We included the following question in the February newsletter:
quote: We regularly receive emails from people who are looking for someone to stitch a cross stitch piece for them. There used to be Ghoststitchers, but they have gone out of business. There are a couple of places that will do needlepoint, but we're having a hard time finding anyplace in the US that provides a cross stitching service. Do you know of one? Please let us know! (This might be a good business opportunity for someone.)
Apparently no one does know of an organized service, but a lot of people responded that they would like to be considered if an opportunity arises. There were various questions also.
Here's what I know about how Ghoststitchers used to work. A customer would send them their kit or chart (and possibly supplies), they would set a price based on the number of stitches and possibly the complexity and whether there were things like backstitching, beads, metallic threads, etc. They would then forward it on to a ghoststitcher who I believe committed to some timeframe for finishing it. The ghoststitcher was paid, but not very much -- it wouldn't have worked out to minimum wage or anything close. A penny a stitch is what I recall. I'm sure Ghoststitchers must have charged a fee as well. When the work was finished, the ghoststitcher returned the piece to Ghoststitcher who returned it to the customer. The customer and stitcher never had each others' contact information (which was a problem for some people when Ghoststitchers abruptly ceased operating). Ghoststitchers also checked out the quality of stitching by people interested in being ghoststitchers. I think they pretty much insisted on the backs looking like the front.
Regarding making a business of this, I think it would be great if someone wanted to set something up. It would work well as a part-time or retirement business. The cost of running a web site can be minimal. I don't think that setting up as a lone stitcher would be as feasible -- you'd soon have a backlog and everyone would be unhappy.
However, if there's no interest in that (and I feel that my plate is full enough) I am willing to keep a list of people who are interested in stitching and make it known via Scarlet Quince that I have such a list. I would probably need to collect some information about you, how much time you might be able to spend, whether or not you want to be paid, etc. etc. and then do my best when people ask for a ghoststitcher to suggest a few people who might suit. I don't want to be involved in setting prices or deadlines. I would just act as a point of contact.
I would expect the people who need to have stitching done to pay for the supplies if they can't provide them (and a lot of non-stitchers are not comfortable buying the supplies), so another question is whether you're willing to kit up a chart.
What do you think? Is anyone interested in starting a business? If I act as broker, what are the important preferences I should know about? I am posting here so we can all have a conversation about it.
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