Home Business Entrepreneurs: Making Wreaths, Used Bookstore and Building Maple Branch Chairs

The Bootstrap Businesses column showcases home business entrepreneurs: Diane Abernathy on making wreaths; Linda Triegel on opening a used book store and R. Sowards on a maple branch chair business.

| November/December 1977

Home business entrepreneurs enter into new businesses, including making wreaths for the holidays, opening a used bookstore and building maple branch chairs for profit.

If you now operate — or have ever operated a successful home business that was inspired by an article you read in MOTHER, tell us (in 500 words or less) when and where — and with how much "seed money" you started your venture. If your story can be fitted into an upcoming installment of Bootstrap Businesses you'll receive [1] the warm satisfaction of knowing that you helped someone else find the happiness you enjoy and [2] a free two-year new or renewal subscription to THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

When Christmas drew near last year, the need 3 for some extra cash became apparent to us . . . and that was when an article I'd read back in It MOTHER NO. 36 ("Make Wreaths for Winter Dollars", pages 85-88) came to mind.

Although I'd never made a wreath before, it sounded simple enough . . . so I bought a cutting permit from the Forest Service for $5.00 and headed out for the dense woodlands from my I home in central Oregon. I drove fifty miles up to the mountains and returned with a load of boughs from white and Douglas firs and incense cedars.

And then . . . with these branches . . . and some leftover, smooth 10-gauge wire we'd used in our raspberry patch and a roll of thinner wire we had lying around and my copy of MOTHER open to Gillian McDaniel's instructions . . . I got started in the wreath business!

My husband made all the rings I needed, using a single strand of the smooth metallic wire for the 10-inch-diameter wreaths and a double loop for the 20-inch size. (The ends of the rings can either be spot-welded or twisted together.) When I ran out of my original stock of wire, I bought some spools of florist's wrapping wire, which — at 85¢ apiece — quickly added up, so next year I plan on finding a wholesale source. (As it turned out, though, our biggest wreathmaking expense was not wire, but gas for the car and truck.)

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