My wife has a small home based business. She creates fleece hats and hair clips in a small studio off the side of our home. Shameless promotion here: Ningen Headwear
Her business started about eleven years ago as a way of making some extra money while our children were toddlers. My wife attended craft fairs and sold on eBay from 2005-2010. Etsy showed up in 2009 and she began selling there. From that point on, she made numerous contacts and began focusing her products towards a specific genre. We attended our first Anime Convention, and thus began a new way of life.
My wife’s business pays for our trips. We incorporate vacation time with the Comic Cons. As a family we love the Convention Circuit. The kids are often dressing up in Cosplay, having photos taken, meeting celebrities, meeting fantastic artists and just having a good time. It doesn’t feel like work when we are there. But building stock and merchandise, that feels like work.
Last year I finally completed my wife’s studio. Up until this point, our dining room and spare bedroom was where she worked 11.5 months of the year. We only ever packed up for the two weeks at Christmas to make it feel like a home again. Now she walks out the door and enters her own world. She puts in full time hours but it feels like part time pay. That’s the cost of running a home business. No one tells you it will take twice as much time for half the results.
In my spare time, if I’m not doing housework or general home repairs, I try and help her. I don’t know how to sew. I don’t know how to measure and cut fabric. I do know how to update her website. I know how to sit at her embroidery machine and thread it (thank you movie theater experience for that!)
My wife’s home business isn’t going to make millions. But it does make her happy. My wife makes her customers happy as well and their feedback is phenomenal. That’s a job satisfaction that comes with taking pride in your work. Her business also keeps us traveling. Which allows for us to spend quality time together. That is worth more to us than any amount of money.
Running a home based business isn’t easy- but it sure can be rewarding.