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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2013, 07:50
Michiibelle's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 31
Default Schools and Team Bows

Hey Cheer Ladies, & Cheer Mommas!

I have not posted here, I've lurked for a few YEARS (years?) but I'm finally coming out to ask a question.

Well, for the past 7 years I have made cheer bows for 5 local schools. I have taken more then a full year off recently because I was pregnant with twins, went on bedrest and had a long recovery back. Now things are of course, crazy around here, but I'm missing my hobby!

My little guys are now 8 months old and I wanted to get back into making some bows for Football season only to find out.... that 4 of the schools who were using me for bows have now ordered from Campus Team Wear...

$5.97 for a bow that I was charging $12 dollars for.

I have been asked by ONE school to make their team bows, competition bows and a Disney Bow for their school trip.

These bows take time and I really enjoyed making them, but now I see schools can get insanely cheap bows online and I'm a little sad. (ok a LOT sad)

My question is, while I have always made more "typical school bows" with just a few rhinestones placed by hand and sequin dots, do you think I could get business back if I went full fledged into doing custom designs, rhinestone bling, buying a silhouette cameo, vinyl designs and all that.... is it worth it just for schools?

I am scared to invest in case these places still don't want bows, even though I could customize them for the teams and competition teams at the schools.

I know the girls would LOVE them, but I think the parents like these cheaper bow options.

I feel like I lost out big time pulling away while I was pregnant.

My oldest daughter's senior year is coming up and I really wanted something special for her last year cheering, as well as just being part of the whole community of cheer and our school systems. I still have a 10 year old daughter who hopefully will eventually cheer as well...

Even our small time All Star gym in this area used CTW this year for bows! I about died right there when I saw them
Last season I had an $900.00 order from them....

OK, sorry to whine - I'm just at a turning point here. Buy all the stuff and get back to making bows and rock it out - or just go back to boutique bows for kids...

I'm feeling old and out of the loop now with all the cool stuff people do to bows these days.

what do you ladies think?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-07-2013, 12:28
gmcks2001's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 628
Default Re: Schools and Team Bows

Sadly, making cheer bows has become an extremely competitive (sometimes ugly) industry. I work full-time and make cheer bows normally for my Christmas fund.

I have found a resurgence in my cottage business with the purchase of my Silhouette Cameo and use of glitter vinyl. However, to tell you that my bow work picked up enough to let me stay at home, I cannot.

I make bows because I have always found the challenge and little extra cash rewarding. I stay out of the drama, keep my business small and find I have no problems.

If that is your goal, I say go for it! If you're looking to make it a business, I would say keep making your boutique bows and add cheer bows in.

HTH! Good luck!

"Saving the world from pitiful looking cheer bows one cheerleader at a time!"

Find me on Facebook at Cheer Bows by Cheer 'N Bowz
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:42
Michiibelle's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 31
Default Re: Schools and Team Bows

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, it can be a very competitive business and UGLY!
Oh, and I totally get what you mean about keeping it small and staying out of the drama.

I like school bows - it's pretty drama free

I'm not out there to make it a big business or become some big online seller to teams all over the US or anything.
I just want to do some school bows and be a helpful parent - plus make some extra cash for cheer camp and new uniforms. It all goes right back to the school. I'd love to have a bit extra for Christmas though, I'm going to need it this year I bet!

I just want my schools back and no one else even gets into schools around here, they just make bows for the all star gyms to fund their children's competition fees. I miss all stars sometimes, but I can't afford it with two new babies.

I know I could swing getting the Silhouette if I got at least three teams back, I'd make up the cost after - but the vinyl and all - I'm imagining that you can only buy it in bulk? so I'm sure that is a big expense right there.
I haven't even looked into it yet honestly.

The team who wants bows this year wants a rhinestone Mickey head on them.. and of course, my t-shirt girl is closing and isn't doing bling anymore so I'm out for rhinestone work as well.

ahhhhh - tough decision... plus telling my husband that I want to get a new machine (after I already wanted an embroidery machine.. LOL) HE is going to think I'm nuts!

Thanks again for replying - it's nap time.. I'm SO in need of adult conversation (I just spend an hour watching videos of the Silhouette Cameo tutorials)

Bow making is also a sanity keeper! I need something to do for me.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:28
gmcks2001's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 628
Default Re: Schools and Team Bows

A great place to purchase vinyl is specialty-graphics.com. They sell the the foot. It's roughly $3-4 per foot, but a little goes a long way.

I think the Silhouette Cameo is totally worth it. I absolutely love mine. I was able to pay for it in one Allstar gym order. I would definitely recommend it.

Don't worry about those discount bargain bows. After one season wearing those crushed, flat and fraying bows, the schools will come back. Make sure you keep your DD outfitted in super cute bows. If she isn't cheering yet, see if you can work something out with a cheerleader to model your bows at practices or do a craft show near the local school.

Good luck!
"Saving the world from pitiful looking cheer bows one cheerleader at a time!"

Find me on Facebook at Cheer Bows by Cheer 'N Bowz
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