after Halloween? Most retail stores put up the costumes until next season. Many people assume that costumes are only for Halloween. In reality costumes are needed for parades, musicals, plays, dances, and many other special events. Many schools look towards local designers to make costumes for musicals or plays.
If you decide to peruse your own costume making business, the majority of your time will be spent working out of your home. If you are planning on making your costumes for a specific size, you made need to travel to another location for fittings. If you are unable to travel, you may wish to set up a fitting room area in your home or place of business. If you have an interest in design, then you probably have most of the needed essentials to start a business. In addition to the sewing materials, you should think about getting a business phone line with an answering machine. A computer is another important tool. A computer can help you keep track of your clients and their needs. There are also many different design programs that can help you produce costumes and the internet is full of resources.
To get your business off the ground, you will need to find clients. Your best target market will be theatre groups. You can specifically visit them or send them a brochure or business card that you have made. It may be a good idea to have a couple of samples, actual costumes or pictures, to show potential clients. There is a woman in my town who has her own custom business, this summer she dressed herself and other community members in costumes that she made. There was a parade and everyone marched and handed out fliers advertising her business. In addition to parades, you can target other community events. You may also want to hang business flyers on local community bulletin boards and advertise your business in local papers.
Once your business gets up and running, you should consider making a company web page. Although many costume makers prefer working with local clients, there are some who take orders from across the country. Having a company website will allow people to view your work and place orders. The downside to this is that you will have to have someone else take measurements for you and you should ensure that this person correctly knows how to do so.
One of the first things that people like to know before they start a business is how much money they can be expected to make. With a costume business this actually depends on how much time and energy you plan on committing to this project. Most costume designers charge based on the type of costume being made. You will need to take into consideration how much materials will cost and your labor. There are some costume designers who will sell costumes for as low as fifty dollars; however, some costumes can sell for more than two thousand dollars.
As with any business, there will generally be a period where business will slow down for a period of time. If your business has locally slowed down, this would be a good opportunity to focus on obtaining new clients through your web page. If your business has become a success you may want to expand it into costume rentals. During your downtime, you could make general costumes for children or adults. There are some people or groups who will not be interested in purchasing a costume if it will only be used once. A few costumes that might make good rentals could be Mrs. Claus, Santa, or the Easter Bunny.
To have a successful costume design business, you will need to have a flair for design and be able to sew. You will also need to have an outgoing personality, this will help you when approaching new clients. Many larger and successful costume businesses are located near large cities; however, many costume designers who know how to obtain clients can easily bring in around $50,000 a year. Although designing costumes may not exactly be what you had in mind, this experience could also help you on your way to a career in other fashions.