I didn't start doing any of these things thinking I was gonna make make money. They started as hobbies and creative outlets and selling came later.
My mother and I started selling at craft shows together in 1987. She made dolls, wreaths, candy, florals and a variety of other things, I painted sweatshirts mostly. I painted them and painted them and painted them. Branched out into tshirts, pant/shirt combos and denim button downs before it was all over. Did this for a little over ten years.
I really enjoyed it and could literally sit up all night and paint. The shows would make me a nervous wreck, but I enjoyed the painting and even though I was using a lot of patterns, I still felt like I was being creative. I sold nearly every shirt I ever painted and made good money at it. We would often sell out (or be down to 5 or less) day 1 of a show and I'd go home and stay up all night painting more! I stayed so busy painting for shows and taking orders for people that it became a second job.
Then it took this weird turn where I was mostly taking orders, which was fine 'cause I made more $ that way, but instead of me deciding what designs I wanted to use and how I wanted the finished product to look, people began telling me how they wanted it done. "I want the puppy to be wearing a blue shirt with orange polka dots, his eybrows should be slightly tilted inward, and I want three brown spots on his face, also, paint a fence with some flowers behind him...but make them pale pink with lavender centers" OK, maybe it wasn't THAT specific, but you get the idea. I wanted the money and I have a hard time saying no, so I did it. But I absolutely hated someone telling me how to "do my thing", so I just stopped. I don't care if I ever paint another shirt as long as I live. And I've been asked as recently as this school year, but I cringe at the thought. And that's too bad.
At one point I had a ton of pictures of shirts...this photo of Mom at a booth and Jackie was all I could find today. Alf? Huh.A few years later, while I was selling vintage clothing on ebay, I tried my hand at painting purses. THIS was fun. I loved it! I bought vintage purses at thrift shops and either painted them or embellished them w/felt in long neck cats, cherry and poodle motifs.
I sold them(and many many vintage clothing items) on ebay. This was in the days before Etsy... They did really well and I again I made good money w/the combination of the purses and vintage clothes. I quit doing that when it became harder and harder to find decent things at the local thift shops. Somehow I've managed to save some pics of a few of those purses. Looking at them now, I see that there is some major room for improvement, but still, it was fun.My next go round was with jewelry, about four years ago. I really got into this one. I made a lot of bottle cap necklaces w/vintage images in them, beaded and button jewelry and I did some vintage images on cardstock w/beaded chains. I gave a lot as gifts, took it to one dismal craft show in Indiana, but I sold a lot of it at work. Again, I really had fun with the jewelry and it felt really creative. I'm not sure why I gave it up. I still have lots of supplies, hmmm....maybe I'll break out the beads one of these days. A few pics of stuff I had left and things I still wear.And now, I guess I'm itching to try again with the Etsy shop. I'm seriously thinking I want to try and sell aprons in the Etsy shop. I haven't been sewing long, I have much to learn and I know there are a bajillion aprons on Etsy. But they're SO much fun to make! I really do enjoy and use aprons...maybe that will come through in the shop. I don't know...I second guess myself a lot...but that 's my thought for now.
I still want to show off my supercute, completely awesome Etsy banner and share ideas for two more possible things to sell, so ya'll check back later!