Do you ever find yourself dreaming, “I wish I could make money doing [insert whatever it is you love doing]”?
Well, why can’t you?!
At Pepperlane, we help mothers turn their passions and skills into businesses they love. We have a vibrant community of diverse talent and interests, and we lift each other up by cheering each other on, collaborating, brainstorming, learning and problem-solving together. Many of the women in our community are accidental entrepreneurs after finding demand and learning how to turn a hobby into a business.
Jana Blanchette is a stay-at-home mom who became a work-at-home mom doing what she loves as a maker of custom memory and T-shirt quilts. Jana has sewn for most of her life but started dipping her toes into selling her service when her son was in preschool and the teacher asked if Jana could make a T-shirt quilt for her. Jana has found most of her clients by word of mouth, simply sharing what she does. In fact, that’s advice that Jana would share with other women who are wondering how to turn a hobby into a business. “When people ask what you do, tell them!” Over time, Jana got to know the owners of her local quilt shop. They loved her work and began referring customers to her.
Jana has been in the Pepperlane Community for the last two years and has seen her business take off. Last year she made 25 quilts, and 2019 is shaping up to be even bigger —she made five quilts in January alone. Jana has gained inspiration from Pepperlane Boost Events as a place to give and receive advice from other mom business owners. She credits the Pepperlane Marketplace for most of her leads in 2018. “I have so much business right now, I am booked through May or June and the majority is coming from Pepperlane. They are finding me on the internet!”
“It feels amazing to be doing something just for me. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but I get so much personal satisfaction from my business.”
We asked Jana how she would guide other mothers who want to start and grow a business. In addition to the advice of be sure to tell people what you do, she also has found some freedom in outsourcing certain tasks so that she has more time to focus on her business and income-generating activities. “The biggest mental shift I’ve had to make is that I’ve learned to outsource some things like cleaning, on occasion. I’m still doing all of that same stuff for my family that I was before, and now I’m trying to run a business. I can’t always keep up.”
You can find Jana and her beautiful quilts here.
Karen Baker jumped into the world of custom photo books because she loves helping people tell their stories. “I’ve always loved photos. I love the story that photos tell.” Karen works as a career coach, but she wanted a creative outlet. “I just want to do something that is tangible, creative, and makes people happy”
During her daughter’s senior year of high school, Karen began making photo books to save those memories. Her daughter’s friends began asking for photo books to memorialize their senior years too. Seeing the demand, it was Karen’s daughter who nudged her to try this as a business. “I just started,” Karen told us.
Karen reached out to a photographer friend to see if she had any clients who wanted a photo book. Her friend connected her with a bride who wanted a book. After seeing Karen’s work, she ordered two more books with different photos for each set of parents.
Karen said that pricing has been the biggest challenge when considering how to turn a hobby into a business. “The product is very time-consuming, but people are only wanting to spend a certain amount of money for it.” She has found a price range that she and her clients are both comfortable with.
Karen has recently decided to keep her Pepperlane Profile as her primary web presence, as the benefits of Pepperlane’s SEO ranking has clients from all over the country contacting her for services. “It just wasn’t worth paying to host another website, when I’m getting so much benefit from my Pepperlane listing.”
For Karen, her key to success is offering quality customer service. She builds relationships with her customers. “I try to make the process as easy for them as possible.”
You can find Karen and her custom photo books here.
Photo Credit: Tammy Bradshaw Photography
Brandyn Campbell is mom to two young children and runs Brandyn Campbell Communications, which helps small businesses develop content. Though she didn’t major in writing in college, Brandyn has always loved writing in her personal life, as both a creative and intellectual outlet.
Brandyn freelanced after the birth of her first son and continued after returning to work full time, but after the birth of her second child, she decided to make the leap to start her own communications company. It was at this time that Brandyn decided she needed to be more strategic with her writing. She decided to niche down, find her ideal client (small businesses) and write for them, instead of writing for just anyone.
When asked what the biggest mindset shift was for her, moving from writing as a hobby to writing as a business, Brandyn said that setting an income goal was important. While she loves writing, she also wants to contribute to her family financially and therefore she has to be strategic.
Brandyn jumped into the Pepperlane Community with both feet. She has found that being around business owners from different fields, instead of just other writers, has helped with her personal and professional growth. Brandyn is a Pepperlane Leader who facilitates Boost meetings, where she finds inspiration and encouragement from other moms building businesses.
When asked what advice she would give to other moms who want to do something they love, Brandyn said, “Believe in yourself and that your talent can help someone solve their problem. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the small wins along the way. Don’t tie all of your perceived wins to money. Keep track of your little successes.” Brandyn says that having a strong support system is key, and she has found that in the Pepperlane Community of Moms Building Businesses.
You can find Brandyn and her work here.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to turn a hobby into a business, Pepperlane can help you get started! It is absolutely possible to have a job you love!
Rachel Moyer is Pepperlane’s Community Manager, mom to two young children, and an entrepreneur with a passion for supporting early parenthood. Her side-hustle, We Bloom, sends care packages to new mothers. As a working mom herself, Rachel has a passion for supporting moms who are building their businesses.