Meet Linda Mercer of Sewing by Linda Lee – Editor’s Note: Linda Mercer owns Sewing by Linda Lee located at 3579 S. Access Road in Englewood. Learn more at SewingByLindaLee.com; please call 941-473-7582.
What was the inspiration for starting your business?
I’ve always liked sewing even as a child. I sewed clothes for my entire family including my parents and brothers. It was natural for me to develop sewing into a business as an adult.
When did you move to the Englewood area and where did you live previously?
I moved here in 1998 with my husband Joseph. We were originally from Rhode Island. We decided to relocate to this area for the warmer weather and lifestyle.
What are your primary products or services?
My services vary from minor alterations on clothing to major redesigning projects. I offer alterations, tailoring, dressmaking, home décor’ sewing (examples include pillows, drapes, bedding, etc.), embroidery, and custom design work.
How’s your business evolving to meet customer needs?
Part of my reputation comes from taking on unique projects. A recent example was making a vest from an alligator hide for a gentleman. A more common challenge is helping customers come up with unique costumes. I can do just about anything involving sewing.
What are your thoughts about the pace of change in the Englewood area?
Growth is inevitable and especially for a great town like Englewood. My husband and I are very happy living here and we enjoy meeting new residents and visitors.
What advice would you give to a younger woman starting a new business?
My advice would be to focus on doing what you enjoy and feel passionate about. I would also encourage them to be patient and diligent in working hard to achieve their goals.
What are a few things you do to take care of your health and maintain balance?
It can’t always be about working hard. You also need to take breaks and smell the proverbial roses. When I work, I work hard and I do my best to complete everything before its due. Away from work, I enjoy boating with my husband, walks on the beach and playing cribbage.
What do you enjoy most about being a small business owner and what drives you crazy sometimes?
I enjoy the independence, being creative, our loyal customers, and all aspects of sewing. I also love meeting the challenges that are part of my business. Too much paperwork and occasional long hours can be frustrating at times. Most small business owners need to juggle a lot of tasks, but most of us make peace with the pace and the process.