How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

How do you turn your hobby into a career? Here’s how five female entrepreneurs did it – they went from hobbyist to small business owner. If you want to start selling your craft, service, or project, these tips will help you create, produce, and venture out into your own business!

how to turn your hobby into a small business“You can’t force a Wildly Improbably Goal to happen, but you can create conditions that will either prevent it or invite it,” says Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live. “Pay attention to your real needs, treat yourself not just fairly but kindly, and stand up for yourself even if it displeases people around you. Befriend, nurture, and protect your own Spirit.”

My favorite part of that quip is “…but you can create conditions that will either prevent it or invite it.” What conditions are you creating – are you setting yourself up for success or failure? Read Martha Beck learn more about taking risks and achieving your life goals. If you’re struggling to find your creative hobbies or passions, read How to Be Creative Without Fear of Criticism.

And, read on to learn how some hobbies become money-making careers.

Stories From Entrepreneurs Who Went From Hobby to Career

If you have a hobby you love – or a dream you want to achieve as a goal – use these stories from female entrepreneurs to get you one step closer!

Do you need money for your hobby? Read 30 Ways to Make Money on the Side.

From cupcake hobby to a full-time business

Jessi Walter, the founder and owner of Cupcake Kids, says, “I was laid off and immediately started putting my resume together and applying to other finance jobs. But, my heart wasn’t in it. So I decided to follow my life long passion for kids and cooking and go full-time with a business that I’d started a year and a half ago as a hobby. Cupcake Kids! is a company in NYC that specializes in hands-on cooking events for kids of all ages.” To turn your hobby into a successful business, be prepared for your life to take a turn in an unexpected direction!

From the stamping hobby to a homebased business

Shannon Lucier, creator of Monster Graphics, explains how she turned her hobby into a money making career: “I own a rubber stamp company that stemmed from my hobby, and grew into a career over this last year. I started Bombshell Stamps when I felt the beginning of the recession creep into my first company, Monster Graphics.  Designing for moguls like Disney, Levi, and Guess, I had created quite a name for myself in fashion design. When I started to struggle financially because of the economy, I refused to be another statistic. After a bit of research, number crunching, and serious self-examination, I discovered my love for rubber stamps! Bombshell Stamps has been my saving grace in the middle of an economic recession.”

Reaching into your long-forgotten past can help you turn your hobby into a career.

From soap for allergies to soap for sale

Cindy Tollen, creator of Sudz N Bubbles, Ltd., explains how she turned her hobby into a profitable career:

hobby into small business“I worked as a real estate broker and appraiser for many years.  My son was diagnosed with eczema and required a special soap, and so I started making it. This became an addiction and outlet for my creativity.  I am now a full time soapmaker, and will be featured on HGTV early 2009. I ship all over the world. Many of my creations on my Sudz N Bubbles website do not look like soap – they look edible!”

From hobby lizards to money lizards

Dina Capehart, mother of teenager Lily, says, “Our daughter’s hobby turned into a homebased business when she was 10. Lily, now 13, has always been a nature lover but had an affinity to lizards. She would catch and interact with them all day long.  At 10, she found out you can “hypnotize” them by watching a woman on Animal Planet do it to an alligator. Her hobby of playing and dressing up lizards has evolved into Lizard-Ville.  In collaboration with her dad, a professional photographer, the images of the lizards in miniature lifestyle sets are now on greeting card, t-shirts, and calendars. We hope to do a children’s book!”

From dancing to teaching the tango

Kim Schwartz is a female entrepreneur and the creator of Tango Movement. Here’s how she turned her love for dance into a homebased business: “I was a lawyer working in London who fell head over heels in love with Argentine tango. I gave up my job and went to live in Buenos Aires – initially for six months as a career break – to immerse my self in the tango world there. Six months turned into four years. I’m now based in London with my partner/boyfriend performing and teaching tango with our own tango company: Tango Movement. I’ve long left law behind me.”

To turn your hobby into a successful homebased business, you need a combination of passion, luck, good timing, and the support of people who love you. So go forth – and create the conditions that will help you achieve your goals!

Are you looking for a new career? Read How to Find the Perfect Job Without Taking a Career Test.

What hobby would you turn into a career if time, money, and energy was no object? Comments welcome below…

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5 thoughts on “How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business”

  1. I would make art my business.

    Thanks for sharing! I just came across your blog while searching for writing tips and inspiration. You have some great content.

  2. Wow, it’s been a long time since I looked at this article! I have so many buried gems in Quips and Tips, I need to start digging them out and putting them on display :-)

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments, Raven Hanna and Maik!

    Yes, having a passion or mission certainly makes life worth living. Perhaps the happiest people are those who have found ways to make a career out of their hobbies, because they’re combining earning a living with a successful career.

    We should all be so lucky.

  4. Following one’s passion can lead to some strange and wonderful places! While it isn’t easy to trailblaze, it is certainly satisfying.