How To Turn Your Hobby Into A Career: Part Two
You make personalized stationary. It is a passion, a love, something you do that you give at holiday time to friends and family. You send a note and then people ask, "Where did you get that fabulous note card?" You mention you did it yourself. And they always, always say, "Oh, I want some! Can you make me oa set?"
Maybe it is a scarf, maybe it is jewelry, maybe it is photography, maybe it is baking chic cupcakes. It is your hobby -- and everyone says you should do it for money. Okay, now you are thinking about it more seriously. But how? Where? And what should you remember?
-- Once you start, it is a job. No longer can you just make some scarfs around December for presents. You will be knitting many hours, every day. That is a lot of knitting, which can turn that love of the yarn into a wee dislike of the needles. Starting up a business takes a lot of time, especially at the beginning. Being aware of this shift and how your every day will look like helps with burnout.
-- Don't forget the business part. Making what you love and doing your passion is fine, but don't forget the business part. Networking, budgeting, and all of that not so fun stuff are a huge part of it as well.
-- Start small. Always a good way to learn and see what works for you and your business. Search out local venues that will place your items - think craft shows in your area, local businesses that will split your profits with you and so on. Or get set up on Etsy. Many of their businesses only do a limited number of items - you can increase your output as you get going and build up a following.
-- Think of other ways to make money at your hobby. If you are a master knitter or sew amazing custom doll clothes, teach your craft at the local community college. Write about it - put together a few know-how essays and pitch them to craft or lifestyle magazines. Offer seasonal or niche gift services - let local businesses (or busy moms) know you can do gifts for their clients, special customers, teachers or friends for a set price.
Have you thought about this? Do you know anyone who turned their hobby onto a business -- or someone that should?