Life of Johanna / Running a business

The State of the Business Spring 2020

The last time I did an update about my entrepreneurial journey, the Covid-19 virus had not yet been declared a global pandemic, but now we are facing a different world so I wanted to give you an update in the light of that.

As many of you already know, I’m juggling both a day job and a growing sewing business, and have done so for many years. This means that I’m spending most evenings and weekends working on my side-biz, with just a few breaks here and there to keep my sanity and nourish my relationships. 

So yeah, it’s a mental slippery slope with a burn-out looming in every corner, yet, for some reason, I keep going and I’m here to share the realities of this, since I think that this is a story we don’t always get to hear in the sea of inspirational “I quit my 9-5 to live my dream” stories.

The security (?) of a day job

The first week of March I went back to my day job after a six-month hiatus where I worked solely on my sewing business. The Covid-19 had already started to cause global unrest and the second week in March, WHO declared that the virus had become a global pandemic and thus the shutdown began. 

That kinda reaffirmed that I had made the right decision to keep my employment because being an entrepreneur with a small, unreliable income, and no safety-net is not what I would call a dream life, especially when the global economy is seeing a sharp downturn as well.

With that said, my day job, like most people’s, have also been affected by the pandemic and there are suddenly new uncertainties to navigate. So what I had initially perceived as returning to a predictable position, is suddenly more complicated.

What to do?

Despite the unrest, I’m going to chug along with my projects, trying to keep up the momentum, even though it’s hard some days. The good news is that I have less than a quarter left on my jeans book, and once I have recouped from that project, I plan to release another garment sewing pattern and then, hopefully, my first online sewing course (when the time is right).

I also want to say a big thank you to everyone who has bought things that I have created. I feel deeply honoured that you have chosen something from me as part of your sewing journey.

Making a living

So yes, I will soon have my third sewing book out, plus I already have a handful of sewing patterns and several other income streams too. 

So while it might sound like a lot, and I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished, it is still not enough to replace a fairly average salary and benefits for a person of my age and education, even when we are not going through a recession like the one we are currently facing.

Which is why I’m so keen on sharing this because while someone might look “successful” from the outside, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the monetary gains are there. So if you are thinking about going into business, it’s important to be realistic about what to expect and knowing that you will most likely need a very long runway (years TBH) before your company is financially viable.

Who knows what the future holds?

Some days I find it really hard to adjust and accept this “new normal” especially since there is no definitive end date in sight, and I think at this point most of us are really struggling with this. But on other days I actually feel fairly optimistic about the future, and that swift and coordinated actions paired with science breakthroughs will have a massive impact on curbing this pandemic.

So it’s an emotional roller coaster that can be exhausting at times.

I don’t have any answers of course, but I do think that addressing these feelings is very important, since a pandemic like this one comes with so many more layers than just the virus itself. And we have to support each other in that, and hopefully find some comfort in that we are not alone in feeling the way we do.



  • Natasha
    May 30, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Thank you Johanna, for your honesty. We are all feeling uneasy, for different reasons and the same reason. We are in a global pandemic. It affects us all and we need to connect and support each other. It starts with being honest.

  • Marilyn
    May 31, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    It’s a delight to read of how you are accomplishing so much. Yours is good work that is a real benefit –your blog, your photo posts, your enthusiasm for all of us. I have your coverstitch book and it has been enormously helpful with my Babylock machine, and I’m eager for the jeans book. I started reading your blog out of curiosity [I’m an American of Swedish descent] and haven’t missed anything you’ve written for a couple years now. THANK YOU for all of it. My very best to you!

  • Jeans Book Sneak Peek - The Last Stitch
    August 15, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    […] far, which is why it took a little longer than I had originally planned. Plus the fact that I had to return to my day job, not to mention the mental toll that has been 2020. So it feels like quite an achievement that I […]

  • […] I wrote my last post, I had just returned to my day job after a six month long hiatus and was feeling pretty good about […]


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