Today we’d like to introduce you to Eryn Shields.
Eryn, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I accidentally fell in to sewing my own clothes when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2013. I was too cheap to buy maternity clothes that I would only wear a few months, and I didn’t find any of the styles attractive. I was gaining weight quickly and was trying to look good as long as I possibly could!
I was scrolling through Facebook and ran across a blogger who made her own clothing. I’d never once considered sewing, but in that moment, it made sense to me.
The plan was to sew a few simple dressed to get through my pregnancy, but I ended up falling in love with sewing soon after my first project.
I soon began finding the sewing community online-which is bigger than I expected-and started learning skills and techniques. With each project, I got better and better.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I’d decided to start a blog to chronicle my journey as a first time mom, losing the baby weight, and wearing fashionable looks. That blog eventually transitioned into all sewing and the looks I created and Style Sew Me was born.
Sewing became my mental break from the stresses of caring for a newborn that rarely slept! Although, I was exhausted, I couldn’t wait to get to my sewing machine, and spend some time for myself and on myself. I think it made me a better mother because I had the opportunity to recharge my own batteries so that I could be a better me for my husband and daughter.
I began blogging more, started a YouTube channel, and grew a good size following on Instagram. With that came opportunities to work with brands, speak on panels, and meet other bloggers and photographers in the DFW area. My world literally cracked open with opportunities that I never knew was available.
Eventually, my friends and family convinced me to start sewing pieces and selling them, so I started an online store. Ultimately, that venture didn’t last long because of multitude of reasons that boiled down to the fact that I had no idea what I was doing!
But, because I’d been exposed to new possibilities for myself and new goals, I didn’t stay down long. I took all of those hard lessons learned, regrouped and rebranded and started designing and selling home sewing patterns on Style Sew Me.
The sewing community supported my patterns so well, that I kept growing, learning, investing, and improving.
In the meantime, I’d begun sharing my tips, tricks, and lessons learned for other designers and seamstresses who wanted to start their business on my YouTube channel. I had no clue that the community was waiting for honest and transparent content like that and they showed up in droves to absorb my lessons learned and use them in their own journeys.
After a couple of years of being in business, I began the Launch, Grow, Sell for Creators Facebook group where I help other designers, seamstresses, and makers transition the hobby they love into a home-based business through online business courses. And I’ve continued creating my private collection of sewing patterns, tutorials, and sewing classes.
If you’d told me that I’d be here 5 years ago, I’d have said you were crazy. But, I love where sewing has taken me and I’m confident that this is only the beginning!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There’s been nothing smooth about this journey. But, all of the bumps and bruises have proven to be strengthening exercises for my will and discipline. I take them all proudly, adjust, and try again.
I’ve dealt with a boutique carrying my clothing line closing out of thin air on me with no notice, leaving me with boxes of inventory. I’ve dealt with broken promises, deals falling through, fear, comparison syndrome, doubt, exhaustion, tech nightmares, mean comments online, website crashes…you name it!
As a small business, especially in the first few years of business, you’re just rolling with the punches. You run into a lot of walls, but you just back up, regroup, and keep pushing onward.
Please tell us about Style Sew Me.
Style Sew Me was created to inspire women to take control of their personal style by sewing their own clothing. I encourage women to take time out and invest in themselves and their self-care through creating. Because I sew, I just happen to get beautiful, perfectly fitted clothing out of the deal!
I am known for keeping it real and making it plain. It’s what sets me apart and is the “Me” in Style Sew Me. I only know one way to be and that’s straight to the point. That has translated in easy-to-understand sewing instructions, and business advice that is digestible and encouraging. I have attracted a community of women who are powerful, engaging, creative, hilarious, and incredibly talented.
I’m most proud when someone contacts me and thanks me for sharing what I do. Style Sew Me empowers women by making them feel that what they want to accomplish is possible. This can be something as simple as feeling beautiful in their clothing, or as big as helping them use the craft they love and earn a living from it. It helps them feel like they don’t have to settle for “less than” and that with a little bit of love and grit, they can get what they want from using their creative talents.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I could press Rewind and do something differently in the beginning of my business, it would be to not compare myself to anyone else.
We tend to get paralyzed my comparison because we think we have to follow a certain path to be successful. I would definitely trust myself more, and stick with decisions long enough to see those ideas take root.
After building more business confidence, I spent a lot of time (and money) going back to unwind things that I knew I shouldn’t have done in the first place. I didn’t trust myself because I was trying to walk someone else’s path.
When I finally started walking my own path, that’s when things picked up and flourished.
- Downloadable sewing patterns are $10-$12
- Printed sewing patterns are $15-$18
- Sewing Classes start at $79
- Website: www.stylesewme.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/stylesewme
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/stylesewme
- Other: www.youtube.com/c/stylesewme
Angie Garcia Photography