How to Teach Your Kids to Become Entrepreneurs

My goal for my kids is to learn to work hard, do their best work, and be able to create income even if traditional jobs aren’t plentiful.  Helping them with their own businesses as children is one way we work on those skills.

A loyal reader sent me this suggestion: I absolutely love your kid’s money month, learning about their businesses. I was wondering for those of us less inclined, would you be able to do a blog tailored for the how to a kid would start a business? I loved the little tip about the fictitious name. I wonder how that “self employed” tax thing works. I was thinking about Abby and what she’s good at that she could help earn her some money and the party planning, cake baking came to my mind. While she’s still a teen and it may not be just like a professional baker, I think for what little practice she’s done that she’s knocked it out of the park.

I’m still learning a lot about running businesses, but here’s what I’ve learned so far.  Hopefully this will steer you in the right direction:

Choosing a Business

Have your child answer these questions and see if anything sparks a business idea:

  1.  What do I enjoy doing?
  2. What problem can I solve for someone else?
  3. What do I already have the supplies/equipment to do?
  4. What do other kids my age do to earn money?
  5. What adult jobs appeal to me?

Setting up a Business Plan

Keep it Simple, but include these things:

  1. What service will you provide or what will you sell?
  2. How will you make money?
  3. What will you charge? Make sure your fee covers your expenses plus profits.
  4. What are your expenses? (including supplies, equipment, advertising, transportation….)
  5. How much do you want to earn? (set a time frame) What do you need to reach that goal? (Specify the number of clients, Hours to work, or items sold)
  6. How will I keep records?
  7. How will I expand and grow?
  8. How can I leverage this business? (Earn a percentage of what others sell; Train others to start their own similar business)
  9. Do my prices reflect current market value (for my age?), allow for expansion and growth (to pay someone else and still make a profit.)  You want your prices low enough that you will get customers, but high enough that you won’t have to raise prices for several years. If you are worried you are charging too much when you are getting started, set your prices at market value, then offer a coupon incentive for your first few customers while you gain experience.

Finding Customers

  1. Who is your ideal customer?
  2. Where does your ideal customer hang out?  How can you reach them with your message?
  3. If you are doing something other than babysitting, you probably need a website to direct prospective customers to.  This is a great place to outline your fee structure, showcase your work, give customer reviews, and offer scheduling. There are free websites available but to save a headache in the future spend a few bucks to buy a domain name and have it privately hosted. You can set up hosting for about $6 a month. Then upload for the easiest to build website.  There are great youtube tutorials or you can get someone to do it for you from fiverr. (Most stuff there is only $5.)   I use Hostgator for domain registration and hosting and have been pleased with them.  If you use someone else, find someone who also uses Cpanel.  This simplifies things if you end up needing help from someone on fiverr or similar.
  4. You should also set up a facebook business page. Tutorial here.
  5. I’ve been able to help my kids get clients through facebook. It was a great first stop for us since I wanted them to work for people I knew well.  I just popped out a note that told the business, their availability and rate.  We were booked for the summer within a couple of days.

Business Licenses

  1. Most states have a Cottage Food Law that allows you to sell home baked goods and jams and jellies from your home without a license or health inspection. So if your daughter wants to bake cakes for birthdays, she probably can :). You can check the laws for your state here and here.
  2. Other business licenses–this gets tricky.  If you do a search for “Do I need a business license for_______.” you’ll get answers ranging from “definitely” to “probably not.”  We did not get licenses for any of our kids since none of our businesses require traffic to the house.  When I started my first home business, I got a fictitious name registry since my business name did not have my legal name in it.  That allowed me to get a bank account with my business name so I could cash checks made out to the business.  You can skip all that mess if you put your legal name into your business.  For example my official business name is: Angela Coffman: The Grocery Shrink (no fictitious name registry necessary–in Missouri.)  Get more info on whether you need a business license here.
  3. If you are advertising with flyers door to door or on cars, you probably DO need a permit for that.  You can get that at your county courthouse.


  1.  Federal income tax:  Your child MUST file their taxes when they earn $400 or more.  The good news is when your child starts filing federal income tax, they become eligible to invest in a Roth IRA.  Make this happen.  (I’ll talk about it more later this month.)
  2. Self-employment tax:  This is social security and medicare tax.  Normally an employer pays half of this tax for you.  When you are self employed, you play both halves.  You can learn more here.  It’s 15.3% at the time of this post.
  3. State and local taxes–these are in addition to your federal income tax.  BLESS the states that do not have a state income tax: AlaskaFloridaNevadaSouth DakotaTexasWashington, Wyoming, New Hampshire and Tennessee.  (47 states charge corporate income tax, keep that in mind when deciding if and when you should incorporate.) In addition your city may choose to charge a local income tax– 😛 Learn more here.
  4. State and Local sales tax: Your tax rate will vary based on your zip code.  These taxes generally apply to goods (but not services) sold to the end consumer (not sold to a distributor or to a tax exempt entity, such as a church.) This might come into affect if you are selling crafts or baked goods, which is one of the reasons I steered my kiddoes towards service industries. Learn more here.  Some states have also enacted internet sales tax laws.
  5. Tax Deductions: Having a cottage business makes taxes a bit more complicated, but there are whole list of tax deductions that can help reduce your child’s tax burden. Here’s an official list from the IRS.
  6. Whatever you do keep good records. This is great experience for your kids.  For every tax deduction you need proof, a receipt, calendar of appointments…something.  Keep everything together and save it for 3 years just in case you get the dreaded official letter in the mail. (Keep records for 7 years if you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction–probably won’t apply to the kiddoes :).)

This is day 8 in our series 31 days of Kids and Money

Meet Aspiring Kidpreneur, Brandon

Kidpreneur Brandon

Brandon turned 8 on the 5th of this month and hopes to launch his business this summer as a personal consultant on Kid Bedroom Organization and Interior Design.

I’m going to be up front about this, Brandon is unusual. He was born organized and likes things to be tidy. He made his own lunch from the first day of kindergarten, wakes himself up for school with his own alarm, and frequently brings me items to get rid of because he doesn’t play with them enough. He chooses his own clothes and slicks down his own hair. He likes to wear belts, tucked in shirts, bow ties and vests. He loves an opportunity to put on a business suit, tuxes are even better. If I need assistance, he’s the first one to volunteer. We sometimes joke he was born an old man. (He considers that a compliment.)

I wouldn’t have talked with my other kids about starting a business at age 7, but he’s interested in it, has skills and an unusual sense of responsibility for his age.

He begged me to let him start working last summer as a recent first grade graduate and I held him back. I wanted to make sure he had the attention span and maturity level necessary to follow through on the job. I’m not sure he’s quite there, but we are going to try a few clients over winter break to get him some experience PLUS some before and after pictures and customer reviews for his website.  I plan to be his personal assistant until I’m sure he is ready to fly on his own.

I’ve been spending time talking to him about the steps he will take when he starts a new job, how he will respond if someone shows an emotional response to cleaning up or letting things go, and the importance of sticking with a job and working hard especially when someone is paying you.   He’s also thinking about simple systems and checklists to leave behind, so the parent and child can work together to keep the child accountable on keeping his room tidy.

He plans to work in 2 hour increments 2-3 days a week and has a list of items he can up-sell such as a virtual room redesign with shopping and work lists and subscription for weekly inspections and treat delivery .  He is also planning ahead to be able to hire people to work for him so he can take on even more clients and launch an online training program so other kids can start satellite businesses in their own areas.

Here’s his interview:

This is day 7 of our series 31 Days of Kids and Money

Meet Kid-preneur: Caleb (13)

kid-preneur Caleb

When we were kids, my brother had a trailer that hooked up to the minivan.  He and a friend mowed grass for around 20 clients on a weekly basis.  Darren grew up doing something similar.

So when a mass email came through our church asking for someone to mow 2 apartment complexes, we jumped on it and Caleb’s business was born.  Darren imagined it as something all the boys could do together so they named it: “Coffman Brothers.”  Turns out for the last 2 years it has been something Heidi and Caleb do together while the other boys are growing bigger.  She doesn’t mind being called a “brother.”

Their first residential client gave them the nickname “The Green Team” and it stuck. Now they call themselves The Coffman Brother’s Green Team. (In Missouri If your legal name is in your business title, you don’t have to get a fictitious name registry–saves steps.) In addition to mowing they do storm and leaf cleanup and weeding/brush removal and this winter plan to do snow removal too.

Caleb didn’t have much say in choosing what he did for a business.  We decided it was good for him to work, to save up as much money as possible so he could have future choices, and made it happen.  He has earned and saved more than any other kid in the family, but would he do it over again?  I turned on the camera and asked him some questions.

This is day 6 of our series 31 days of Kids and Money

Meet Kid Entrepreneur, Heather

Kid Entrepreneur Heather

Heather is fairly private and doesn’t like to appear on my blog or Facebook.  She gave permission for this spotlight and even granted a video interview in case it might help another aspiring kid-preneur. 

When you don’t get an allowance and you have wish list too expensive for a birthday or Christmas gift….what’s a tween to do?

Around here we call it work.  When Heather (11) decided she needed an IPod, she asked me what kind of jobs I was hiring for at the moment.  I listed some of the usual: deep scrubbing the kitchen floor, cleaning the laundry room, organizing my office, cutting down overgrown brush.  She passed.

I happily hired other pleasantly motivated children to do those jobs.  They counted their money in front of her, and she thought a little more about her situation.

She came and found me where I was working, and sprawled across my bed.  “Mom, how much do IPods cost?”  We looked them up at the Apple Store & Amazon and compared those prices with buying used from Swappa.  Swappa won out and I assured her while the price still looked high, it was within reach if she learned to work.

I offered again to let her to clean the kitchen floor. This time she took it. Then she asked, “What ELSE can a kid do for money? I mean, besides cleaning?”  We had a good talk about bringing value to the market place by freeing someone else make more money, or by doing something that they can’t or don’t want to do themselves.

Then we brainstormed a list of things that Heather (at 11) could do that might be valuable to someone else.  She picked her favorite thing and we wrote up a business plan.  She decided to offer her services as a mother’s helper: $5 an hour for complete child entertainment while the mother worked somewhere else in the home.  She packed a bag of books and activities and we talked about possible discipline scenarios; cooking options if she was working during meal time; and how to handle multiple children at once.

Then I put a note out on Facebook announcing her skills, experience, rate, and availability. Within 24 hours she was booked for the summer with 4 different clients each requesting weekly or biweekly service.  She had so much business that she had to hire her older sister to fill in for her on occasion.  In a month she saved enough to buy a used IPod and kept working anyway.  It felt good to be useful to an adult, to be meaningful in a child’s life and to earn money doing it.  She came home from work skipping and smiling and energized.

Here’s a rarely seen video interview with Heather.  I apologize in advance that the sound is so terrible.  I was sitting closer to the mic than she was, there were kids playing on the playground behind my house making background noise that was easy to ignore in person, and this was the first day of getting a voice after a bad case of laryngitis.  BUT better imperfect and done, than never done at all.

This is Day 5 of our series 31 Days of Kids and Money

How to Make Everyone Insane….

Answer: Start a bunch of home improvement and don’t finish any of them….. In the midst of the insanity I can see life getting a little better bit by bit, so I keep doing it.

I reached a point where I couldn’t take it any more….the disorganization, dirt and 45 year old carpet with disintegrating pad.  I dove into a bunch of projects pretty much simultaneously. We don’t have much of a budget for each space so we’re doing some unorthodoxed things…like thumbtacking placemats over windows, painting sub floors, and cutting curtains in half so we can have 2.  In the past few weeks:

1.  Caleb’s room: Removed carpet and wallpaper. Painted walls and subfloor. New rug, new bedding, new curtains, new desk, lego organizational area. Still need: Lego desk, dust ruffle….and doors.  Doors would be really nice.

Calebs room before and after

2. Painted the Family Room French Doors white and started to white wash the fireplace. Bought supplies for a giant chalkboard.

family room 2015

family room fireplace

Plus that cabinet on the ground, to the right, with all the stuff on it belongs on top of the fridge.  We now have the screws in hand to take care of that. Happy Dance. The chalkboard will cover the end of the fireplace that the cabinet is leaning against. It has an unsightly seam on it that use to be hidden under a wall.  We discovered it when we opened up the floor plan and it’s been visible from the front door for 2+years.

3. Master Bedroom: Removed Carpet.  Painted subfloor. Deconstructed bed. “new” rug, sofa, curtains, light, lamps, mirrors, side table, plants…..Still needs pillows and artwork….later

Master Bedroom before and after

4.  Girl’s Bathroom: Removed wallpaper and popcorn ceiling.  Still needs Skimcoat, paint on walls and trim.  New faucet, new toilet. Tile around sink area.  Refinish tub and sink top so they will be white.  Shower curtain, window shade and bamboo blind. Towel hooks…..don’t make me go on.

Girl's bathroom mood board

5.  Entry: Took carpet off stairs (I did this before Christmas actually.) Still needs a coat of stain on treads and bannister and white paint on trim. Still need to paint walls…but parts of the room will need scaffolding…


All of these jobs are on a gentle pause while I figure out how in the world to do the next steps.  When I get stuck in one space, I start on the next one.  It’s a bad habit.

In the meantime, I’m getting ready for our Spring Concert, taking the choir to World’s of Fun for a play day, and preparing graduation music.

Totally Unrelated News: I’m 1 contact away from earning a trip to ATLANTIS BAHAMAS with MomCeo.  If you are at all mildly curious about how I earn money with MomCeo, put in your info and let me give you a call.  I would be super sad to be this close and not qualify for the trip, plus I think it would really bless your family too.  Atlantis is the place Dave Ramsey took us when we were finalists with his Total Money Makeover Contest.  I can’t express how awesome it would be to go back as a successful small business owner.

Spending Freeze Day 28: Raise Your Income

work from home

Oh, Ladies, what a busy day!  Last night, I sent out a little email about $1 memberships ending Saturday at midnight, and I spent my day calling 72 of the most amazing people who wanted to find out all about it.  They didn’t know when they put their phone number down that I was going to call them personally.  It was kind of fun when they answered to say, “Hello, this is Angela Coffman from the Grocery Shrink” and wait for their response.  Most people were kind of weirded out and I think I would have been too, lol.  But what a joy to get to know some of the readers and actually hear their voices.

I’m already a day late on talking about Raising your income, and tomorrow I need to make more phone calls PLUS write the menu plan that goes out on Friday…..So I’m just going to write and hit publish and hope I can get my thoughts together for you.  That’s part of practicing what I preach, right?


Saving money is good, but if you don’t have enough income–it can’t be your end all solution.  A reader wrote in the comments last week that she was a money saving genius (my words) and lost her house anyway.  I don’t want that to happen to anyone again.  The truth is, we are really good at saving money around here, but it’s not enough to send our kids to college, replace our 20 year old cars, or finish the remodel project gone bad.

Earning money is the hard part for me, because it involves getting money from other people.  There really isn’t any way around that.  So my goal is to provide such a great service or product that the other person is better off for spending on it.  Take this fitness program for example.  I spent enough on it that I thought about it for awhile before pulling the trigger.  Enough that I had to think about where the money would come from.  BUT when I got it, I read it all immediately and then used it and it WORKED.  If it had been free, I don’t think I would have been as motivated to get so much out of it.  And Holly spent a lot of time putting all of that together to help people.  Her family had to do without her for those hours.  She deserved every dime I gave her.

You should pay people what they are worth. Which means, YOU should get paid what you are worth too.  Being stingy when paying others can make it hard for you to accept your due when it’s your turn. 


Here’s what you should ask yourself when you think about a business:

1.  Is the amount of your paycheck tied to the number of people you help? (The more people you help, the bigger your paycheck.)

2.  Is your product or service consumable?  Will the customer use it up and want to replace it?  (like with laundry soap, personal training, music lessons,–or gasoline!)

3.  Do you feel good about what you are doing?  Can you work with a clear conscience and with integrity?

4.  Are you tied to an hourly wage—like teaching music lessons for so much $$$ per half hour.  Or is your income potential open ended—like selling an e-course on music theory.

5.  Are you using your God given gifts?

6.  Do you enjoy the work?

The fastest way I know how to earn money is to work for an hourly wage.  You can run out and clean houses, mow lawns etc… right away.   I did that.  I taught music lessons and did custom sewing.  Then I used part of what I earned as seed money to start a business that wasn’t tied to an hourly wage. Because an hourly wage severely limits your income potential. It’s an ok jumping off point, but not a great goal.

Personal Entrepreneurial Job Ramblings

The following is not meant to be a text-book, just simply my journey so far.  If it’s helpful great.  If not, please don’t tell me I’m a mess.  I already know that.

I started earning money for my family by teaching singing and piano lessons.  Then added custom sewing for a little shop in Nauvoo, IL and then to dabbling in weddings.  As my family required more and more of my time, I moved from custom sewing for an hourly wage to designing sewing patterns and starting an online shop.  Yes, they took time to create, and there was bigger risk (what if no one bought them?), but once the pattern was finished I could replicated it 1,000 times with no new time spent.  This instantly moved me away from an hourly wage into an open ended wage potential. Eventually, I moved from physically printing patterns to selling download and print e-patterns, which removed more risk and eliminated more of my ongoing time commitment (since everything could be automated.)

At the same time I was doing patterns, I wrote my Grocery Shrink ebooks.  The same principle was there.  It took hours and hours to write them, but I could sell unlimited copies through ejunkie (who automatically collected the money and sent the download links to customers for me.)

While I was figuring out internet marketing (ok, I’m still figuring it out) I signed up with Mary Kay.  I could go out in an evening and sell products and come home instantly with cash.  This saved our necks during my husband’s 6 month job loss 5 years ago.

As time rolled on, I was no longer able to go out in the evenings.  There were too many music lessons and sports practices to take children to….I didn’t have even one free evening.  I still had a few Mary Kay customers to take care of, but the income stream wasn’t at the level I needed it to be.  I hired a business coach, who helped me realize that making meal plans for families as a subscription was the logical next step with my blog.  It was hard for me to justify the expense of hiring a coach but it turned out to be the best decision ever.  And Grocery Shrink Plus was born. I still work actively in that every week and recently added smart phone friendly shopping lists and video classes.  Fun stuff!  It has a great income potential, but I’m really hesitant about promoting myself… it’s not reaching it’s potential.

Work from home mom

Recently, I also joined Sandi Sullivan at MomCeo.  What a rewarding job!  I hemmed and hawed about it for 3 years before taking the plunge, forehead smack. I get to talk with amazing ladies every week and help them find natural home solutions that fit into their budgets and do business training for new associates.  I can do it around our busy schedule and completely from home (no parties!)  This appears to be the long term income solution we are looking for.

So anyhoo, that’s our journey so far.  Our dream would be for husband and wife to work together and have the freedom to travel, help others, and just be a family.  It was a reality check when my daughter turned 15 2 weeks ago, that if I wanted to realize this dream while she was still home, I needed to get a MOVE ON.  So….I did.

Where are you on your income journey?  Do you have dreams too?  Would simply saving more of your current income be enough for your family to realize them?

Who is MomCeo?

Sandi Sullivan

You’ve been seeing the MomCEO button on my side bar for years. There’s a little bit of mystery with that button, so let me tell you more about the woman behind MomCEO.


Sandi Sullivan had a successful career as an account manager for an International software company. When she considered having children, she realized her long hours, travel and high stress environment would make being a mother difficult.  She had seen how the corporate life wasn’t balanced for her associates with families, so decided to research work from home options.  Since Sandi was not financially prepared to walk away from her six figure income, she narrowed her search to a business she could transition into part time.  It took 3 years to find the right business, but it has paid off well, eventually allowing her to work completely from home.

Knowing that there must be more professional women like herself who felt the same way, in 2006 Sandi founded MomCeo, a marketing company that represents a U.S. manufacturer.

She has gathered a team of 30+ Reps who work on average 15 – 25 hours a week.  They can choose to work exclusively with MomCeo or alongside their current careers until they can make the transition fully.  The results have been Incredible and the stories of lives transformed are amazing.

Sandi says, “It’s a business without borders or territories. We schedule our work around our families and our financial goals. With no quotas or limits on our earning potential, we can experience a work-life balance that can’t be found anywhere else.”

Sandi lives in Tampa Bay, but many of her team members live and work along the Gulf Coast of Florida, Texas, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Kansas, Ohio and even Canada. Her team is comprised of women from all walks of life, education levels and work styles. Self-discipline and a strong desire to succeed are key to anyone interested in joining them.

MomCeo has set a goal to double their business in 2015 and is expanding its marketing team.  If a work from home income sounds attractive to you, Sandi would love to talk with you about the possibilities of joining their team.

Sandi Sullivan 2

To set an appointment to talk, simply fill out a “request for more info” form at

All requests are confidential.  You are encouraged to leave both your email address and a best number where you can be reached personally.  Your contact information will not be used for any other purpose than to provide you with the details of the business and to be considered for the MomCeoTeam.

P.S.  I resisted joining up with MomCeo for years simply because I already have a lot of businesses and not a lot of free time.  Then I tried the products and fell in LOVE.  I’ve been using them for awhile.  A few weeks ago Sandi showed me what I could have been making in income if I had signed up as her team member instead….gulp.  I signed up and would love you to have the same opportunity.  Sandi has an amazing business mind and her family success is a tribute to that.  I’m glad I’m on her team.

What Are all Those People in Line for?

Have you ever walked or driven by a huge line…and been all insecure? Like they know something awesome is going to happen and you don’t have a clue?

That almost happened to me.  Ok, it happened this week but the good news is there are still 5 days for us to join in and we don’t have to leave our house or stand in line.



This is a huge set of resources on how to be a better everything.  Purchased separately they’d cost $698 which doesn’t include $200 in additional bonuses.


It’s available as a ($29.97) pdf set or a ($39.97) Kindle set, but I couldn’t help to notice that the pdfs were $10 less.

If you buy through the links here, some of the proceeds goes to support the blog and helps my family, but it doesn’t cost you a dime more.

I’m off to grab my set.  If you are thinking about getting it too, you should know the sale ends Monday night.

Meet Work at Home Mom, Lori Taylor

MomCeo has been our longest and most loyal sponsor of the GroceryShrink blog.  Many readers here have started their own home based businesses with her support.  One of these mom’s is Lori Taylor.  Come on in and meet her below:Dec 2011 133
My name is Lori Taylor. I’m 42 and headed into my 20th year of marriage. The funny thing is,I still feel 30 and most days my husband still amazes me like he did way back when. I think a big part of staying young is children and we have 4 of them.  Seeing the world through their eyes is always an adventure. 
Hannah our oldest is 16 and then there is Perry Austin who is 15.  So this past year we have been working on driving.  I can laugh or yell.  Most of the time I laugh.

IMG_4483Then we have Laney who is 10. She is our quiet, analytical kiddo that we all want to be like.  When she was born we called her the grand baby because she was so easy and still is. Since Laney was so easy we figured we had the parenting thing figured out and went for number 4. We found out quickly it was not our parenting.


Ella our 7 year old is wide open. Everything in life is an adventure and she has us all running to keep up with her.

Before I began working part-time from home I  home-schooled our children for 10 years and before that I was an elementary teacher for 10 years. In November of 2011, I  found out about MOMCEO from my friend Danielle Ray. At the time I was homeschooling two of our children, plus chauffeuring children to baseball, football and cheer practice. I was very busy, just like everyone, but busy is also a matter of perspective. My friends, Danielle and Brandie McNeal, introduced me to MOMCEO and Sandi Sullivan. At the end of October I met Sandi and realized what she was doing made complete sense.  I can remember lying in bed one night and being more afraid of not making the most of the opportunity and teaming up with Sandi and my friends than I was of doing it. My husband, Perry, told me to try if for three months and see what happens.
I had no idea what 2012 would hold for our family nor what my home-based business  would come to mean to us financially. In January we hit a major financial snag in our traditional business. It took a huge financial and emotional toil on our family.  While my husband battled that, I continued to consistently work my part-time business. Soon I had others that wanted to team up with me.  I saw that others had needs greater than mine and my part-time business quickly became about others and not about me.  So through 2012, my part-time business paid our bills, kept us from dipping into our savings, kept us from all credit card debt, and allowed us to continue our tithe as a testimony to God’s faithfulness. On top of that, our efforts have blessed others. It truly amazes me how God used us in our need to help others.

Our children have been challenged this year. Being a stay at home mom allowed me to be available to them and to accommodate them and all of their activities.  This year they had to pull together to help both me and their dad.  They learned that life was not all about them.  We started putting monthly goals on the refrigerator and they began to help me with meeting those goals. They give me names of their friends parents and tell me to call them. “Mom, you need to call Anslee’s mom.  She is working three jobs now and she needs to do what you are doing. You can help her.”

So, knowing what I know now, what advice would I give someone considering starting a home based business?  First of all, know why you would want to do it.  It has to be more than just money.

Second consider the timing. I’m not talking about hours in your day. A major life change could be a reason to begin a home-based business or it could make a great opportunity a flop. Thirdly, know and evaluate your business…does it make sense, what does it require financially and timewise. Is it backed by a reputable company.  Is it financially sound? And I guess last, will it make a difference to others and do you believe in what you are doing?

With the company I work with I have no doubt that what I am offering to others is the best and nothing compares. I have great confidence in what I am doing and I believe others can do the same.

Sewing Rooms, Craft Areas, and the Home Office

Prepare to lose all respect for me. This was my office/sewing studio/school room.  It was a mess. (It’s a different kind of mess now.)

shelves 021

shelves 020I forget the actual measurements of the room, but it’s something like 20 feet by 17 feet. If I wanted to get nothing accomplished today I would go measure it for you to be sure.  But then I would start sewing, or cleaning and forget the whole  reason why I was in there.

shelves 019The ceiling has a good pitch and the side walls are barely over 2 feet high.  Which doesn’t make much useable wall space.  But after taking this picture, I realized that I wasn’t fully using the wall space I did have.

shelves 018So I hired a friend to build plywood shelves on two sides of the room.  He bought the wood for me and I painted them.  2 coats of primer and then 2 coats of paint (We used both rollers and paint brushes.  We also purchased a paint sprayer for the project which was a waste of time and money.  It just spit out paint in weird drips and we had to use a roller over it anyway.) Painting all this wood took 2 days. (Not steady work, including dry time.  But our backs, shoulders and arms were sore.)
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I had visions of floor to ceiling Billy bookcases in my office, inspired by too many hours spent on Pinterest.  But the nearest Ikea is in the Chicago area–not even sure how far that is. And I have wonky angles in my room that Billy’s really weren’t prepared to handle. Custom was the only way for me.

Homemade baby food 021

We moved everything to the other side of the room so Mark could work.Before Office Shelves

And work he did!

Homemade baby food 032 Homemade baby food 031

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I went through my fabric and got rid of at least 4 bins, leaving me way too much.  And I ordered comic-book card boards from to make mini-bolts of the fabric I had left.

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They went on the short shelves along the side of the room.

Office Fabric

I love that I can see my stash fabric at a glance.  I buy a lot less this way. I worry that the fabric will get damaged from the lights in the room.  (There isn’t much direct sunlight, but there is lots of florescents.) My plan right now is to cut around the light mark if that happens.  I should sew more stuff and use it up before light damage can happen :).

Office Couch envelope pillow covers

Then I bought a couch on Craigslist and put that on the other side of the room and shoved all the rest of my stuff that I didn’t know what to do with behind it, bwa ha ha.  Look in the corners of the pic and you will see it ;).

I also purchased a desk on Craigslist and a white bookcase from I’m waiting for a tabletop from Target to come and have boxes of closetmaid 9 cube shelves to put together to build this:

Pottery Barn Bedford Table

I’m scared about this, because I haven’t figured out the furniture arrangement of it all.  Nothing is returnable once I assemble it….and it was $190 for the set.  (But from pottery barn it would have been $1100!) Right now my sewing machine is taking up precious wall space that I thought might free up with this table.  And I might be able to stand and sew–which would save my back and help me get a lot more done.  I’ll keep you posted with updated pictures when I get some stuff figured out.

If you need more ideas, check out my Pinterest page on the subject:


especially this one:

mind-boggling organization.

What kind of projects are on your office or craft room to do list?  Any tips for me?