Turning your Hobby into Cash – Part 10

 We hope you’ve been enjoying our Friday guest post series on how to turn a hobby into a business.  This week’s comes from Maria Ingram on her handicrafts business.
1) What is your hobby?
My hobby is anything handicrafts based, such as sewing, knitting, embroidery etc. But for the most part it’s crochet based.
2) Was this a hobby you started when you became a mother or something you have always done?
My mum and nan always knitted when we were kids, so it’s something we grew up around. My mum taught me how to knit at a young age and it just grew from there. When i was a teenager I used to knit dolls and toys for my younger siblings.
3) What motivated you into monetising your hobby?
I started making things for my children when they babies and other people liked what I had done and asked me to make similar things for them.
4) How did you develop your hobby into something more?

About a year ago I really got into crochet again after a 25 year gap and was looking for things to make that weren’t just granny squares and blankets, so started making little slippers for the children, and it just snowballed from there.

5) Do you consider what you are doing now to be a business or a self-funding hobby?
It’s definitely a self funding hobby at the moment, but as the children grow up and I have more time I plan to develop it into more. My crochet Viking helmet has been a big hit and I often get stopped in the street and asked where you get them from. So the business potential is clearly there.
6) What do you gain from this venture?
At the moment I get to do something I love that helps me unwind at the end of the day. And earn a bit of cash from it as a bonus.
7) Who is your target audience/customer?
I guess it’s people buying for small children, be that mums, grans, dads etc. But always someone who appreciates the value of something handmade.
8) What advice would you give to another Mum who was thinking about turning a hobby into something more?
Go for it but be sensible in what you can achieve in the time you have. I try to vary designs as much as I can because I bore easily and find making the same thing over and over very tedious. Be realistic with your prices, covering your costs is fine if you’re keeping it as a hobby, but if you want to run a business you need to remember to cover your time too. And most of all be proud of what you’ve achieved.
9) How do people contact you/find out more about your businesses?
At the moment most of my business comes from referrals and word of mouth. I am in the process of setting up a new website, but in the meantime people can find me on twitter @aRare5minutes or on my blog arare5minutes.blogspot.com
booties 2

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