Being a One-Person Business Has its Advantages

Being Self-Employed

I love being self-employed. I really do. Otherwise, I would not have chosen this path over 30 years ago. And I have had employees and interns in the past and that was…okay. But really I prefer to work alone. It’s peaceful. I can set my own schedule and not have to worry about what someone else is doing…or not doing. I don’t have the headaches of paperwork and taxes and payroll. I like being the only person  responsible for the work that is done. And I can listen to any music I wish.

Those are some of the pluses of being a one-person shop including this view outside the window where I sit at my machine.

There are minuses as well.

There is no one to fill in for me if I’m sick or on vacation. When I’m fitting a client, there is no one to answer the phone and handle the walk-in’s, which all happen at the same time more often than you would imagine. I not only have the actual work to do (alterations and custom clothing), but I am also the office manager, the bookkeeper, the promotions department, supply chief, and even though I have someone who cleans for me (wonderful hubby), I do some of that, too. Then there are fashion shows, charity events, bridal shows, which I have participated in and my articles for anewscafe. I thrive on the variety of tasks.

The payoff is having to turn away a lot of work because I would rather cater to my long-time clients, and the brides with the deadlines, than take on too much work and feel stressed. If I’m stressed, it stresses out the client, especially wedding parties which already have enough worries. They need extra reassurance that their projects will be done on time, on budget, and with the least amount of hassle.

And just so you understand, I have had a “real job”, several in fact. And they were…okay. There’s something to be said for working with others and having a regular paycheck with paid time off.

But here I am with my own shop, with my own schedule, the music I want to listen to, and a beautiful courtyard outside my window.



Barbara Stone Designs has been a full service Alterations and Custom Clothing business since 1981. Barbara started her training at UC Santa Barbara, where she majored in Art. Wanting to work with her hands, she then earned her Dressmaking and Alterations Certificate at Shasta College in Redding, CA. After that she honed her craft by taking workshops and classes all over the United States, studying with teachers from all over the world. Some of the classes included advanced tailoring, pattern making, image consulting, design and color, moulage, proper fit, and many classes on specific construction techniques such as lace applique, working with sheers and satins, interfacings, and dye techniques. Barbara continues to advance her skills. Her most recent workshop was on teaching an on-line class which she hopes to offer very soon.

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