Tag Archive | blogging

The Best Tips On Turning Your Hobby Into A Business – Guest Post by Aimee Lyons

Photo via Pixabay by SplitShire

Having a hobby is a wonderful way to express your creativity and find happiness in your own abilities, and there are many things you can do, from crafting to sewing to rebuilding vehicles. Putting your time and energy into something can really boost your self esteem and self worth, and when these hobbies turn into something more, they can be beneficial in a different way by helping you earn money…or even find a new career. They can also help you find peace and strength if you’re going through a big life change, such as addiction recovery or a divorce.

These days, it’s easier than ever to turn your hobby into a business. By utilizing social media and resources available to you online, you can begin taking the thing you love to do to another level and potentially make a new career out of it.

Here are some of the best ways to do just that.

Do some research

It’s important to do some research–both online and locally–to find out whether there are similar businesses already and what they entail. Get a feel for their pricing, their hours, whether they offer free or discounted shipping, and what sort of business plan they operate under.

Ask yourself some hard questions

It’s imperative to ask yourself whether you’ll still want to perform your hobby if the business doesn’t work out. Will you still get the same joy from it? Also, is it something you can do under pressure? Starting a business means you’ll have a commitment to your customers and you’ll be working under a time crunch rather than being able to do it whenever you feel like it. Not only does your business’s reputation depend on it, but your financial stability does, too.

Get some advice

Starting your own business isn’t easy, and often you may find that you’re doing everything yourself or with very little help. It’s important to make sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment, so talk to someone who has been through it and get advice on how to get started and where to find resources that can assist you when you need it. Speak with local business owners to find out what they might have done differently when they first opened up their store.

Get social

Starting your own business–whether it’s making jewelry or fixing motorcycles–means you have to be good at selling your service or product. That means starting social media pages to connect with potential customers, doing trade shows and conventions, working long hours, and talking to people about what you do to give them an idea of what your business entails. In some areas of business, there’s a lot of competition, so it’s imperative for you to find a way to stand out in the crowd. Make up some eye-catching business cards and do your best to make connections and network with other entrepreneurs.

Build a plan

After you’ve done some research and are sure of how you want to proceed, start building a business plan with some assistance from an attorney, an accountant, and possibly the Small Business Administration. It’s best to have some legal advice so you won’t be in the dark in regards to your rights and responsibilities. Start with the basics–such as whether you’ll be opening a brick-and-mortar store or keeping everything online–and work from there.

Keep in mind that although it will take some hard work and long hours, starting your own business can be a worthwhile venture, especially if it means you get to do something you love and make money at it. With a good plan and some support from your friends and family, there’s no reason you can’t make it a success.

Author: Aimee Lyons


I Assure You We’re Open

I didn’t realize I had been away from my blog for so long. I knew it was awhile, but over a year? Oh my goodness! So what has happened that can be summed up in one post? A LOT. So I’m going to do my best to catch up over the next while. I hope. Things have just gotten a little more crazy for me this month, but I’m going to hold that under my hat for now. What I will say is that it was already intense because I have a spinning assignment due at the end of the month. And I have a HUGE spinning assignment due at the end of February.

So yes, I’m still plugging away at the OHS Spinning Certificate program. I am in Level III. I had questioned last summer as to whether or not I could pull it off. There is still some ongoing personal crap that just won’t seem to die (seriously anticipating the day I can let that rip – it would blow your mind and you would question whether or not my blog turned into a somebody’s horrible nightmare). I didn’t want that to be the reason I didn’t carry on. I will NOT give ANYONE the satisfaction of stopping me from achieving my dreams. I also got a fortune cookie that told me “Never Quit” on the day I contemplated it. The cookie doesn’t lead one astray. So I’m continuing to put my all into it. I will do my best to chronicle what is going on with that. I still don’t want to forget. Someday when I’m kicking back in the hot springs under the northern lights after spending a day with my sheep in Iceland, I want to remind myself just how determined I am.

My work life has taken a serious unexpected turn. I’m sure at one point or another, I may have mentioned my love of animals. I may have mentioned I did an internship with a service dog organization. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned I am a pet sitter. That was something that just sort of fell into my lap. I sat for a breeder. That breeder gave out my name to another breeder. And then word got out to other people. Then I was down to just one breeder. Then one day somebody asked a friend with a kennel if they knew anyone who looked after pets in their home. She gave them my name and BOOM! I’m pet sitting again. You know, timing is a funny thing. The pet sitting was quiet when Mom was so sick. There was no way I could have done it and helped her out at the same time. About six months after she was gone, that’s when things exploded. I don’t advertise. All of my clients are word of mouth. And that’s the way I love it. We have regular people that call us. It’s so wonderful. My Sweet Pea just loves this job. He’s got such a big heart and the animals know this. This is the perfect compliment to our lives. It allows me to carry on with my fibre work and I’m still available for my Sweet Pea. So yeah. That’s been keeping me busy.

I did a LOT of pattern testing for Crochet by Jennifer‘s new book, Crochet Style: Over 30 Trendy, Classic and Sporty Accessories for All Ages. It was released in November. I didn’t post any photos because we needed to keep quiet until it was released. Oh my goodness, that was one of the hardest things ever! She had us start testing in December of 2015. So now that it’s been released, I would like to post some of the finished product photos. I just need to get past my perfection paralysis when it comes to taking photos!

Speaking of perfection paralysis and the quest for the perfect photo, I finally launched an Etsy shop. Before you get too excited, I have to update it. I have a LOT of items I need to list, but I have to get the perfect photos. Or as close to perfect as I can.

Before I close this post out, I have one more thing to share. I got to cross something off of my bucket list last spring. I went to see Meat Loaf in concert. IT WAS AMAZING! The man didn’t stop! When I found out he was going to be playing in Kingston, ON, I jumped on the chance to go. It was the ONLY weekend I wasn’t booked for pet sitting. I did have a job come up, but I had to decline. I don’t know how much longer Meat Loaf is going to be touring (he actually collapsed during the show after the one I saw), so I wasn’t going to take any chances. I put it out to my friends on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to go with me. Nope, no (local) takers. So I said screw it, I’m going by myself! It took me over 4 hours to drive down there. Dad paid for a hotel room for me. I navigated Kingston transit alone on a Saturday night. And I had the time of my life. When I was 17, I made myself a promise that I would see him perform Paradise by the Dashboard Light live. So now I can say been there, done that. And yes, I did get the t-shirt! (It says Paradise by the Dashboard Light 2016!)

So that’s the last year+ in a nutshell. If you’ve made it this far, I thank you. I promise my next posts won’t be this long! I think I may start posting more photo posts. Because eye candy can be inspiring. And that the real reason I’m here in the first place.

And yes, that IS a quote from Clerks.

6th Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week

6th Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week

6th Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week

Last year I dropped the ball, but I’m taking part again this year! I’m going to do my best to keep up with the posts. It would be a lot easier if my awesome designer friends weren’t on fire with some amazing new designs. But I’ll suck it up hehehe

If you would like to take part, you can find the details here at Eskimimi Makes’ blog.

World Wide Artist Blog Hop with Kyla Grexton

Blogging artists around the world are taking part in the World Wide Artist Blog hop. We are to answer four questions and then link to a minimum of one, maximum of three artists who will post their answers the following Monday. The next Blog Hop post will be September 29th.

I was invited by Celina Lane of Simply Collectible Crochet and Crochet Street.

I have invited Pia Thadani of Stitches N Scraps and Tatha Lorenzen of Stitched in Love Crocheting to take part next week. Please be sure to check them out!

I have room for another artist if you’re interested in taking part in the blog hop. Please let me know and I’ll add your link. It can be any medium, not just fibre related.

The questions are:
Why do I do what I do?
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
How does my creative process work?
What am I working on now?

Why do I do what I do?
I don’t know how to answer this question in a short, condensed answer. There are a LOT of reasons why I do what I do.

The BIGGEST reason is for my son. Not only to financially support him, but to set a strong example for him. He has seen me go back to school twice now in my 30’s. He’s seen how hard I have to work to be able to maintain our very modest lifestyle. He is also seeing what happens when you follow your dreams. Another reason is so that I can spend as much time with him as I possibly can, yet still work at the same time. He’s needs my support now more than ever.

I also do it for my own well-being. With everything that has been thrown at me in the last few years (especially the death of my mom late last year), I’ve had to find something to help me keep my head above water and fight the battles that I must.

I also do it for the love of the art. It is my intention to learn as much about spinning as I possibly can so that I can pass it on and keep the art alive.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t really know if I stand out from the others. If I do, I’m sure it’s because of my love of texture and bright colours. And purple. While I’m trying to work with other colours, you’ll possibly notice a lot of purple creep up in my work.

birthday wool

How does my creative process work?
A lot of my ideas seem to hit me in the shower. I have no idea why. So then I will get ready as quickly as possible and shoot downstairs to get those ideas captured in one of my many journals (before I forget!). I really should just keep a journal in the bathroom…

I find it best to be in certain moods to work in certain mediums. With that said though, the angrier I am, the quicker I’m drawn into spinning. I calm right down and am able to maintain focus on that.

From looking at my work, it’s pretty easy to see where I am. If I’m in a good place, I tend to work with bright, vibrant colours and wonderful textures. If I’m in not such a good place, the colours are more subdued. That’s not always the case though, because I do a lot of custom work. Then it’s all about what the customer wants. I’ll tell you though, when I’m in a “bright” mood, it sure is hard to stick to a project that’s solid black!


What am I working on now?

My biggest endeavour right now is OHS Level 1. I’ve done the in-class portion, so now it’s time to apply that knowledge to my assignments. It’s not just about spinning. There is dyeing, learning about various sheep breeds and other fibres… There’s a lot to cover in 6 years!

I’m still doing pattern testing and plugging away at crochet orders. It’s my plan to slow down on the crochet orders though because I want to move more towards my spinning and dyeing.

My plan is to eventually get my loom(s) set up and get weaving. I also sew/quilt in my “spare time.” Let’s just say I’ve dropped the word “bored” from my vocabulary!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this little peak into my fibre-y madness.

Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week

I was looking over the blogs I follow and I saw this post from knitnrun4sanity. It was this post that lead me to this:

knitting and crochet blog week 2013 copy

Knitting and Crocheting Blog Week! It starts tomorrow and runs all week. It’s not to late to join if you’re just seeing this. I just discovered it last night and I’m diving in! I’m looking forward to this. I think it’s going to be fun and it’s going to get the participants thinking more about the methods to our madness. I can’t wait to see other’s take on the topics!

In addition to this, it’s going to be a busy week preparing my work for the Kinmount Artisan’s Marketplace. I am so honoured to be joining the very talented artists there! So this week will be tagging, inventory and figuring out prices. I’m so excited!