Advice for a newbie

For traders and related people to share

Moderator: Moderators

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:59 am

Advice for a newbie

Postby sammi71 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:03 am

I am considering starting a business making period costume. The advice I need is what period to start with, which is the most requested? I know all societies have an authentication officer, is there a central list that they work from or is it up to each society?

To start with I would be trading from a website, then as stock increases hopefully go to a few local shows (South East).

Any advice that you could give would be appreciated.


User avatar
Kate Tiler
Post Centurion
Posts: 620
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Advice for a newbie

Postby Kate Tiler » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:04 am

Hi Sammi - I'm sure people will be along to give you tips on where to start - are you a re-enactor yourself? If you aren't you may find it useful to visit a few multi-period shows and also the two largest trading events where there will be both other costume makers and a lot of visitors and traders wearing different period outfits - TORM has a website here: and The International Living History Fair:

These are both held twice yearly, in the Midlands, and the next fairs are at the end of October and mid-November.

Check out the costume area of this site as well for previous threads - there is a lot of information here.

It may be a question of finding what you really love and are fascinated by - this will help you keep going during all the hard, repetitive slog! Also there are many historic periods which have a lot of existing, well established costume makers who have a repeat client basis, and competing in this market will be difficult unless you can quickly gain a reputation for exceptional quality - competing on a cost basis probably won't apply as people would rather pay once, and pay more for a one-time only well made item.

Identifying a historic period that has only recently begun to be re-enacted may be one way to find a niche.

There are also specialist costume making forums - including at least one I'm aware of which is run as a paid-subscription site that has patterns etc available.

Finding a local museum or local re-enactment group that you can work with and offer your services to on a costs only basis may be a way to build up a portfolio more quickly.

Good luck :) Kate
"In art as in life everything is possible as long as it is based on love" Marc Chagall

Return to “Traders Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests