Quilter Gets Creative in Bad Economy

Updated 6 years ago

Running a business anytime can be tough, but when the economy is bad, it’s even harder.Janyce Boynton in Bangor has seen a dip in her sales, but she keeps on going because she loves what she makes.Janyce Boynton used to be a teacher, and didn’t imagine she’d be making a living sitting behind a sewing machine.Especially since 10 years ago, she didn’t even sew. But nearly a decade ago, she got hooked on quilting. “Actually it sort of was an accident. I’ve always been interested in art and I was at the craft store with my boyfriend’s mother and she held up a magazine that had mini quilts on the front.”Janyce learned to make them, and didn’t want to stop. At the time she was taking a break from her teaching career, and figured she could make a little money selling her work. That’s how her business, Sojourn Quilts, was born.Janyce has her own take on quilting. “I don’t make traditional quilts but I do like quilted art wall hangings and I use traditional techniques but I use my own designs that tend to be contemporary.”Some of those wall hangings sell for a few hundred dollars, but Janyce has discovered those are not her biggest sellers these days.Her customers are being a bit more frugal in this down economy, so she’s come up with these original art quilted cards, that go for just a few dollars.Janyce’s business has taken another hit, federal regulations require crafters like Janyce to prove that their products don’t contain lead and other chemicals.She’s trying to get the proper documentation from all the manufacturers who sell her supplies.But that’s been slow going,so that means her most popular item, the Not Your Typical Lobster, is not being sold right now. “More than anything else that’s why my sales are so slow because it’s like I’m starting over again because my most popular item, I don’t feel comfortable putting on line.”So Janyce is looking at this as an opportunity to be more creative, and expand her product line.Not to mention she’s still getting to do a job that she enjoys, it’s really a dream come true. “Can I believe it? Not really. It’s kind of fun to do something that you like to do and make money at it. So in that way it’s sort of unbelievable. I get to work out of my home, I get to meet really cool people, I get to play with fabric, It’s pretty fun.”To contact Janyce, you can log onto her website: www.sojournquilts.etsy.com


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