Serial entrepreneur overcomes setback and takes her sewing business on the road

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Describing herself as a “serial entrepreneur” for three decades, Sheri Corey recently overcame what seemed like a serious setback for Sew Sheri Designs, the tailoring business she had operated since 1991.

“We lost our lease last December in Homewood and we couldn’t find new space,” she said.

But luckily, his creativity and ingenuity were at work.

“I had actually thought of a mobile sewing studio years ago,” Corey said.

“It seemed like the perfect time to try it out,” she said.

Corey purchased a late model used van and had the interior customized by Scamper Van in Atlanta.

Her new vehicle makes it easy for Corey to transport all the tools and equipment she needs to run her new business, Sassy Slipcovers and Decorating, from anywhere in America.

It can power the van using solar energy, its battery or by plugging it in.

“I’m the one and only mobile sewing studio, as far as we can tell, in the country,” Corey said. “I can now go to the lake, the beach or even just at your house in town and create your covers, pillows or cushions.”

This new arrangement allows her to continue sewing professionally, which she has done for most of her life.

“I’ve basically used my sewing to earn money since I was a kid,” Corey said. “I also sewed in college to earn extra money.”

In 1991, after Corey had her first child, she officially launched her first business – a line of appliquéd clothing for boys called Corey’s Closet.

She eventually switched to sewing household furniture and worked in her business nights and weekends while continuing her day job as a nurse.

“When my boys were 2 and 4, I was finally able to give up my nursing career,” said Corey, who called his business Sew Sheri Designs.

She ran the business from home until 2011 when she opened a space in Mountain Brook. After six years, she moved to Homewood, staying there until December.

Corey’s new van has two industrial machines.

“One is a walking foot – it can sew just about anything – and a serger that finishes everything cleanly so it won’t fray,” she said. “There’s also a pop-up table for cutting cushions and ironing.”

For the covers, Corey keeps several white and neutral fabrics in the van that people can buy, or customers can supply their own fabrics.

When Village Living spoke to Corey, she was about to take her first trip out of town in the van. She was going to Nashville to make slipcovers for two sofas and two chairs.

She had also received inquiries from potential clients in Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

“I charge my regular fee for covers, plus mileage is $2 a mile,” said Corey, who also charges clients for accommodations.

“I love to travel, so I’m ready to go just about anywhere,” Corey said.

It also offers local pickup and delivery in the Birmingham area.

“It might be my favorite business,” said the veteran entrepreneur.

Corey also tries to keep his skills up to date. “I attend many conferences to learn new techniques,” she said.

Running his own business suits Corey just fine.

“I think I loved the flexibility and the control,” she said. “At this point, I couldn’t work for anyone else. I also loved seeing my vision become a very viable business.

She also continues to enjoy sewing, calling it her “stress buster”.

“Every day is a new project, and I can get instant gratification from what I accomplish,” Corey said. “Sewing is really a passion for me.”

For more information on Sassy Slipcovers and Decorating, call Corey at 205-879-8278 or visit sassyslipcovers.com.

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