What started as “Hey, you should do a couple videos on these machines,” has turned SewingMastery.com into an International resource for sewing machine users with over 2,000 videos on 37 different sewing machines models spanning three different sewing machine brands.
Let me back up a few years. Steve, my inspiring husband and the man with a million ideas all before breakfast presented me with two options one morning. As our mornings go, we discuss many topics in our bathroom as we get ready. I am sometimes scared to go in there with him especially if he has been up a few hours and has had time to think through his latest batch of crazy ideas. I, Sara, said supporting wife and business partner, actually enjoy this time to fix life’s many problems and bounce ideas off each other. But this one morning was about to change the course of my career.
Steve: I have two options for you to pick. Which one would you want to do?
Me: Should I sit down?
Steve: Maybe. (This should have been my first clue).
Me: [I sit. Remember this all takes place in the bathroom].
Steve: Option #A – (Though I can’t write out what Option #A was, it is not the one I picked. It still is on the drawing board).
Or, Option #B, take every sewing machine we stock at Heirloom Creations and do a video on every page of the manual. Keep them short and sweet. Start with our most basic machines and work yourself up through the line until you get to the top.
Me: Option #B actually sounded more fun than Option #A, but it involved 1,000 times more work. Creating content that would help our in-store Heirloom Creations customers would help answer many of the same questions we get asked on a daily basis. In the long run, I could see filming these videos would help take a little work off our shoulders at the store and help make our sewing machine customers more knowledgeable. If they are smarter with their sewing machines, they will sew more. If they sew more, they buy more fabric. If they buy more fabric AND sew more, they will want to upgrade their sewing machine to a bigger, fancier model. Everyone wins!
And so “Operation Option B” was started. We called it “Option B” until we figured out its real name “Sewing Mastery – Mastering Your Sewing Machine”.
Steve: The little sewing machines shouldn’t take you very long to produce, right? You could do one a week. That would be four a month. (Can you hear how excited he got, as we started to put the plan in place)?
Me: So I get a month off from everything else I do to start filming?
Steve: No, I’m sure you can do this in addition to everything you already do.
Not wanting to say no or think I could not handle “Operation Option B”, I started to figure out how I could integrate this project into my already busy life. And on a side note, our daughter Kate was 3 years old.
We listed out every sewing machine model we sell and put them in a logical filming order. Then the sewing machine boxes started to get stacked outside my sewing room/filming studio door. This was real! We really are going to do this! Holy CRAP! What was I thinking?
But then I started. Every sewing machine set of videos got easier than the previous set. As I finished filming one sewing machine, the raw videos were then edited and posted on YouTube. The YouTube Playlists started growing the view count and the thank you comments helped me stay focused to keep filming.
As we traveled to our annual dealer Bernina and Husqvarna Viking conventions, the resounding “thank you’s” continued. Not only sewing machine customers were watching our videos but other stores had found them and they forward them to their customers.
One of the best stories we hear is when a customer walks into a sewing machine store they have never been in before and plunks down their credit card (or better yet a wad of cash) and says, “I watched all of Sara’s videos on SewingMastery.com for XYZ model machine and I’m here to buy it.” This has happened in our store a handful of times and we have had numerous calls from store owners around the USA of this happening to them!
If you are a store owner, these videos can be linked to from your website, Facebook page, or your e-mail. They are free. They can help your customers with a sewing machine they have already bought or help them decide if they are ready to upgrade to the next model.
Steve said something to me many years ago that I never forgot. “Don’t worry about making the videos perfect, just get them done.” Yes, those first couple of machines are not as perfect as the ones we produce now, but they are done. They will be on the Internet for years to come. When those sewing machines get pulled out of closets for grandchildren to sew on with grandmas, those videos will still be there to remind grandma how to thread the machine, select stitches and how to put the bobbin in correctly. Granddaughters and grandsons will even be able to look up that same information when they take that machine to college or move into their first house.
Thank you to everyone who has written to us, asked questions, encouraged us to keep doing what we are doing, and thanked us for making SewingMastery.com. We look forward to continuing to film the sewing machine models as they are introduced as long as we are physically able.
Also, if you are a store owner and want to thank Steve Snuggerud for his SewingMastery.com brainchild, buy him a beer next time you see him.