With Business Advice From SCORE Mentor, Alteration and Tailoring by Maria, is Successful
As a young child in Brazil, Maria Kaufman would watch her mother sew fabrics into draperies and other home interior products. When she was 10, Maria sewed a pair of slacks on her own and her mother enthusiastically told her, “That’s your calling.” Soon after she enrolled in a local vocational program for budding seamstresses. Now a Eugene, Oregon resident, and having worked in alteration for more than 20 years, Maria wanted to start a new business that would employ her talents. With the help of her husband, John, and the business advice of experienced SCORE mentors, Maria now operates a successful, profitable tailoring business.
The alteration shop, which opened in August 2009, has seven commercial machines that Maria and one part-time seamstress use to stitch fabrics of every density and surface, from leather to silk. After just 3 months in operation, the business began turning a profit. By June 2010, the business had grown 25% since opening.
Mentors Louis Willcox and Frank Plaisted and their colleagues at SCORE Willamette advised John and Maria on a wide variety of topics, from cash flow projections to legal structure, advertising to insurance and more. Louis and Frank also offered ideas on how to grow the business by building partnerships with neighboring department and apparel stores to offer tailoring services to their customers.