Launched: January 2009
Former job: Student (still taking classes)
On January 1st of this year, I decided to launch my handmade diaper and toy business. In this economy, particularly with a young family, I know it's important to live off of as little as possible. For me, that means making the most out of recycled materials.
My one-year-old son is my inspiration for my creations, which are all made of recycled clothing and items from second-hand stores. People like all-natural materials for their children, and I'm getting a good response from customers. My primary outlets for selling my products are Etsy.com and craft fairs.
But the challenge is getting the business off the ground with so much else going on in my life. It's hard to find time to be creative while being a mom and a student and a weekend yoga instructor. I try to keep my prices low - about $10 for the diapers and $20 for the toys - but the business is just paying for itself and not really supplementing our income.
I've had other jobs but they're just not fulfilling. I stopped working for other people when I got pregnant because I wanted to do something that both helps people and gives me enjoyment. For the time being, I'm just going to keep treating this like a hobby because I worry that if I make this my full-time job, I'll stop liking it as much as I do. I'm going for my teaching credentials, so that will lead to a career. But even then I know I'll always have this, even though I can only designate an hour or so each day to it.
NEXT: Making a small idea big