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Business or hobby?

So many people dream of having a jewelry making business.  I'd like to ask you one thing: why?

Have you really thought about whether you want a jewelry business?  Have you considered that there is absolutely nothing wrong with NOT having one?  That it's ok to decide to have a jewelry hobby, or maybe to sell just enough to support that hobby? 

Here are a couple of terrific posts and videos which lay it all out.  As we head full-steam ahead into a new year, I hope you'll find these thoughts helpful in clarifying your own goals, dreams, and plans!

Megan Auman, who writes Designing an MBA, has a post called Running your business vs. pursuing your hobby that you won't want to miss.  You'll need to read it along with the podcast that she did for Crafty Pod.  Megan assures us that there is absolutely nothing wrong with just wanting a hobby, and the realities of running a business are not for everyone.

Jennifer VanBenschoten tackles a slightly smaller question in To sell or not to sell?  She focuses on the issue of whether or not to part with a specific piece that you've made!

Diane Gilleland goes on to look at the question, Does the money automatically follow from doing what you love?  Short answer: nope.  If you are not intentional about it, a business may or may not grow from your actions.  Read this's very helpful, and Diane also discusses something that we don't like to think about: most people who are "successful" in creative businesses are not making most of their income solely from selling their wares.  You can argue with her if you like, but I think there's a lot of truth in what she's suggesting.  

Watch live streaming video from etsy at
Crafting a Well-Rounded Business

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BluMoon said…
Have to say there is no way I could ever make a business out of designing and making jewellery, nor would I enjoy doing so but it would be nice if it covered some of the costs of actually buying all the gems etc I use, as it used to do. I make individul art jewellery and love it, not everyones cup of tea I know!
Cyndi L said…
I think you are very very smart to have figured out what works for you! And the pieces you make are spectacular, so you're obviously doing something right :-)
Sarah Sequins said…

You make a very good point here! I have to confess that I'd be happy to sell enough jewelry to keep me buying sequins.

The aspects of business that really have me excited are the teaching portion... and also another thing, which I might need your expert advice on, if you don't mind answering some questions by email?
Cyndi L said…
No, I don't mind :-)
Anindita Basu said…
A great post. I just finished reading a book by Timothy Adam - Making Money through Etsy and I have just written about it in my last post ( in my blog). I have to go through your links to study and understand this more. Thank you.
Anindita Basu said…
Thank you Cyndi for the link you left in my blog and of course for your visit.

I went to your profile and loved the way you worded it. Mazel Tov!
Allie D. said…
Thank you for putting together this post. I was particularly interested in the link to "Jennifer VanBenschoten tackles a slightly smaller question in To sell or not to sell?" Unfortunately it sends me off to 404 land. Could you fix the link?
Thanks much!
Cyndi L said…
OK, it's all set! Jennifer very kindly sent me the link after I lost it!