No announcement yet.

What made you decide to start your business?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What made you decide to start your business?

    I was wondering what made people decide to go full time (or part time) into their craft business? Was it because you were fed up of the day job? Did you just decide to go for it? Did business take off so it made sense? Was it a case of just getting the confidence and encouragement to go for it?? Or something else entirely?

    What made you decide to go into the unknown?? How did you start off?

    Also I'd love to hear from those who made the step and wished they hadn't.

    I was just wondering because I'm sure a lot of us are in the same boat. I always love people's stories
    Thoughts are a bit like weeds - they keep growing all over the place and you cant get rid of them easily.

  • #2
    I initially went part-time at my old job when the business started to take off as I was struggling to fit it all in with a demanding job and my health was suffering too. Me and hubby spent a long time looking at figures to make sure mortgage, bills etc could still be paid if the business went belly up, we went back and did more number crunching after my company refused to let me go down to 4 days a week and said it would have to be 2.5 days if I wanted part time.

    A year and a half later I quit my job completely. It was a combination of things that led to it, we'd had a death in the family (sorry, morbid I know) that left me with very bad anxiety and I was off sick for 3 months. At the same time the business was really taking off and if it wasn't for the daily trips to the post office I don't think I'd have ever left my house. Went back to work and couldn't cope with listening to client's problems all day so with the old 'you only live once' attitude I quit.

    Sometimes I regret leaving such a well paid job (I was earning more than my hubby does now) especially when we're looking at moving house and realise what we could've bought but what good is a nice house if you're thoroughly miserable? I also missed the daily contact with people so in the last year I got a very part-time job in my local post office which helped.

    Sorry, that was quite a waffle
    Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies


    • #3
      I'd been designing and making on and off for years. Doing one off pieces for people and companies mainly large embroidery hangings for company board rooms and receptions.

      I did less due to job situation, uni and other studies.

      When we moved down to surrey I went to work for a charity and started doing far more design and making.

      I was invitated to teach arts and crafts locally and having more free time I decided I now had the time to dedicate myself to what I've only been doing on a adhoc system. I just wish I'd done it 5 years ago.
      So many projects, so little time!/pages/Fol...92535377497013


      • #4
        I'd been gradually doing more and more potting in my spare time for years, whilst working at various places. I hated working for other people, although the time I worked at an art centre was great, I was in my element. But the council decided to close that due to budget cuts so we all had to move on. Some friends and I rented some space at a nearby business and ran pottery classes from there, plus used the facilities for ourselves of course. I always wanted to go full time but money was always the issue.

        Then after a holiday to the highlands I decided I wanted to live there, so my friend (also a potter) and I moved up, and hoped that with the money from selling my London flat, we'd have enough left over after buying a house to set up a studio and go full time as potters.

        However, the property market changed just after we moved up, and all our spare cash went on buying a house, so we were back to working 9-5 again in offices! I tried to get things moving as regards setting up a studio, but my friend proved to be a bit lazy and kept putting things off until another day, so it never really happened.

        Eventually we decided to part company and sell our house, and I moved to Suffolk to stay with my dad. With my share of the house sale money, I was able to give up working for other people, and set up business. The first 2 years I didn't make any profit, but now after a lot of hard work, things are improving and my name is really getting out there, so I have high hopes.

        I was lucky that I had my dad to stay with; I pay him rent but it's a lot cheaper than if I'd had to buy a house on my own. But the day will come when I will be able to do just that, I'm sure.


        • #5
          I decided to start a small business as it works nicely along side my day job. It is a limited market but I'm not really in it for the money, although a little would be nice!


          • #6
            I started my business - such as it is at present! - because I like to make things, but have no use, personally, for most of the things I make.

            Thus it made sense for me to make things which people would want to buy, so that I can make more things, buy more sewing machines, send myself on courses, have a good reason for gallivanting all over the country - and further afield! - in search of fabrics and trimmings ...

            I do run it as a business and flatly refuse to sell things 'cheap', but as I have a reasonable pension, I have to admit that 'making a living' from my business is not imperative, although it is essential that I make a profit, or else I cannot afford to continue.


            • #7
              I have always made things and can never sit still and do nothing.

              I began selling things to friends and when my second child came along I began making more as I really didn't want to go back to work commuting two hours each way (even though it was part time!)

              I ended up having to leave my job due to back problems and have slowly been building it up.

              My son starts school this year (boy that sounds weird) and so plan to really get out there, attending wedding fayres, working on my Facebook (going to a friend's tomorrow night with a bottle of wine for lesson!) and doing some advertising.

              Not making real money yet and lucky my husband can support us both, but it would be nice to be earning 'my own money' again.

              Here's to 2013



              • #8
                I was a teacher and got hit by burn out or was it a nervous breakdown or I got so exhausted I could battle my bipolar tendencies and regular migraines anymore?
                It's the best thing I have ever done mentally and heathwise and probably the worst financially except maybe I'm doing a tortoise and hare senario. My OH flew high and crashed and retired early. I'm not stopping. I'm shuffling along until I kick a bucket and enjoying every minute!


                • #9
                  I can relate to a lot of posts here. I got ill also, after working a very stressful job and just didn't seem to be getting any better. My doctor's only advice seemed to be "go on benefits" but that didn't feel right to me as I've always worked - so I figured I'd just give it a go in starting my little business, just until my savings ran out if nothing else! Anyway, that was 10 years or so ago now, and somehow I am still plodding along!

                  Like Anna said though - definitely the best thing I ever did. I don't feel "obliged" to anyone or anything and even though I work a lot harder than I ever did before, for practically no money - at least I can pick and choose my own hours. If I have a bad day, so long as I get the orders packed and out, I don't have any other obligations and don't feel like I am letting anyone down if I cannot manage something.

                  I think this is why I feel strongly that people should try to support small businesses. Because behind each small business, there is almost always a story of struggle. Its a possitive and empowering story, but there is still struggle very often. If you support small businesses, you are not lining the pocket of executives and helping them afford their second home or adding to the investment of shareholders. You are giving an important boost to a family who probably needs that support more than you realise.

                  I saw on the news today that people were talking of bringing in a support local shops campaign here like they have in the US. I would extend it to small independant online traders too though, because the big companies are taking over the web just like they took over the highstreet.
         - unique art beads & more
         - beads, polymer clay, glitters and inks oh my
         - Like me at Facebook!


                  • #10

                    Ive always enjoyed anything crafty. I studied Fashion and Textiles at collage. I went on to have 3 children. Two of them are now at full time school so I decided it was time to do something for me that also fitted in around my family.
                    My nan taught me basic crocheting years ago. I found my old crochet hooks in my mums attic a few months ago so decided to take it up again. I use you tube alot to learn new stitches and techniques.
                    I set up a business crocheting jewellery and accessories. Its called Elizabeth Laker (Elizabeth is my middle name and Laker is the initials of my husband 3 childen and I).


                    • #11
                      Wow its so great to hear how everyone started. I started many moons ago when at school because I had to justify buying more jewellery bits. I've never made a profit (I always end up buying more than I actually sell - I make sure I make profit on what I actually sell). I have a full time job so crafting is limited to the evenings and the occasional weekend when we are not away doing something. I'd love to do it full time but it's a dog eat dog world out there as you all know! I'm working on an angle now though which I don't think others have really got into yet in the hope that it might be my break through! I know I would only quit my job if I knew I could make as much, or a bit less than what I'm earning now.
                      Thoughts are a bit like weeds - they keep growing all over the place and you cant get rid of them easily.


                      • #12
                        It's so inspiring, as a business newbie, to read all your posts. It shows it can be done.

                        I'm just starting out, but it was after my(our!) wedding that PolkaDotPearle was created. Everyone loved my bouquet, and the bridesmaids bouquets, and told me I should be selling them. So I'm trying!

                        The long term goal is to go part time on my 9-5, or even give it up completely. We're thinking of starting a family, and I'm hoping to not have to go back to work!


                        • #13
                          I should be setting the business up this month, just got the bank account and insurance to sort out, then I can register the business with HMRC and advertise.

                          Main reasons, include being a single parent of three children - have to work round school hours/terms and their activities. Before anyone asks, my ex doesn't bother with our children and only drifts in and out of their lives when he feels the need to reappear in their lives. (Main reason for that, his current relationship has finished and/or he's had pressure from his family to ask after 'our' children - who I always now class as 'my' children). I have tried applying for other jobs, but not got anywhere - had a few interviews but that's been it. Also attended various courses locally.

                          Over the last 5/6 months, I've been thinking increasingly about going self employed/working from home. Looked at various things, and my own craft business has been the result of it. I have looked at doing other things, that I could do working from home. I do quite a bit of craft with two local groups that I volunteer with, so that's where it's stemmed from. I've talked to several parents and they like the idea, so hopefully it'll take off.

                          I've got the core bit of the business that I'll be working on/promoting, as well as bits that I can tag onto the core bit over time. As well I will be looking at what else I can do at home that will help to supplement the household income, especially as I'm the only adult in the house to generate income. Hopefully the business will take off and it'll be successful.


                          • #14
                            Have loved reading the mix of stories, the struggles and the triumphs and the plans for the future...

                            I never actually intended to start a craft business and had anyone suggested I would ever do such a thing I would have laughed.... I had a job I loved, that thankfully paid well, and I was good at it... I was happy that my life plan was all running smoothly...and then a stupid accident changed my life forever.

                            I was introduced (forced would be more accurate) into crafts as part of the rehab process post injury. Reluctant doesn't go anywhere near to describing my attitude...I had never been creative in a practical way and it was all strange to me.

                            After a major strop lasting several months(not pretty) I was eventually forced to accept that life would never be the same no matter how much I sulked or stamped my feet. I found myself out of a job and unemployable, looked at my options (again not pretty) and after a couple of false starts I threw myself into learning my that time it was more to save my sanity than anything else and I still didn't expect to ever enjoy it.

                            It has been a slow process since then...I started out with friends and family and then expanded into friends of friends etc...the turning point for me was probably when a City Firm invited me to take part in a fundraising event. The exposure was great and the sales really boosted my confidence.

                            It has taken several years but now I can honestly say that I do not envy my former colleagues one bit...and of course I have the added bonus that my boss is definitely nicer than theirs