When Atlanta mom of four Deborah Moebes was pregnant with her second child, she knew she didn't want to go back to work outside the home. A decision to leverage her sewing hobby into a business jump-started the successful online sewing workshop and resource center, Whipstitch.
Moebes' mother and grandmother taught her to sew, but she didn't embrace the hobby in full until she worked in a theater costume shop in college. She was inspired by the effort and talent that went into costumes that would only be on stage for a brief time before being put into storage. "It was the first time I really saw the artistry in sewing, beyond just the utilitarian aspect of it," she says, "and I grew to really love the thinking and patience involved in making something worth making."
When Moebes decided to go into business for herself, she knew she wanted to sew. "I started out manufacturing children's clothing and hated, hated, hated every part of it," she says. When she was offered the chance to teach sewing at a craft co-op, she jumped on the opportunity. "Turned out, I loved teaching sewing far more than teaching school or sewing for others, and it was a much more profitable means of using my skills," she says. She opened her own shop and taught classes full time.
Moebes had been blogging at Whipstitch for a few years when she began teaching local classes. She had many readers tell her that they had no access to good fabric shops or sewing classes. Familiar with online learning, Moebes took the plunge and began offering classes online. 'I've had students all over the world — some who are in the same city but would never have met except that they took my online class together," she says. "It's a tremendously challenging way to teach, but it's also super rewarding. Whipstitch has now been running for seven years. Moebes offers classes and patterns, and regularly updates her blog to share her own projects and interests.
Moebes closed her local shop after four years in business and now devotes all of her work time to teaching classes and developing content for Whipstitch. "I genuinely believe that sewing changes lives," she says, "and I want the blog and the classes to be a means for people to discover this craft that really transforms." Through her classes and blog, Moebes has made fast friends and developed a community. "It's truly unique, and I feel tremendously fortunate to get to be a part of it," she says. "Working from home in my jammies doesn't hurt, either."
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