By Alison McGuire
Hi, my name is Alison McGuire and I am excited to tell you about a home based business that I just found and started on my own.
The business I created actually stemmed from my budget restrictions for making the decision to be an at home mom.. I needed a bookcase for my daughter's room, not being able to afford a new one I went garage saling. Luckily I found an old bookcase for $2.00! All it needed was some paint and a little gluing. Mind you, I have no experience in this arena so I looked through magazines for painting ideas and just winged it with the repairs. Voilas! I made an adorable little striped bookcase for my daughter's room. A friend of mine told me I should do more and sell them but I wasn't sure how, then I found a place in town where I could rent a space. Now I sell my "new life" pieces in the store to the public and I am making a great living doing it!
The only problem I have now is keeping up with keeping the space filled. I would to one day have a store but the capitol is tremendous and I don't want to be tied to store hours. I still want to be with the kids. Now I do everything and anything. Shabby Chic style, kids furniture, you name it. You don't have to rent in a store there are other avenues I have found which work just as well.
As for the kids and scheduling I work around them or incorporate them. The very second my nine month old goes down for a nap I get out to the garage. My four year old has gotten to where she likes to help me, either by sanding a drawer or pretending she is unscrewing the hardware. As for the days where no on e naps or where I can't step off the mommy track for an hour that's when I put on the radio in the garage when the house is asleep and I work in the evenings for a few hours.
I would say the hardest part of the business is stopping. I get so into a piece that I don't want to stop. Still, I am able to stop what I am doing when I want and then resume the work when the kids go to sleep or Pre-school. By the way paying for Pre-school used to be a luxury, now I am able to pay for 2 half days for my daughter to be with other kids and this allows me to make a living.
I know that it is tacky to speak of income but I have to share with you how well I have done. Currently, I make about $1500.00 a month. My partner, who has older children, makes close to $4000.00 a month (she has even created income for her older son helping her load and deliver furniture to the store). Mind you, this is not "easy money" we work hard for it, but it's so worth it. The great thing is that you are making a great mark up on the pieces without gauging someone. If you pay $2.00 for a bookcase and spend $5.00 in paint (of which you will use on many other pieces) you can sell that bookcase for $35.00 and still make a great profit!
I haven't spent a lot on marketing/advertising but I did make the investment of car magnets and business cards, which I think are worth the money. People stop me all the time and ask me about my business and for a business card. The best marketing is word of mouth. If you have items that people love and can afford that is the best advertising in the world. People will drive to the top of a mountain in pouring rain to find you if have that combination.
When I started out my husband said "What makes you think people won't just go out and do this themselves" I didn't have an answer but now I do. Not everyone likes to get out there and get a little dirty and do the physical stuff. The way I see it I have done what is told of successful businesses; I have fulfilled a need and in turn I have fulfilled my needs.
Life is much better for me. The kids are with mommy, my husband doesn't have to worry about money anymore and I am fulfilled....creatively and financially. If you would like more information please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me: Alison McGuire 44758 Longfellow Ave. Temecula CA 9259