From Boatyard to Bling Business Pursuing Her Dream Full-Time



Sweetwater Boutique Embroidery & Gifts

Owner: Iris Swaney
Company: Sweetwater Boutique Embroidery & Gifts, LLC.
Address:  PO Box 3429, North Fort Myers, FL 33918
Phone: 239-218-1070
Decorating Technique: Embroidery, Spangles
Type of business: Custom Embroidery, Spangles


Tell us a little about who you are and what you do

I am a sew-er by nature, I have been sewing since childhood, embroidery by hand, etc. I love handmade. I was working full time plus doing my embroidery and sewing on the side for 3 years.

In February 2018 I left my job of 8 years to do what I love full time.

Now I work from home, which had its issues but all in all, I love it.

It is wonderful spending the day with my boss, a 9-year-old Jack Russell named Bailey, she keeps me going.


What was your biggest hurdle in getting started?

Space to do the work, at the moment my office is one spare room, the other spare is my workshop.


How do you decide what Markets to go after?

I play with different items, I post them on my Instagram and both of my Facebook pages to peak interest.


What technologies do you Use?

Computer and leg work. And my Avance 1501C embroidery machine and SpangleElite.


What did you get from ColDesi and why?

I purchased the Avance’ 1501C after months of research, I had and still use my single needle machine for certain jobs and “ Big Bertha” aka Avance’ for everything else.

I purchased a Spangle Elite along with the embroidery machine.

I chose ColDesi because they are pretty local for me as I live in Southwest Florida 1.5 hours south of Tampa.

I felt comfortable knowing they were within reach of me and the equipment is wonderful. It wasn’t always easy, but the customer service is top notch.

And the Custom Apparel Startups Facebook Group is worth it all by itself!


How do you set your pricing?

I price differently according to project and quantity. Mostly cost + percentage.


What products do you sell that other businesses might need?

I make Christmas tree skirts which I love and will never stop making and baby quilts.


What’s next for your company?

#1: Moving into a space that only holds my business

#2: A ProSpangle Machine

#3: Vacation


What Advice would you give someone just starting out?

It is long nights and weekends of hard work, I am far from where I want to be but I keep experimenting with different avenues.

Work hard, create and smile!

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