With an abrupt and early end to the school year, senior Megan Raisch has found herself with plenty of time on her hands. As she no longer spends hours each day focusing on her school work, Megan has been focused on growing her small business of selling embroidery. During the time away from school, Megan now works for hours on embroidering clothing items to sell in order to turn basic items into creative and unique pieces.
Although she has been interested in embroidery for many years, Megan received an embroidery kit as a gift last Christmas. In January, she began to create designs and better her embroidery skills in order to create her small business that runs off of her social media accounts.
“For years, I’ve seen it here and there, seen a few friends with some designs, or heard friends talk about wanting to do it,” Megan said. “When I was little, my grandma taught me to cross stitch, which is a similar concept but a lot easier in my opinion. I wanted to learn a new skill that I could apply easily.”
While each project can take hours to complete, the ending of the school year has left Megan with much more time to focus on her embroidery. Though she misses the routine school provided her and the friends and teachers she saw on a daily basis, the conclusion of her school year allows her to better spread the word about her artistic endeavor.
“It would be a lot harder if I was still in school,” Megan said. “These take hours to make and I wouldn’t have that kind of time at all if I was still doing school, extracurriculars, and work.”
As Megan has been able to spend more time creating designs for her friends and those who hear of her work, her small business has been becoming more successful. Thanks to the time away from school, she has been able to post more on her social media to help spread the word about her embroidery.
“I’ve gotten a lot of orders so far, and it’s fun to see people get so excited about getting a new design made by a friend,” Megan said. “I might open up an Etsy some day, but for now, Instagram and Snapchat have been enough to promote my small endeavor.”
Although the skill of embroidering clothing came easily for Megan, she does still face challenges from time-to-time that can be difficult to work through.
Mistakes within the designs can be difficult to work through, but Megan always works to create the best pieces for her friends and clients.
“Embroidery just takes a lot of time,” Megan said. “Also, if I don’t like how something looks, I can’t leave it—I have to rip it out. That’s always frustrating, but I don’t want to sell something that I know can just be a little better.”
As for Megan’s inspiration, she looks to artists on online websites such as Pinterest, but most of the designs she creates are inspired by nature and the natural world.
“There’s a lot out there and it helps get the juices flowing about what I want to make,” Megan said. “But most of the stuff I make can be found in nature: mountains, flowers, trees, planets, etc.”
While projects can take anywhere from one to nine hours to complete, some of her favorite designs are simple, but they help to make basic items stand out from the standard designs.
“My favorite design as of now was one I just finished yesterday,” Megan said. “It’s a Nike swoosh, but it’s filled in with different types of vibrant flowers. It’s a lot prettier than a basic black or white swoosh.”
Although being away from school has greatly changed Megan’s everyday life, the abundance of people using social media has allowed her to spread the word regarding her business.
While most pieces typically cost ten to twenty dollars, it depends on the piece itself and the amount of thread needed to create the desired design. Megan helps her customers choose their design, but she also recreates pieces her friends may send her to stitch into their clothing items.
“I can help them brainstorm a design or they can tell me what they’re looking for,” Megan said. “They can also send a picture of what they’d like. I usually tell them how much it would cost upfront. Then, if they already have the clothing item (hat, shirt, shorts, pants, hoodie) that they want a design off, they drop it off at my house or can ship it to me. If not, they order it online—usually Amazon—and set the shipping address as my address.”
Although Megan’s senior year had an abrupt ending, her embroidery projects are a great way to distract her from the moments that have slipped away. The creations she is able to sell to her friends allow her to see how she can make the most basic items into something new and unique.
“I enjoy it because I can make anything I want,” Megan said. “I can envision it myself or find it online and just make it for myself. It’s nice to turn an old tee into something cute and new and not have to spend a lot to do it.”