Knitted Gifts, Carved Wooden Signs, and Other Business Startups

A Connecticut woman who specializes in knitted gifts and a Michigan man who makes carved wooden signs are among readers highlighted in this ongoing feature who established successful business startups.

| September/October 1979

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    Carved wooden signs turned out to be the right business startup idea for one man in White Cloud, MI.

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

Knitted Gifts

One day last year I attended an arts and crafts show, and after viewing the large variety of handmade items on display I began to think about selling my own handicrafts. After all, I'd been crocheting Christmas, wedding, and baby presents for friends and relatives for quite some time! I figured, why not use my skill to make some extra money?

That same week, while still toying with my business idea, I read MOTHER EARTH NEWS for the first time and there was a piece entitled "How to Go to Work for Yourself." I read it and reread it, and finally decided to follow the article's advice. So, I registered with the tax department (at a cost of $1.00), invested $25 in a set of business cards, spent $75 on a supply of yarn, and began crocheting! (I even used my vast mounds of leftover yarn to create a variety of multicolored vests, afghans, and the like.)

Within just a few months I had a large enough stock of clothing and gift items to really start business. My work had been displayed at three arts and crafts shows and I was beginning to create my own designs (some of which were submitted to needlework magazines). I'd been working steadily on custom orders (as a result of a commission to sell on consignment at a local gift shop) and—after having an article accepted by Crochet World—I'd even been asked to do a regular column for that publication!

Each craft show has earned me approximately $45 per day, my custom orders have proved even more profitable, and I have a future steady paycheck from Crochet World coming my way. Sure, it may take some time for my business to make its first million, but meanwhile I'm sure having fun getting paid for my hobby!

Barbara A. Chojnacki
Pawcaluck, CT  

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