Growing up, I never wanted to own a business. My mom is an entrepreneur, and I knew that it required a lot of hard work and dedication. There was always uncertainty, even if you became successful.
In high school, I was involved in a pilot health education program, and, as a result, I developed great public speaking skills even though I’m an introvert. After graduating from Barnard College, I pursued a career in health education and went to Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health at night to earn a Master’s degree while working full time. Eventually, I realized I wanted a larger role in managing programs, so I went back to school at night again.
This time, I went to New York University’s Stern School of Business. The non-profit management courses were part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation concentration, and soon most of my classes were about entrepreneurship and small business issues. It was a great match because my own experience was largely intrapreneurial – I’ve launched or expanded programs as part of every job I held since graduating from college. I started to realize there was a lot about owning a small business that appealed to me. I even did some consulting to small non-profits while I was in school, and ended up presenting at a large federal conference as a result.
After earning my MBA in January, 2008, I launched Underground Crafter as a part-time business and kept working full-time as a non-profit manager. My original plan was to teach crochet and to sell my finished objects in craft fairs. Pretty soon, I learned the craft fair scene wasn’t for me – I’m an introvert, remember? – and I decided to refocus my efforts on designing. Soon, I added blogging and knitting to the mix.
After running Underground Crafter for a few years, I seized two chance opportunities to work as a consultant to other small businesses in the industry. Eventually, I realized that working for someone else was no longer for me, and in October, 2013, I became fully self-employed. Underground Crafter is just one piece of my overall income, but it inspired me to go completely solopreneur!
In August, 2014, I launched the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur, LLC, a business completely focused on the unique needs of indies in the yarn industry. My first project was the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, a podcast filled with great ideas for launching, managing, and evolving your yarn-related business, along with tips for staying productive, creative, and sane.
I look forward to hearing from you about your successes, questions, and concerns related to your business!