Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Earn $1300 a week working from home ...

This year I am juggling part time teaching, part time mother and part time small business. So overall "Kaos" is my middle name at the moment ...

When people discover that you run a business from your front room they remark, "Oh it must be so good working from home", and then people have images of you traipsing around in your jimmy jams having lots of tea, watching Oprah and taking your time to lovingly cut fabric out and make things.

The reality is far from that.

Advantages with conventional employment is that if I am having a bad day, I can effectively do the bare minimum and the money will still end up in my bank account at the end of the month. Working from home is different, you need to be driven and disciplined and most people just don't get that.

If I spend a day on the couch, my business suffers. If my daughter is sick, my business suffers. If the neighbours who are building an extention are jackhammering the drive way, my business suffers.

I recently stumbled upon an article at Anthill Online which spoke about making your business appear bigger than it actually is and it took me back to a conversation I had had with some fellow crafters about why why we work from home, why we "do" craft. Often the answer is because of flexibility of hours and the fact that we are accountable only to ourselves.

So it has been with great interest to watch some of our local crafters move from kitchen table manufacturing into getting their own studio and then expanding interstate.

While I would love that for Konstant Kaos eventually, the key word is eventually. Perhaps wise old Margaret understands that once you are on that expansion roller coaster, it is very hard to come off. And when you do come off, it might be in a blaze of glory!

For every article that talks about the wads of cash craft-at-home workers are making,and the changing craft marketplace, there is also an article like this one that talks about the falsehoods of hobby-cash that etsy portrays and how it's idealism pedals a false feminist fantasy of being able to have it all simply by working at home ...

So I pose the the question, out of all of you that read my blog, why do you have a crafty business from home? Is it because of the flexible working hours? Is it because you get time to do crafty things and get paid for them? Is it because you have a child? Is it because you can traipse around in jimmy jams and watch Oprah?


CurlyPops said...

I only started working from home out of pure necessity because of my health. I could earn ten times more if I could physically work in the profession that I'm qualified for.
Working from home is difficult - people drop in at the most inopportune moments because they think you're sitting around watching Oprah and drinking tea. The house is constantly covered in mess related to the business, and you can't just shut the door and leave it behind at the end of the day. Working at my day job was definitely easier.

bubbachenille said...

Ha $1300 a week LOL Maybe a month! Do what you love and the money will follow, That's not my saying or the title of my book, It's someone elses, but when I saw it it became my philosophy. I was sick of retail in the traditional sense and am lucky enough to have a wage earning husband who supported my move to work at home for myself. After two years, he now refers to what I do as "your business" Hurrah!
If you are having doubts, keep positive ! If you do what you love the money will follow, it just depends on how long you are willing to wait!

Sandra @ Pepperberry & Co. said...

Such a great topic to think about and talk about. I, too, struggled with a whole lot of misconceptions about running a business when I worked from home, and it irked me so! Not only did I never have a chance to watch Oprah (or Ellen!) and have a cup of tea, but I barely even saw the daylight as I was running around trying to get everything done. Moving into my studio was the best choice I ever made for Pepperberry & Co., not only in terms of my finding it much easier to work, but in terms of finally getting the respect I deserved. People suddenly understand that I now go to 'work' everyday, and I'm at the 'office', and I run a 'business', which they never did before. I seriously think they assumed I spent all my time patting pieces of fabric and living some wild housewife dream!

And in the end, why do I do it? Because working for myself, and running my own business, and living my dream, is the only way that I can effectively earn a wage whilst still being happy. There is not one thing about working in a 'traditional' workplace that appeals to me- in fact, the mere thought of it makes my stomach tighten and my face cringe! There's nothing like following your heart and doing your crafty thang for a living. Even with all the issues, and problems, and stuggles, it's still the very best job in the world. xxx

Anonymous said...

I've been crafting and marketing for over 20 years and never expected to make a living from it. If the things I make stopped being fun to make, then they don't get made.

Jessica said...

I don't have a home crafty business, though I've been sorely tempted to give it a try since resigning my job so that I can be a full time mum. But for the things I make I just wouldn't earn enough for it to be feasible. So instead as I'm (just about) able to manage on the one wage coming in I've decided to keep my crafting restricted to present making and the odd treat for our home and leave it there.

So many people assume that doing crafty things would be an easy way to make money - and I really wonder why. The time and effort that goes into what people make is so much greater than most non-crafty people appreciate.