[130] When a Hobby Should Stay a Hobby with Amanda Adams

You want to turn your handmade hobby into a business… but, should you?

Is turning your hobby into a business really what you want? Have you thought about what that would mean?

How much time you’ll have to devote to the ‘business’ side of things? How little time you’ll have to actually design and make things?

How taking your relaxing creative hobby and turning it into a business will fundamentally change your relationship with your craft?

In today’s episode I talk to Amanda Adams – the sewasarus behind the successful Bimble & Pimble blog and #bpsewvember Instagram challenge.

She is my dear friend… who makes absolutely no money out of her sewing hobby. And she likes it that way.

Why? Listen in to hear why she’s made the conscious decision to keep her hobby a hobby, and why you might want to do the same.


P.S. This is the final new show of the year! As of next week I’ll be starting the Summer Series: Best of 2017.

See you in 2018! If you want to join me in January for the Handmade Biz Bootcamp (a 3-week course to kick-start your year) make sure to join the Thriver Circle when membership opens soon.


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Quotes and Highlights in this episode:

  • When you start a business your time is redirected into the business rather than the craft.
  • “It’s vital that you get enjoyment out of the business side of things” {Jess}
  • With a business the results of your creative pursuits are for someone else rather than for you and yours.
  • Consider whether there is a market gap for your service or skill set.
  • What happens to the enjoyment of your business when it becomes your business?
  • “If you turn all your creativity to profit… it will fundamentally change your relationship with your hobby.” {Jess}
  • Rather than sell a finished labour intensive product are there ways to sell things related to the product such as patterns or teaching?
  • There are options is you would like to experiment with starting a business.
  • If you are on the fence about starting a business consider going into business with someone else to share the load.
  • Give yourself permission to trial and choose not to continue if it doesn’t work.
  • “If you love your hobby and want to start a business – give it a crack” {Jess}
  • Reflect on your core values to help make a decision. Only you will know if this is the best choice for you.
  • “You don’t have to turn your passion into a business.” {Jess}
  • But remember: you can always change your mind and try it as a business in the future.
  • Find Amanda on her blog and instagram.


Download or listen to this episode.

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Ginger Morgan

Best podcast ever.

Which is really hard to write, because I have been struggling with making a business for more than three years (?) after taking your course (which was great, btw – my mistakes & foibles are/were my own). I finally found a successful niche (and one odd one), have made a few sales (even a few repeat customers, which is great), but DO I WANT TO CONTINUE to make it a ‘real’ business?

I am on the cusp. I know exactly what it would take to get a real customer base. It is there, so alluring… sigh!
Just simple advertising in the right places. Using an existing newsletter publisher is so simple. It is expensive (to me, anyway), but my ad would be in front of thousands of potential customers at least once a month (and more likely, weekly) and I believe they would buy what I make. Sooo alluring!

BUT…1.) Can I make my handmade product fast enough by myself? 2.) Could I teach another person to make the simpler version fast enough, with as much quality (I am totally fussy) to fill orders? 3.) Do I want any employees (with all that responsibility?!?)?
1. No, not even if I had a second pair of hands and didn’t need to sleep,
2. Probably, but maybe not for a decent and consistent wage and
3. No, because I am not a team player, at all, and other people are distracting.
Yet the ‘carrot’ hangs in front of me.

I don’t think I am talking myself out of business; I would still make my product to sell online, but I have a hard time justifying the cost of the advertising if my three planets cannot get in alignment.
If X, then A + B + C (or 1,2 & 3) all have to be equal. Argh!!!!

I will continue with Etsy, as long as the site doesn’t decide to change their ways too much, hoping I stay high on the first page of search in my niche.

Because I still want to enjoy making what I make well.

Have a great holiday season, Jess, and I’ll be listening next year
<3 G

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