Tuesday, May 30, 2006

How I Became A Work At Home Mom

By the year 1999, I had been on the lookout for something I could do from home for awhile. Our twin daughters were 6 years old, and I was longing to be able to be home with them.

I had tried selling Mary Kay, and that was a total waste of time for me. Probably not Mary Kay Corporation's fault, it's just that it wasn't the right fit for my personality. Later on, I realized that I should do something art-related. I had played around with calligraphy before the girls were born, maybe I could try that? I bought Fred Eager's book - Italics Way to Beautiful Handwriting - Cursive & Calligraphic, and armed with a lightbox and my Schaeffer calligraphy pens, I started addressing wedding invitations. It was actually more stressful than you'd think. I had a client with about 1,000 invitations and she kept calling and giving me more. 1,000 hand cramps later, I decided that just maybe that wasn't the way I wanted to go with art.

I started dabbling in learning how to draw portraits from photographs. I drew a portrait of my daughter that was so awful it's unbelievable. I didn't give up though, and I drew a portrait of my neice that I thought came out really well. I shared it with friend in another state by email. My friend had 3 boys and asked me what I would charge to draw his sons' portraits. I felt embarrassed to even ask for money for them, but he insisted. We finally settled on $60...I can't remember if that was sixty dollars each, or sixty dollars for all three!
But the main thing is that it made the proverbial light bulb appear above my head as it dawned on me that I could do THIS! Oh and I like it! Omigosh!!!

I was still working the day job at the time, and I continued with it, to see which would get me somewhere...the day job or the art. It was apparent that neither choice was going to get me financially wealthy, but that doing art would at least give our family time together and I knew I'd be happier.


Jan said...

Thanks for posting this. I don't think I knew how you got started.

Cindy said...

I always think it is pretty interesting to learn how people start their own business. After all... all businesses started somewhere.

Thanks for sharing!


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