I just read a terrific article titled “Can you be creative and still make money in Australia?,” which was published last week in the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald online edition. Yes, I admit that I started reading it because the author, Valerie Khoo, had interviewed Megan for the article (during her trip to Australia). But I kept reading because it was a fascinating subject.
Ms. Khoo makes some very good points. It’s great to be creative, but you can’t build a successful business based solely on creativity (that’s a hobby, not a business!). And that is what Megan learned. She was great at making custom stage curtains and theatrical backdrops. But if all she had focused on were making drapes, and had not also tried to work on the business itself, I don’t know if Sew What? would be as successful as it is today.
Through the years, Megan and Adam have consistently tried to find ways to improve the business as a whole – yes, to offer better, more innovative stage drapes, but also to make our company more efficient, our business practices more “business-like.” We bought our own building, we contracted with a marketing agency for a new brand and website, we bought sophisticated integrated Enterprise Resource software, we worked with a programmer to develop our own software application to standardize our sewing plans…the list goes on and on.
And Megan and Adam have been right there, every step of the way. Megan didn’t say, “Oh, I just want to be creative – find someone else to take care of this business stuff.” Of course, as Sew What? grew, we began to hire people to take care of some of the day to day operations (such as accounting and purchasing), but Megan remains focused on the company and continues to look for ways to improve Sew What? Inc., both from a creative standpoint and from a business standpoint. So great that Ms. Khoo recognized this and included Megan as the main example in her article.