Home Business Success Story – Homespun Webs

June 10, 2013

Home business success stories are found everywhere. I was fortunate to make a contact on LinkedIn – Sarah Hagens – that owns and operates a successful website design business from her home in rural Alberta, Canada.

An ongoing learner, Sarah continues her education to improve her skills and product offerings. As a solo entrepreneur, wife, and mother, her story is remarkable and inspiring. Sarah brings talent, motivation, and a can-do attitude to the table. She was gracious enough to sit down and answer some questions about her story for us.

Thank you, Sarah!  Homepreneurs wishes you and Homespun Webs the very best of success in your future endeavors!

Homepreneurs: Why did you start your own business?

Sarah Hagens:

I graduated university as a teacher, moved to rural AB to work, married and started a family. After my second child was born, childcare and managing a full-time teaching career was too much for our family. I took a LOA to give our family time to re-group. We decided it was best for our family for me to stay home. I knew that I needed to do something, so began to explore options that favored my skill-set, knowledge and interests. I came across a one-year, online training program for Website Design – sounded like the ad was written for me lol. I signed up for the fall and graduated the following spring, and voila, my home-based career was born!

homespunwebsmasthead-Copy

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Home Business Success Story – Jennifer Lang

June 3, 2013

Home business success stories are one of this blog’s favorite features.  The best way to prove the viability of starting and running a home business is by introducing readers to a variety of successful Homepreneurs.

In this post, Homepreneurs is very pleased to feature a remarkably talented fine work artist.  Jenny Lang may have some physical challenges, but her superior talent belies any physical limitation.

Kookaburra - Jennifer Lang

Kookaburra – Jennifer Lang

Homepreneurs: Why did you start your own business?

Lang: I have Multiple Sclerosis and cannot work full time. I recently had to choose between finishing my education in fine art and maintaining a job. In the end I decided I was unable to physically meet the demands of full time school along with work. Part time school was not an option with the financial assistance I was receiving. While I still retain a part time job, I felt it was necessary for my well being to focus on my art in a significant way in my free time and decided that I wanted to sell work to earn extra income and as a motivator to work as hard as I could. The work itself has become a form of physical therapy after having a lot of difficulty with my hands after an MS relapse this past winter. I am also looking into offering workshops for people I know to teach different art techniques out of my studio.

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How To Be Naughty For a Living (Without Getting Naked)

February 26, 2013

Homepreneurs had a rare opportunity to interview a professional erotic book author – Lexi Maxxwell.  The adult erotica business is big – really big.  According to a recent article in Family Safe Media[i], the pornography industry in the United States had sales of about $13 BILLION dollars in 2006.  Of that, roughly ONE BILLION was for erotic print media, e.g. magazines and books!

Homepreneurs has not covered the adult industry before; today we present a home business success story:  Lexi Maxxwell writes erotic books for a living and recently transitioned from part-time to full-time (erotic) writing.   Lexi is a very popular writer in the adult industry and we’re happy to present this interview.  Lexi has interesting opinions on marketing books and knows what works (Amazon) and surprisingly, what doesn’t (social media).  Please read through this post – you will learn some marketing and sales ideas.

1)      Why did you start your own business?

I started publishing to Kindle under the name Lexi Maxxwell last January, 2012.

2)      When did you start writing for money and profit?

I’ve been writing for money and profit for many years, but only self-publishing for a bit. Before going the Indie (independent) route and wanting to do things myself as Lexi, I wrote for a large marketing firm. I write a lot of sales and marketing copy. That pays a lot better than publishing, at least while first getting started and before you build a large enough audience to sustain you.

Lexi Maxxwell

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Homepreneurs Success Story – ghostofawriter

January 20, 2013

Homepreneurs is fortunate to meet interesting and successful people in various industries that run a home business.  We caught up with April C., a ghostwriter with the business name “ghostofawriter”.  Ghostwriters are writers who write books, articles, stories, reports, or other manuscripts that are officially credited to another person.  Celebrities, politicians, and executives often use ghostwriters to create or edit magazine articles, blogs, autobiographies or similar.  Ghostwriters have varying degrees of involvement in a project, from rough draft editing to a full work under other names.

I admire April very much.  She is a go-getter, successful as an independent, and had the courage to take the self-employment plunge.  April is very talented and I am pleased to tell our readers about her “success story.”

Homepreneurs: Why did you start your own business?
April: In January of 2012 I suddenly found myself laid off. I had almost 20 years of experience in my field, however I had never completed my degree, and because of that a lot of companies were ignoring my applications. The few offers I did get were such a low salary that it was laughable.

After reading some news articles and various blogs I realized that my command of the English language was considerably better than many who were making money at it. So, I decided I might as well give it a shot.

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Homepreneurs Wants Your Success Story

June 2, 2012

Do you have a small or home business success story to share with Homepreneurs?  We’d be thrilled to feature you on this blog as part of our ongoing success story feature.  There is no charge for this, all information on this site is free.

Wedon written about business success stories from photography to craft jewelry to web site design.  Will your business be our next feature?  We want to learn all about you!

Why not get some free publicity?  Over 44,000 visits as of this writing.  Exposure your business, experience, and expertise to many people.

We do not share any information with third parties – ever.  If you get SPAM or unsolicited offers, it wasn’t from Homepreneurs.

If you are interested, please email us at Homepreneurs@gmail.com.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

Dion D. Shaw

Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs.

Homepreneurs.  New Day.   New Opportunity.


Homepreneurs Success Story – Nature Restores Me Photography

January 2, 2012

Homepreneurs is very fortunate to meet remarkably talented people that also own home based businesses.  These individuals are featured as part of our ongoing success story feature.  This story features a wonderful artist – Linda S. – and her photography business, Nature Restores Me.  Though we have a common friend, Linda and I never met until a recent local arts show.  I asked her to provide some details about her success and give tips for those interested in starting a home business.

In Linda’s own words: “I have always had a profound love of nature. I just love to be outdoors, whether I’m riding a bike, taking a walk, skiing, or in a canoe. And it doesn’t matter how bad the weather is, I can handle the cold, the rain or the heat. And the bugs don’t bother me. Just let me be outside!

For the past 10 years, I dabbled in photography. But two years ago, I took a macro class, and that changed everything. It opened up a whole new world for me. I noticed things about flowers, bugs and bird close-ups that were just astounding.”

Underneath some of her wonderful pictures please find our Q&A discussion:

The Beauty Inside & Learning How to Fly

All rights reserved – Linda Strickland

HP: Why did you start your own business?

LS: I had become increasingly dissatisfied with the corporate world. But I felt like I needed my job and couldn’t afford to live without it.  However, after some health challenges happened to me, I was forced to quit my job and take some time off. I had never done anything like that before. But I can honestly say that the first 2 months were such a blessing, I didn’t even think about the implications of what I had done. I went out everyday, anywhere I pleased, and photographed all the wildlife and nature scenes I wanted to! And since it was May, spring was in full bloom and migrating birds were passing through. It was like heaven. I realized I felt more alive than I had in a long time.  I had long toyed with the idea of being a nature photographer. I was already photographing nature on my weekends, it was a very enjoyable hobby. But after my corporate job was gone I started to think more seriously about it. I picked an accountant who showed me what was needed to start a business, and then applied to as many art fairs as would accept me. I have been doing this ever since! And I’m still learning so much.

HP: How long has your business existed?

LS: I began it in July of 2008, just in time for the recession!

HP: What are the greatest challenges you face?

LS: I don’t really have a mentor or anyone that could give me sage advice. I have just learned to ask questions of everyone I meet: other artists, framers at Hobby Lobby, store owners who can sell my photography, other business owners even if they are not in my field. I have found a wealth of information, and realized that most people are willing to share what they know. 2) The weather is also one of my greatest challenges. I lost a tent due to heavy rain, and had damage done to my pictures because of high winds. But outdoor fine art fairs are where I make the most money, so I have learned to rainproof my tent and move my panels in a way that blocks the wind.

HP: What advantages does self-employment provide?

LS: For me, it has been a godsend. I have been able to use my creativity to describe how I feel about the world. I never realized how stifled I was behind a desk, when other people assigned me tasks, and I had no say in what I would be doing. Even though it is hard when your day is a blank slate, and you have to fill it up, the possibilities are endless. And when you are doing something that you are good at, and other people appreciate it, your gratitude is always at a high level. And you see beauty in yourself and in the world around you.

HP: Do you have any tips/suggestions for those considering entrepreneurship?

LS: Never stop educating yourself! Talk to everyone. You will learn something worthwhile. Whether it is the person you’re buying your camera from, or someone you met in a nature preserve, or another artist who is selling on etsy or some other online store. It is important to be outgoing and create a network of friends that can help you.  2) Give yourself credit! I didn’t go to school for photography, so I am grateful for each success.  3) And don’t give up. If something you tried did not work out, learn from it and move on. When I hired Discover Network to help make my website more noticed by giving me hits on Google, it did not help.  I was a new artist that no one had heard of and I hadn’t established myself on the art fair circuit yet. I decided that people have to see your work in person and you have to establish yourself before a website can start paying off. The people that know and want your product will then go to your website. That’s how it has worked for me so far.

HP: Do you use social media at all (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)?

LS: Not as much as I should. I have accounts on each of these, but don’t use them very often. This is something I want to work on and develop.

HP: Where do your greatest number of customers come from?

 LS: Definitely my art fairs.

HP: If you could change one thing when you started, what would that be?

LS: I wish I had planned for this career while I still had a corporate job and had more money to buy expensive camera equipment, a good tent, and pro panels.  If you are considering starting your own business, have faith in yourself and your product and try it first on a small scale. Buy the bits and pieces you need along the way, as you can afford them. And apply for a few art fairs and see how you do! Then you will know if this is something you could grow into. I met an air traffic controller who was doing photography on the side, and was doing so well he knew he could quit his day job and do photography full time. In fact he had already set a date.

HP: What are the rewards of self-employment?

LS: The greatest reward for me as an artist is that I am sharing a part of my life through my work. I know the story of each picture I have ever taken.  I can share these memories with the customer if they want to know. Sometimes the customers share with me why they are buying a particular picture, why it has meaning for them. It is wonderful to have these conversations.

As a photographer, I get to be outside all the time. Since I like the outdoors, no matter what the weather is like, this is heaven for me. I get to be a witness to little miracles in nature, like watching a mama goldfinch teaching her baby how to fly, or finding a newly hatched dragonfly drying himself on grass stalks. It calms and centers me, and makes me a better person. I wouldn’t trade this for anything.

HP: What sources do you use to fill in your knowledge gaps? Why?

LS: 1) The internet is a great place to find instruction for any type of photography, or even to find out what camera to buy.   I discovered flickr on the internet (a photo sharing site) and met other photographers through this website. I also discovered IBET (Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts) which is a good resource to find out where birds are.  2) I like talking to other photographers and enjoy going on photo shoots with them, to see how they capture their pictures, and where they go. 3) I have also taken a few photography classes from other nature photographers, so I can find out the best way to do things.

For more information about Linda and her stunning nature pictures, please visit her website: www.naturerestoresme.com

Thank you Linda, for sharing your time, experience, and expertise.  Best wishes and much success for your future endeavors!

Image Credits: © Linda Strickland and NatureRestoresMe, All rights reserved

By Dion D Shaw

Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs.  New Day.  New Opportunities.

© Homepreneurs 2010 – 2012


Home Business Success Story: Moonlight Designs

September 25, 2011

Homepreneurs loves relating home business success stories!  Entrepreneurs like Alona M. prove that starting and running a business from home is a real possibility.  A look at her talents and products on http://www.etsy.com/shop/moonlightdesigns2 reflect a commitment to quality and excellence.

In her own words: I love designing jewelry from my studio in Alaska, where I am inspired every day by our beautiful mountains and wildlife that surround me to create beautiful works of art to wear and hope you will find one of my unique handmade pieces that is perfect for you!

Alona was very gracious and responded to a recent interview request about her business.  An edited version is found below:

HP:         Why did you start your own business?

AM:        I started my jewelry business for 2 reasons:  I needed to quit the corporate grind per my Doctor –  it was greatly affecting my health – too much stress.  Second I had just lost my father whom I was very close to and one day I guess everything just clicked and I knew that life really is too short and that I would not be happy doing anything else but running my own business.  I use my artistic skills – a big part of me – to create a product line of handcrafted jewelry.  I love what I do and have never looked back!

HP:         How long has the business been around?

AM:        I started my business just 3 years ago and have been working hard to build it up.

HP:         What are the greatest challenges you face?

AM:        Probably the greatest challenge is to not get burned out.  I work pretty much non-stop every day: Creating new pieces of jewelry, taking photos, listing items in my on-line shop, marketing and packaging.

HP:         What advantages does self-employment provide?

AM:        The greatest advantages to being self-employed are of course being my own boss and working from home, no more commuting!

HP:         Do you have any tips/suggestions for those considering entrepreneurship?

AM:        Do your research first before taking the leap to self-employment.  Whatever business you decide to take on, have a business plan!

HP:         Do you use social media at all (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)?

AM:        I use different forms of social media to market/advertise my business such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yammi and others.

HP:         Where do your greatest numbers of customers come from?  Word of mouth, networking, social media, advertising…

AM:        Most of my customers come from networking, including doing shows where I get to meet the public and sell in person.

HP:         If you could change one thing when you started, what would that be?

AM:        If I knew in the beginning how time consuming running your own business is, I may have had second thoughts, however it is well worth the time.

HP:         What are the rewards of self-employment?

AM:        Being self-employed means I am in charge, I choose when to work and when to quit on any given day.  I am also able to get away more for trips out of state or even out of the country.  I simply take my laptop with me to keep in touch with my business and network.

HP:         And where can people view and buy your products?

AM:        http://www.etsy.com/shop/moonlightdesigns2

HP:         Thank you very much for your time Alona, and continued success!

Moonlight Designs is a wonderful example of how dreams come alive.  Alona identified her talents, identified a market niche, and used a low-cost hosting service – Etsy.com – to provide a distribution channel for her product.

By Dion D. Shaw

Dion D. Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs.  New Day.  New Opportunity.

Disclaimer

Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed.  Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions.  Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.

© Homepreneurs 2010 – 2013, All Rights Reserved


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