These savvy women turned their passion for creativity into serious cash. Read on to learn their secrets so you can start earning, too!
‘I make $115,000 a year teaching craft classes!’
“Years ago, when I was working full-time, I started to make and sell gift baskets on the side. I loved doing it — it was fun and brought joy to others. I bought picture frames, kitchen tools, food, keepsakes, baby blankets, and bibs as well as unique containers like upturned umbrellas and children’s wagons. Learning how to make them was a lot of trial and error, but I looked at baskets in stores, read magazines with how-to tips and attended conferences for people who make them.
“After a few years, a friend told me that ed2go, a company that offers online courses, was hiring someone to teach a class on making gift baskets. I applied and landed the gig! Ed2go gave me a model to create a course and a mentor to support me. I then created modules, lessons, a quiz, and discussion questions. I also added links to YouTube videos from other experts. I used my laptop and purchased a few low-cost items like a tripod, a ring light, a microphone and a webcam. Today, I have a website (GiftBasketBusiness.com), and I offer a class on starting your own gift basket business on ed2go and classes on making gift baskets for fun or profit on Thinkific.com, a similar platform. I also teach in-person classes and give demonstrations at libraries.
“I love this work because I can incorporate my own style into making something. I earn more than $115,000 a year for the classes I teach — money that pays bills, goes into the business, and allows me to travel!”
‘I make 6 figures a year helping kids craft!’
“I’ve always been creative, and after I had my first child and decided to stay home, I started to make baby booties and organize craft parties. A friend told me I should start my own business, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I thought it would be cool for kids to receive a gift with a craft in the mail once a month. When I did some research, I realized there were actually people making money with subscription-based businesses. So in 2009, I launched Green Kid Crafts.
To get started, a friend gave me a small loan. I used it to create a website and purchase inventory. I designed the first product and had friends test it out and give me feedback.
“Each box contains a themed learning kit with a STEM project, like ‘All Around the World’ or ‘Save Our Oceans,’ and a craft kids can do with their own supplies. All of our products contain materials that are sustainable and natural. We have options for kids ages 2 to 4 and 5 to 10. We offer a monthly subscription for $20 to $30 a month, sibling boxes, and single boxes to purchase on our website or on Amazon. Each box also has a 12-page kids magazine with puzzles, games and book suggestions related to the theme.
“We market the business in several ways, from working with bloggers that promote our products to posting on social media, but a lot of our customers find us through word of mouth.
“I love this business because I get to exercise my creativity every day, it inspires kids and it’s flexible so I can be available for my kids. This year, we’re slated to make $2 million. I take a six-figure salary — money that pays the bills, pays for trips with my family, and is donated to charity.”
‘I earn a full-time income making jewelry!’
“About 10 years ago, when my mother was sick, she came to live with me, and I quit my job to care for her. I was under a lot of stress, so I started making jewelry — something I had loved to do as a teenager — and gave some of the pieces to the hospice workers to thank them. Then I learned about Etsy and decided to start a shop and see if I could sell the jewelry. I called the business Jewels for Hope and decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. When I made my first sale, I was thrilled!
“I had no idea how to start a business, but my friends gave me books and I did a lot of research. I also joined The Artisan Group, an organization that gave me information about growing my business, and later, helped me get celebrities to wear and promote my jewelry. At first I bought supplies at Michaels, but then learned that I could get a better price buying them wholesale.
“I make earrings, rings, and bracelets, and use Swarovski crystals, gemstones, and beads. I also make cuff links, bottle openers, money clips, and diffuser bracelets for anxiety. I sell the jewelry on Amazon, my Etsy shop (Jewels For Hope) and in 10 retail locations.
“Making jewelry allows me to be creative and help others. I make a full-time income — money that goes back into the business or pays for extras like dinners out with my family.”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.