For Sara Robinson, a simple sewing activity with her mom when she was eight years old has launched a thriving business, a feature in a book, and opportunities to support her beloved hometown of Bremen, Georgia. Seven years later, her company, Sara Sews is going strong, designing and sewing colorful aprons for kids and adults, reusable sandwich bags and more. The aprons are perfect for messy art projects and cooking!
Sara is one of TheWMarketplace's Teen Entrepreneurs, and we couldn't be more thrilled to offer her products in our marketplace where people can shop their values and support the entrepreneurial enterprise of our youngest sellers.
How did you hear about TheWMarketplace?
Brian Weisfeld from The Startup Squad reached out about a new e-commerce platform for women. He was excited that TheWMarketplace was accepting teen owned businesses, and we jumped at the chance to be part of it!
What inspired you to start your business?
I live in a rural area of Georgia that was once known as “the clothing center of the South” because of the booming apparel industry. Our house is across the street from a run down sewing plant that once employed hundreds of local people, including my grandparents. In the summer of 2014 I had just finished second grade and mom taught me to make a simple a colorful apron for a friend. When we posted a photo on Facebook there were lots of encouraging replies and requests from friends to make more. The rest, as they say, is history.
What has been the most challenging thing about getting your business up and running?
We didn't have any idea how many tasks were involved in running a business, in addition to making all of the products we sell. Some of that was really overwhelming, so we had to find people who would help.
What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of owning your own business?
Lots of people in town have really supported and encouraged me, so it was very rewarding to be able to give back when the pandemic hit. With the help of family and school friends, we were able to sew and give away thousands of fabric masks. I've also been able to share the sewing love with other kids by donating sewing machines and fabric to schools, the recreation department and community centers.
Can you identify a moment in your business that was pivotal in your success?
When I won the first "Girls Mean Business" contest sponsored by The Startup Squad and was featured as a real life girl entrepreneur in their first book in 2019, I realized that Sara Sews could be something big! Being featured in the book gave me lots of opportunities to talk about Sara Sews, like interviews on podcasts and television. It’s been fun to share the book and my story with other girls and their parents. I donated one of the books to the public library and some others to elementary and middle school media centers and to some classrooms so that lots of girls could enjoy the story and learn about being entrepreneurs.
Do you have items, photos or mementos on your desk that inspire you each day?
In 2018 we moved most of our sewing into what used to be the headquarters of the Warren Sewell Clothing Company, and on the wall we found a photo from 1949 that shows my grandpa Robinson with hundreds of other young locals who were employed there. I'm proud be part of the fabric of our community and to produce handmade aprons and other products that bring generations and families together.
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Launched in 2020, TheWMarketplace is a nationwide e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses to sell their products and professional and personal services. Offering favorable terms to its sellers, it also is a supportive community of women entrepreneurs that have access to learning opportunities through the trademarked HER-Commerce™ programs. With over 500 women-owned businesses selling 4000+ products and services ranging from home goods to coaching, in over 35 states, TheWMarketplace empowers shoppers with a new way to find the communities they want to support, including Black-woman owned, Latina-owned, AAPI-owned, Veteran woman-owned, and more. The Her Story Q&A is one benefit TheWMarketplace provides to sellers.