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By Caroline Dick

Do what you love and you'll love what you do. How many of us 'entrepreneur wanna-be's' have heard those words of wisdom? I would guess most have in some form or another while trying to realize our dream of owning our own business.

My personal road to being a business owner began when both of my children started going to school full time. I began to search for a meaningful job, but with the sluggish economy and stiff competition from other job seekers even the part time/ minimum wage jobs were hard to find. I was becoming very discouraged. A close friend encouraged me over and over again to start my own business, but those words of wisdom 'Do what you love and love what you do" continued to echo in my mind. I knew it was important to follow this advice, but for the life of me I still couldn't figure out what I would love doing day in and day out. It sounds so simple - just do what you love and the chances are you'll be successful. But what if you're not sure what you want to do or have no idea how to make a business from it? In my case that is where fate comes in. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and this is the story of how fate stepped in to start me on the road to owning my own business.

One evening I realized I had forgotten to pick up a house warming gift for my husband's parents who had just finished building their new home. We were planning to visit the next day, but the stores were closed and we would be leaving too early in the morning to fit any shopping in. I had always been a crafty person - everything from crochet and cross stitch to tole painting - so I decided I would have to make them something instead.

My husband enjoyed wood working as a hobby so I went out to the shop and scrounged up a 4" wooden heart and some doweling. Then I raided my craft closet and came up with some odds and ends that included three wooden candle cups and little wooden hearts. I picked up a drill for the first time in my life and went to work. A few hours later (and with all my fingers still attached) I had a country candle holder I thought would do nicely for a gift.

When my husband came home from work he noticed my creation sitting on the counter. He commented on how nice it was and asked where I had bought it! I can still remember the look on his face when I told him I had made it myself.

Not long after I was in business, selling mainly to friends and family and on consignment in a few local stores. That was almost three years ago now and with a lot of love and support from family and friends my business has grown by leaps and bounds. When I started I had never picked up a power tool in my life but now, with my husbands help I cut, sand, paint and finish all of my own products. I have expanded my craft line to include over 150 different items and sell at craft shows, retail in craft malls and theinternet and wholesale around the world, as well as writing informative booklets for others wanting to start their own craft business.

I am truly convinced that doing what I love and loving what I do has contributed greatly to my success and I look forward to each new day and the rewards and challenges owning my own business brings to my life.

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