Everyday before Charmaine Welch leaves her home she struggles to choose what bow tie to wear, often he resorts to her favourite Cat in Hat one.
Welch has been making bow ties for two and half years. She stumbled upon a bow tie pattern and gathered some scraps and went to work.
“Anyone who sews know that fabric stashes just happen,” Welch said.
While it was new and a novelty, Welch never expected bow ties would take over her life.
“Now I am just addicted to them,” said the Metchosin resident.
She had a little store on the craft website Etsy. She was selling apple cozies and baby booties and figured she’s throw her bow tie online too.
At first she would sell a bow tie here and there and that was all fun for her.
One day she made a bow tie using fabric with a Superman comic strip pattern and put a photo of it on her virtual shop.
“That’s the one that sold the ship for me,” she said excitedly. “Over night I sold eight and then in three days I sold 17.”
Aside from the flashy pattern, bloggers had found her bow tie and shared it on their blogs including 67 times on Tumblr.
That is what got the ball rolling and now she is busy making bow ties for orders she’s received from 25 countries.
This June she was able to quit her job working at Save-on-Foods to work on her business, Sew Fairy Cute, full time.
“I’ve always wanted to work for myself and now with great spirit I can run with this,” she said.
Through this business she has learned a lot and found her most popular bow ties are ones with super heroes on them. So far she’s even filled large orders of super hero bow ties for super hero-themed weddings.
“Most weddings have Spiderman, Batman and Captain American,” she said adding clients from the United States have more superhero weddings than anywhere else.
“I am very creative there is a difference between being creative and artistic,” said Welch explaining she can take materials and build something from them.
She makes bow ties for both children and adults, but adults sizes sell much faster. Her biggest sellers are clip ons, but she also makes pre-tied with an adjustable step and freestyle bows as well.
“I really want to get everyone in Canada wearing bow ties,” Welch said.
Running her business has taught her a lot more than just sewing, she has had to learn to be computer savvy and learn about displays and marketing.
For more information go to Welch’s Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/ca/people/sewfairycute