[96] Passive and Alternative Income Streams


It can be very daunting having to rely on only one income, especially if it is from your handmade business.

I know many successful makers who also have an income stream other than just their craft business – and I am, of course, one of them!

Why? Well, I enjoy having a few different things going on, so having a few different businesses/projects going on fulfils the need for variety and challenge; and, I also like the fact that my income is not 100% tied to one thing – my handmade business only. Could we live on the income from our handmade business? Sure. But there is a security in cultivating alternative and passive income streams – both to live more comfortably, and to tide you over if slow times hit.

In short: you can still be a ‘successful maker’ if you don’t make 100% of your income from selling handmade goods. It’s okay – and I think, a really good thing – to have other income streams coming in.

In this episode I discuss a few different forms of passive and alternative incomes that you could consider running alongside your biz, and I hope this inspires you to think outside the box and consider setting up some form of alternative or passive income stream for yourself.




Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Passive income and alternative income are very different things.
  • Passive income is where you get paid over and over again for work you did once.
  • Alternative income is another way of bringing money into your life such as working for someone else.
  • Over time you can work towards not needing an alternate income stream.
  • There are numerous options and paths you can take to make the extra money you need and these include the following:
  • 1. You can teach your craft to others in-person.
  • 2. You can create online workshops, courses, videos or e-books.
  • 3. You can join third party sellers to sell your designs online such as Society6 or Redbubble.
  • 4. You can design, package and sell your own patterns, kits or printables.
  • Think about these as possibilities on top of your craft as it can be so worthwhile.
  • ‘What you want ideally is a passive income stream or an alternative income stream that reinforces your main income stream.’ {Jess}



Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


Van Den has written 389 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at Epheriell.com. You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



I totally agree Jess. Teaching live classes and workshops has started to pass my product sales income. I’m now working on creating online classes and e-books to work on the passive side. I’m also putting together a site to help other creatives get started teaching as it has been such a boost to my business. Thanks for sharing your ideas-always very helpful.


Thanks so much Jess for the insight! It is hard and scary being in business for yourself and I never want to feel like I am backed into a corner. It is important to always have options and I am not always the most creative at coming up with options.

Michelle Driver

Wowsers, thanks for the inspiration! I have just decided to put a few of my artworks on Society 6 to see what happens 🙂

What say you?