Pet Sitting, Feather Crafts, and Other Business Startups

In this installment of an ongoing business startups feature, readers describe their pet sitting, feather crafts, typing, and button making businesses.

| January/February 1983

The following are business startups that readers established after reading articles in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Feather Crafts and Apparel

My husband and I recently (and finally) settled on our eight-acre homestead in Arkansas, whereupon we were immediately faced with the cold realities of financial survival. So after reading Elizabeth and Allan Boyer's article, Fine-Feather Hat Bands, I decided to try my own hand at creating with feathers. A neighbor raises pheasants, peacocks, oriental silkies, and other beautifully colored birds, and I was able to trade one of my pieces of homemade feather finery for some plumes to make more of these unusual articles. We both appreciated the exchange.

I invested $12 in a glue gun and adhesive sticks. After I'd rounded up the scrap leather I already had, I got down to business making hatbands that I later sold for $10 to $25 apiece. Gaining confidence, then, I began crafting other types of feathered wear: lapel and hatpins, combs, barrettes, belts, and braid ties ranging in price from $3 to $25 each. My first month's sales brought a $500 profit and several satisfying trades as well.

Soon I began arranging with retail outlets (western-wear distributors, hair-styling boutiques, and dress shops) to accept my work on consignment. Most such businesses deduct from 10% to 20% for handling the sales, so I take that fact into consideration when setting my prices. The business is really moving, and I can't even keep up with the orders coming in!

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