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I've been employed in businesses ranging from custom slaughter to digging daylilies to sorting mail. I've walked away from all of them with more knowledge than when I started. I studied accounting and marketing, though life and the economy put my schooling on hold.

I've always dreamed of having my own business and finally took the plunge while still keeping a part-time job. After a significant drop in hours, I abandoned my job and have concentrated solely on my business. I have no regrets as I love the freedom that being your own boss brings.

I have experience in publication design and layout and am working on the first of two self-published cookbooks for release this month.

Maggie
 

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I am a semi-stay-at-home mom of four homeschooled children. I say "semi" because I occasionally work with my local chocolate store dipping fresh, handmade chocolates (www.honestchocolates.com). My husband is a shift manager at a manufacturing plant and has been at the same job for about 14 years. We aren't quite homesteading, yet, but this past year we moved into the boonies onto rental property and hopefully next year will have a fully operational garden. We already have a small orchard which produces a ton of apples and pears, but the birds got all the cherries before we could.

My business is jewelry making. I have been making jewelry since I was young. My mom and I used to make beaded native American jewelry that we sold to local resorts, that was a nice supplement to our meager income. After I moved away from home I stopped making jewelry until about two years ago, when I got a book on making wire jewelry at Goodwill. I made a ton of jewelry, and gave it to everyone I knew for birthdays, anniversaries, Yule and etc. This year I decided to try to sell my jewelry. I have an Etsy shop (www.followtheredbrickrd.etsy.com), and I've done OK there, but not great. I've done better by setting up booths at Renaissance Faires and etc. I attribute my lack of sales to being more interested in making jewelry than in trying to sell it, which I guess I need to change if I want to be able to buy more silver to make more jewelry, lol.

I'd like to be able to trade jewelry for Holiday gifts this year, and therefore be able to give only handmade items to my kids. If anyone is interested in trades, I'm more than happy to do custom items.

Marcy
 

· Goshen Farm
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Well that stinks! I just finished writing my whole introduction and it disapeared before it posted LOL. Bet this one will be shorter! Lets see I am 56 DH is 61 we live on top of the world in SW Montana. I am employed full time as an addictions counselor and will starting a new job at the prison in Deer Lodge (currently working for Silver Bow County- Butte). Any way I have been making natural lodge pole coat trees and natural stone cabinet knobs for several years. Began selling these items about 4 years ago and have done fairly well. Have a web store, sell on ebay and at local markets and shows. About two years ago I also began making and selling natural stone jewelry and am told I have a good eye for it. With this new job I will be able to retire at the end of 2009 which is what revitalized my latest pondering. About 20 years ago my younger brother and I were living up in the mountains of southeast arizona near a ski resort. We started a small business where folks would pay us to check on their cabins and property. Not like a security service more like a cabin checker thing. We would go by each property twice or thrice a week and make sure there was no damage due to fallen trees, vandals, storms, bears etc. If there was damage we would make the dwelling weather tight again and notify the owner who would make permanant repairs. If the police needed to be called we would also take care of this. Back then I belived we charged 20-30 per month for this. The section I live on has about 6 weekend cabins and another section caddy corner to ours has about a dozen being built right now. Just wondering if this might bring in a bit more extra money during these troubled times. We could atv to the properties in the summer and snowmobile over in the winter so it would always appear that the place was being watched. Anybody have any advice or comment on this idea? sis
 

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Just wondering if this might bring in a bit more extra money during these troubled times. We could atv to the properties in the summer and snowmobile over in the winter so it would always appear that the place was being watched. Anybody have any advice or comment on this idea? sis
When my parents lived in Montana in the summer and Arizona in the winter, they had someone watching the Arizona place during the summer, much like the situation you had. Basic "systems check" ... made sure there wasn't any damage that could cause problems, keeping a bucket of water filled to add a bit of moisture to the air in the house, etc. Don't remember what they paid for it but they said that the people that did it had quite a few places on their list and did pretty well.

I would think ... if you are in an area where there is some year-round access and particularly if there has been a higher number of robberies in the area, that it would be something people would be willing to pay for.

You might check with the local sheriff's office and find out if they are getting more calls about robberies and/or vandalism in the rural areas. They would certainly be aware of "patterns" and are usually good about cooperating with people trying to help.
 

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My wife is a Veterinarian and I am a Livestock Nutritionist for a National Feed company. In addition to our "day" jobs we operate a small Feed Store and a Hay Farm for stress relief and additional income. We don't intend for either enterprise to replace our careers, but we intned it to offer supplemental income for adding to our Net Worth.

Jim
 

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Husband and I are in Kentucky, small farm, with horses/ponies ... and rabbits ... horses are marketed through the Internet and the rabbits will be. The rabbits are primarily for our table, though we are trading some locally for garden produce and I suspect there will be some local market for breeding stock and pets in the future.

I've had artwork as a home based "business" most of my adult life, sometimes mostly just for gifts for family and friends but at other times I worked at it with booth space at shows.

All of my experience is pre-Internet ... I've only had Internet access since I moved from Montana 9 years ago, to Kentucky, and here still do not have high speed available.

For all of the years in Montana, most of my work was commissioned portraits of horses and dogs for the owners ... had a booth and attended several dog shows and stock shows during the year and would take photos of the animal there to work from. Also did a couple of local art shows every fall for the Christmas market. Did almost no advertising, most of my work came from referrals or contact through the booth and had work on display at one of the local galleries most of the time.

One major problem I've found is that the art shows in this area are primarily craft shows and that is what the people attending are looking for. I've talked to the few "fine art" people I've seen and they pretty much say that their sales locally are abysmal, so I have ruled out art shows as a marketing plan. My experience in the "west" seemed to be that the people were more focused on "fine art" ... paintings, etc. ... while the people in this area seem to be primarily looking for "fine craft" ... quilts, baskets, pottery.

The difference in buying demographics ... and now the economy ... have been a major obstacle for me in developing a market for my artwork.
 

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I am a self taught professional baker. I got the "genes" from my Nana and the Inspiration from my swedish MIL. I started a home-based baking business. I got my home kitchen state approved, and now bake for the cafe's in town. I bake between 300-400 pieces on an average week (a piece being one of a dozen, etc.). In the summer and spring it's busier. I look ahead to having a large kitchen built in our basement and/or an outbuilding. For now though, i am able to make enough and still be able to manage our family/house needs. I bake everything from scones, muffins, brownies, cookies and gourmet treats.
 

· Missin Sweet Home Alabama
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I am in MI and I am self--employed as a gunsmith. I run my shop from my house and most of my business comes from referrals from gun shops in the area. I have been getting more and more business through the mail as my business grows as well. I am going to start doing more gun shows to add some retail sales in as well. I probably won't get much of a chance to visit HT till after opening day here, this is my busiest time of year, but I look forward to chatting with you all after things slow down.
-Amber
 

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I live in Alberta, and I'm currently researching some ideas for a private business that will take advantage of our huge acreage.
Some of my ideas (a few I gleaned from here!)
- U Pick farm - Apples, pears, saskatoons, raspberries etc
- Organic bulk beef
- Trees and bushes
- Sheep/wool
- 3 ton truck for helping people move
 

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Hi,
My hubby and I are self employeed, professional carpet & upholstery cleaners and we work out of our home...we also do commercial janitorial type of cleaning.

We also sell rabbits and eggs from the house and we have in the past breed and sold dachshunds.

Our 11 yo ds, and 16 yo dd, (with our help) run a small snow cone business, that we sell up at the "main corner of town" during the summer months.

Belinda
 

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Hi Everyone!

I'm Jill and currently work part-time in an elementary school cafeteria. I also just signed on as a cruise agent. I worked for an airline for 21 years and finally found a way to work at home in the travel industry :). We also just started raising/breeding alpacas. This is a business that will take awhile to grow so no income from that yet.

I'm glad to see this forum!
 

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Hello and thanks for this forum!

DH and I have a 3.5 acre farm that came with a 1200sq ft store. We are very fortunate.
Right now we sell eggs and a little produce here and there, but plan to go wide open in the spring.
We would like to and are already getting set up for higher egg sales volume, chicks, veggie seedlings and produce.
I hope to bring in some products from friends such as honey and soaps.
And in my ultimate dream get my kitchen redone and state approved for breads.
In my area I will be the ONLY on farm, fresh produce around. I am hoping that gives me a good advantage. And if I get a kitchen in I will be the only bakery.
I would also like to branch out into some other homemade items, I am just not sure what yet.

Dh is a carpenter who would like to get into furniture building. I have hopes that eventually he can do this. I would like it too I think. I did it with my SF as a kid.

The potentail is here. Now all we need is hard work and good luck.
 

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Hi everyone, We own a farm equipment dealership here in Indiana, with my in laws and my brother and sister in law too, it's been open since 1966. My hubby and my father in law and Brother in law all work there. I used to do Bookkeeping but now...I work out of my home doing Customer Service Calls for a company. I LOVE working from home in my sweats. lol I love being able to stay home with all the animals and working my schedule around my kids activities.
 

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It has been a long time since I have posted on the forum; things have been very busy during the past year. It is funny how you dream about a certain type of life and it seems to good to ever come true,but it has.

I had always dreamed about living on a big farm surrounded by forest, fields and water and I am living that dream without ever having won the lottery that I figured would be the only way I could ever live my dream.

I worked for years in managment. I was bringing home a great paycheck but I was miserable. The stress of muy position was keeping me awake at night and I found that almost all of my off time was spent thinking about work and constantly reminding myself to not forget to call customer so and so and discuss some issues with them or I was thinking about how to handle employees who weren't working out. It was a great paying job with great benifits but the most I got out of it was stress that wasn't worth the pay or benifits.

My partner and I sell livestock and eggs from the farm. We sell mostly by word of mouth or people who see our sign as they pass by. My partner always complained about living in the country yet the road be very busy. I saw the traffic as an opportuntiy and used it. We started out selling eggs and that lead to selling livestock also. We do very good with the eggs. We sell all the eggs we can get the hens to lay which leaves us with no eggs even though we collect eggs everyday. We normally work 12 to 16 hour days and although very exhausting at times, we both confess to each other almost every day that we love it and wouldn't want it any other way. We are lucky in the fact that we both love farming, are commited to the job and enjoy working together.

My partner and I discuss every aspect of the farm from what isn't working to what is and how deep we should get into that area. We learn from trial and error and listen to our customers needs and wants.

I think this forum is perfect for those of us who work at home whether we are working from home on a big farm or in an apartment. It is nice to read what others are doing from home and it is a great way to get new ideas and share ideas to help each of us so that we can all keep doing what we love to do.

George
 

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Hello! My name is Debi. I have my own business- a daycare center. It does feel like my home . I have been doing this for 12 years now. We have 46 children that range in ages from 6 weeks to 10 yrs old. I feel blessed because although I want to stay home but can't, I have both my children with me. So, I have the best of both worlds. I still would loveto stay home but we just can't afford it now.Someday....
 

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Greetings! My name is Dona, and I've been a member of HT for years! I'm a 47 year old wife to Karl (a tree surgeon), and mom to 2 grown kids (Son and daughter) and 4 delightful grandchildren! (ages 5 to 5 mos.) We live in southern Ohio on 21 acres of great agricultural land. We have a young pick your own orchard that will help generate income in the future. I am a writer who has written for a publication my church puts out as well as the author of homesteading books. My husband and I also do homesteading consulting. We currently are mentoring a young family in their journey into the self-sufficient life. We have Homesteading weekends at our farm where we teach bee-keeping, soapmaking, butchering, on various weekends throughout the year, etc.

www.booksbydona.com
 
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