Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

OK, I'll start

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Economy & Jobs » Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs Group Donate to DU
 
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:44 PM
Original message
OK, I'll start
I'm a self employed freelance Illustrator and Animator. My main client is the Walt Disney Corp. (yeah, I know-big repug donor, sucks the souls of your kids, etc.) though I'm branching out into children's book illustration now. I started with Disney as an animator, but hated the corporate culture. Now it's easier to get my work DONE because I'm not sitting in a meeting; I'm drawing instead! It does get tough working at home alone sometimes, but I guess there's always a trade off.

How about you? What kind of business do you have?
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hey Jen6
Hi Jen- Sounds like a pretty cool gig! Did you go the route of higher education to get into this? I am curious about your transition from working at Disney to going it alone. What kinds of challenges did you face?

My sister started out as a gradeschool teacher (2nd grade) in Tucson and a few years back started writing children's books full time. She absolutely loves it. Perhaps I should get you 2 in contact with each other... Here is her web site, I am just so darn proud of her. http://www.jenniferwardbooks.com /



Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Hey, it looks like your sister and I would be a good match!
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 08:08 PM by Jen6
Here's a few of my illustrations:





Yeah, I spent 5 1/2 years at two of the best art colleges in the country (I was lucky)! I have a BFA in Illustration, and was "drafted" right out of school to work for Disney Feature Animation. I became self employed by accident; I left Disney because I had a gig with another Feature Animation studio to head up a department on a greenlighted project, but that movie never happened. Some producers I knew made some calls to "Keep me busy" while other work was lined up. It was all freelance illustration and it was so profitable that I rarely went back to films. Now both industries have changed and neither shells out the big bucks they once did. I've always wanted to do children's books, so now is the time to start!

In retrospect I guess I've been really lucky; I've hardly ever had to look for work!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!
Those illustrations are absolutely beauiful. I am just so impressed. You go girl! Beautiful cats and amazing artwork...

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Thanks Willy Lee!
Edited on Tue Nov-16-04 08:42 PM by Jen6
Too bad they don't make a blushing smiley!

No wonder you're proud of your sister; it looks like she's very accomplished! I'll have to look over her site a bit more in detail; my computer is running so slowly tonight that it can't handle the graphics right now.

:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
tk2kewl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
46. Wow!
You are quite talented!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Thanks tk2kewl!
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
cpamomfromtexas Donating Member (453 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
50. AWESOME! DO YOU DO DINOSAURS?
I'M CRAFTY BUT NOT ARTSY. I WANTED TO PAINT FRIENDLY DINOSAURS IN A LUSH LANDSCAPE ON MY SON'S 4 WALLS BUT COULDN'T FIND ANY NEAT PICTURES TO PROJECT ON THE WALL TO START FROM. YOU COULD MAKE A MINT.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-01-07 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
56. Amazing work!
:wow: :toast:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-08-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
58. Wow! I am speechless!
These are fantastic! The water in the first one is mesmerizing & the shading of the elephant's ears is wonderful! Beautiful work!!

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-16-04 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I just sent a link...
of Jennifer's website (no wonder you're so proud of her!) to my daughter who runs a state preschool and will be opening another next year (if * & Ahnalld don't spend all the money first).


Aside to Jen6 - love your artwork! :toast: to a possible 2Jens effort!

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
sherilocks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. Jen, re Disney-they are Democratic contributors by 70%
http://www.followyourmoney.com/cgi-bin/FYM.cgi?p=find_c...

Republicans $419,650 (30.23%) Democrats $963,236 (69.38%) Others $5,483 (0.39%) ------------- Total $1,388,369

Just to ease your mind.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. That's good to know
most of the people I work with are Dems; there was so much depression at Disney Nov.3 that no one started working again until the end of the week. My former boss there, Jeffery Katzenberg, is one of the biggest single Dem contributors in the country (now co-owner of Dreamworks SKG), but Michael Eisner just reeks of the GOP!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bliss_eternal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-20-04 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #12
31. Jen--kinda' related to this post of yours....
My dh happened to start his vacation just before Nov 3. We were at the Disney resort Nov 2 for a Kerry victory party and stayed there a few days. I was kind of disheartened to find a few employees of the park just happy as they could be (older, possibly seniors--lifetime Orange County residents). So it is kind of comforting hearing that higher up in the organization people are more sensible. (lol)

We did meet a few other employees though that were devastated. They were still professional, but could tell that dh and I were distraught and talked to us about it. I appreciated it more than they will ever know.

Back on topic, I LOVE your work! You are an awesome artist! :)
I'm enjoying this thread. I'm a fledgling as far as starting an artistic business. So this thread is serving as inspiration for me.

Thanks to all who've shared!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
democratreformed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 09:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. My husband and I started a small contracting business three years
ago. We provide services to facilities in the grain, seed, and milling industries.

My dad has owned a similar business for 32 years. My husband worked for him for 18 years. I worked for him for six years (and still do). After the death of my mother, it worked out that it was best for my husband to leave here.

Our business is very small. We generally employ four to eight people depending on the time of year. We have tons of work during the summer and not much during the winter.

My husband does the actual "work" (although I get the chance to go out on the jobsite and do some things occasionally). I do his bookkeeping and estimating.

Like I said, I also still work for my dad - estimating, drafting, and some purchasing.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
8. Here is my business gig-
I have a degree in biology/chemistry and, since graduation (about 10 years ago) I have worked in my field. However, my husband and I have always had a desire to work for ourselves and make a difference in our community. We moved from Seattle to Illinois about 3 years ago and started a wholesale coffee roasting company. The business basically started in our garage, but as orders increased we decided to be proactive and move to a warehouse space (roasting is a smoky business and we didn't want to aggravate our neighbors!) We do the Framer's Market in our town, which has been an incredible way to become part of the community.

Then my hubby attended a 2 week intensive artisan bread class in SF about 2 years ago. Last year we added this bread to our Farmer's Market offerings and DAMN! The demand was amazing. Our weekly profits increased 500% (no kidding!) Well, Market ended last month and everyone is clamoring for bread. Right now we are in the design stages of a retail space that will combine the coffee roasting and bread baking. Very exciting.

Through all of this I have kept a full time job in nuclear chemistry at a local University. The pay is decent and the benefits are good. While looking forward to ending my gig here and doing the coffee/bread full time it is scary to give up health insurance. Well, of course we won't give it up, but I know we will be facing a HUGE increase in costs.

Anyway, enough prattling on. I am really looking forward to support and ideas from other like minded business folks!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
democratreformed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Your business does sound fascinating!
The health insurance in one of the major reasons that I still work and do my "other business" "on the side" too. That, along with the fact that it doesn't make enough to pay both of us yet. It's getting close, though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. That's awesome!
What a wonderful smelling job to top it off! Don't get too worried about the health care costs,; there's something out there for every budget (but all of them are reluctant to pay up when the time comes). Somewhere I have a link for a site that compares costs and services for the self employed person. I'll post it when I find it.

:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. We have been spoiled with health insurance the past few years
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 11:32 AM by Willy Lee
I currently have United Health Care. I was pretty leery at first as they are semi-HMO-ish. However, my husband got cancer 2 years ago and they really came through for us. We would see monthly bills for 5-10 thousand yet I don't think we ever paid more than $200 in any month, this went on for over a year. The whole experience really opened my eyes to the importance of health insurance. Also opened my eyes to the importance of following your dreams, every day.

BTW, he has been cancer-free for 15 months now!! WooHoo!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. Sounds great! If you need an architect...
I have a small architectural firm in the NW suburbs, we've been in business since 1966 and specialize in commercial work, mainly industrial and office. I have state licenses in Illinois and New Jersey as well as my national (NCARB) license, so I can pull a state license anywhere in the US.

Anyone need a good lefty architect???
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
democratreformed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Hey, NCF, I am planning on entering the Mechanical Engineering
program at ASU next fall. This semester (and next), I'm taking CAD classes at a community college closer to my home.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
TX-RAT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
10. Ranching, Hunting operation, Water well Drilling.
21Yrs Sheriffs Dept. Retired
8 yrs County Judge
Couldn't stop working if i tried.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
medeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-23-04 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
34. gawd bless you
for being a democrat!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
mindem Donating Member (353 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
15. Music Business
I have performed on the professional level for 15 years - mostly period music ie, Civil War, the old cowboy music, older bluegrass and folk music, bunches of stuff from the 1800s. I've played pretty much all over the country including gigs with Chuckwagons Of The West, Disney World, National Festival Of The West, and others.

Performing branched into an online music store which grew into a brick and mortar location too. Now the retail end keeps me so busy I don't really get to perform all that much - which I miss - so I will try to pick up a summer gig at one of the local shows or go out on my own when time permits.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. MinDem- That sounds like a great gig.
I am always proud of musicians who follow their dream and make a living at it. I understand about business cutting in to your actual "play time"... we have some good friends down here that are bluegrass musicians as well as having full time jobs. We have a big harvest party once a year and make a point of hiring them to play. OK, so the pay isn't stellar, but they get all the good beer they want to drink and wood fired pizzas and they seem to have fun doing it! Keep on pickin' and strummin'!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
mindem Donating Member (353 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. It gets kind of funny.
You go into business for yourself so you can reap the rewards but learn quickly that personal time gets to be a rare commodity. I hate working for other people so I wouldn't have it any other way. I put up with the 7 day a week part of things. The good news is that the business is growing enough that I will soon be able to hire some help and get some personal time off.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
38. Hey, mindem!
I'm a piano teacher and have self-published some teaching materials related to teaching movement/music (I'm a former dancer and teaching music through movement is sort of my specialty). I used to hate teaching piano lessons, but now I like it for the most part. I don't have to leave home, there are very few 'preparations' as there are for teaching classes, and it's sometimes boring but never really stressful.

I don't perform as a pianist at all anymore, and miss it sometimes (but not enough to do anything about it, apparently)! Do you play guitar? Banjo? Violin/fiddle?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
mindem Donating Member (353 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-16-04 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #38
43. hey back atcha
I play guitar, banjo, mandolin and teach all three. I get confused quite often.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
19. Another Artist
I have been lurking for several months and just beginning to post. I am a self employed artist and sell my paintings and prints on Ebay. I have been doing this for the past 2 years. My husband joined me last year and is in charge of the "shipping dept". I'm currently getting a website up and running to sell my prints and commisssion work. I paint everything from abstract to realism.
Beautiful work in the above posts!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 01:19 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. and yet another artist
we're everywhere!! :)

I work in a variety of mediums....my mainstay is feather smudge fans with ridiculously long fringe, painted deerhide purses ( gave one to Tipper Gore once!) N AM type shields. Have also done a deck of "Oracle" cards.
Have done OK with my Wise Woman figures recently too.

My first love is paintings and prints and have recently done artwork for two books and will possibly be starting a third soon!!

Have a website and wholesale to galleries all over as well as my own tny "shoppette" in a larger Gallery type store.

Keeps me busy......biz was great before 9-11...since then its up & down......I do everything myself...am more into the creative end than the marketing/business end....

:hi: Welcome ipaint :) that is so cool your husband supports and helps you with your creativity.

blessings
DR
www.owlfeatherstudio.com
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
20. My husband has been a residential remodeling contractor for nearly
30 years. I'm the business manager, though our daughter has been doing most of my duties for the last couple of years while I was in grad school and now teach math at community college. However, she is talking about getting another job and/or leaving town so I may be making friends with Quickbooks again. I still do the taxes and consult on financial matters.

Business has been bad this last year. Though he was never without work, he had to let all his other employees go and uses only subcontractors now. He built a shop on our property that he's moving into this weekend. No more paying $850 a month for rent and he loves the idea of being able to work more at home. He started off as a cabinet and trim subcontractor and that's still his speciality. He'll sub out big jobs but loves building a signature cabinet himself now and then. Plus he has PROMISED me that all the unfinished projects at our house will get finished now that the shop is on the premises. We'll see about that! :D
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Polly Glot Donating Member (152 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I'm sorry to read that business has been less than perfect...
just wondering whether you have tried marketing to some real estate firms in your area? I used to work as a Home Services Coordinator for a large local real estate company and we were crying out for good remodeling contractors!

If you were in Cincinnati and I won the lottery I would die... we have a retro 50's kitchen in desperate need of updating!! I dream of new cabinets!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I have a hard time getting him to do any marketing.
In all these years, his business has come entirely from word of mouth. I suggested he call former customers and see if they were considering any work, since they were used to him having a long waiting list, but I don't think he ever did. It has picked up some in the last few months.

He has done some work for and in association with a few realtors but that's another network he could better establish. He's a high-end remodeler -- in other words, WE could never afford him! Well actually, we can when his labor is free and we get "hand-me-down" appliances and fixtures from some of his jobs! ;)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Polly Glot Donating Member (152 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. No joke about the high-end stuff!!
We can't afford ourselves either! For almost two years now we have had a couple of layers of plywood on the ground outside the front door where some pavers should go! It is soooooo embarrassing; I tell visitors, hey, the cobbler's children have no shoes!

I would definitely tap into the realtors' hidden pool of potential clients; just a cheap mailer to remind them you're out there would do the trick. PM me if you'd like, I'd be glad to share some of the flyers we've sent out that have gotten unsolicited rave reviews from marketing executives! :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Thanks, I'll do that!
My saying is, "The plumber has leaky pipes!" We have a problem with the word "temporary" around here, too. Many temporary fixes that have lasted six or seven years.

He promises that when he finishes his shop, which he moves into this weekend, he'll start finishing some things around here. I'm not holding my breath but I am definitely used to this in our 28 years of marriage! :D
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Longhorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Double post.
Edited on Wed Nov-17-04 10:47 PM by Longhorn
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #20
28. Ahhh Quickbooks....
I am becoming much too familiar with that program!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Polly Glot Donating Member (152 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
21. I help my husband run a landscaping/organic lawncare/tree
service in Cincinnati, handling the accounts receivable and virtually all of the marketing (under my tenure the business revenues have more than doubled). As I don't get paid diddly for it, however, I've also just started a part-time gig doing some editing work for a mystery shopping company (gotta earn a donor star somehow!).

Am dreaming about opening my own business, the sooner the better, so I really look forward to reading about the successes of everyone here in this group. Some of the things I'm considering are: tutoring Spanish and French; starting a non-profit theater group performing in Spanish and French for high-school language students; starting a lunch delivery service; consulting microenterprises on low-budget marketing; and opening a taco stand in Amsterdam. Nothing too ambitious ;-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #21
29. I love it!
My husband had a landscaping business in Seattle also. Very much into organic lawncare and the more artistic approach to tree pruning- no patience here for the lollipop trees that I see people butchering. Grrr...

Tacos in Amsterdam, eh?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
30. Web Site Design and Development
I run the Pittsburgh office, and my business partner runs the Boston office, though most of our clients are in New England. I just moved back here and am starting to look for local clients.

We do web sites, branding, web design, hosting, application development, print design, etc.

We market ourselves as a Design and IT Department for smaller and medium sized businesses who can't afford a full time staff.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Red State Rebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-23-04 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
32. Heating & Cooling - Custom Costume Design & Sewing
My husband and I have had a heating & air business for the last 10 years. After 9/11 things really stunk, but it has been getting better - sales up 48% this year!

I also have a side business of designing and sewing costumes for figure skaters, dancers, etc. Keeps me pretty busy as I have all of my equipment down at our office. When the phones are quiet - I'm sewing!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
medeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-23-04 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
33. mechanical contractor and real estate developer
husband also has invention of diesel fuel recycling and we sold three yesterday! (going overseas)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
democratreformed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-23-04 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Diesel fuel recycling?
Would you share more on that?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
medeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-24-04 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. don't want to share too much
Edited on Wed Nov-24-04 06:37 PM by medeak
;-) It's a recycling facility that can fit in a semitrailer or railroad car for shipping. Industrial use only

edited to say.. Hey! was born in Arkansas and all my people are there.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
democratreformed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. I understand about not wanting to share too much.
I was just surprised that diesel fuel can be recycled. Isn't it used up during processes? That's what I was asking about. Or do you recycle other things into diesel fuel? Please forgive my ignorance.

What part of Arkansas were you from?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
medeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 01:27 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. it's reused.
No ignorance whatsoever. Was born in Russelville...parents have summer place in Eureka Springs. Heard Billy Bob Thornton is there now? Have 60 cousins in Ark.. consider Bill Clinton a cousin as well as several cousins worked for him.
(good way to shut up repugs..."don't be talkin 'bout my cuzin Bill that way!)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
CAcyclist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
40. I'm a small animal veterinarian
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-10-04 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
41. Controls Engineering and Technical Writing
We started the business over 7 years ago though we really hadn't planned it. It just sorta happened when he decided to leave one employer for another 2.5 hours away. One of his customers begged him to go out on his own and do a couple of jobs for him. The new job 2.5 hours away didn't turn out to be even close to what he wanted to do so three weeks later he took his customer up on the offer and with a contract in hand, started a business. We were very nervous the first year or two about future business but after contacting a few other former customers, he has enough business to keep us in the manner to which we had become accustomed.

At the time we went out on our own I was attending college seeking an English major with a Technical Writing minor, so as luck would have it my skills fit in to the new business in a few places even before graduation two years later. I also have gotten a few copy writing and technical writing jobs for technology based companies in the area, including writing the copy for an entire website which I also programmed.

Our only employees at this time are our children. We've thought about expanding but it would mean a drastic lifestyle change. We decided we didn't want to commit that much of our lives to building the business until our kids had moved on to college. With so much of the tech sector moving overseas and so many manufacturing plants following them, who knows what the next few years will bring.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Sweet Freedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
42. Graphic Design
Although my strength is more in the compositing and layout of Journals, newsletters, brochures, etc. than the actual art.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Wickster Donating Member (261 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-05 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
44. Meeting Planner
I am a meeting planner who was encouraged last year by my customers to go out on my own. (I was also encouraged to do so by some fellow DUers!) It has been an exciting year. I do all the meeting and convention planning for a group that has been meeting twice a year for 30 years (I have been involved the last 11). I am also their group coordinator and webmistress. I do all the newsletters, graphics, marketing, etc., too. This year the group wants to expand into Latin America - so I have some challenges ahead that are making me very nervous. Almost as nervous as this time last year when I started out on my own.

When I need help (particularly at the meetings), I grab some family and off we go. Luckily, I can work out of our home. My husband is a computer consultant and his office is upstairs, while mine is down. Too bad I couldn't be out on my own sooner -- it would have been wonderful when our kids were kids instead of all grown up.

BTW, Jen6, your illustrations are marvelous! One day I ought to dust off the children's books I have written to see if you would be interested in illustrating them.

Sorry if I joined the "converstion" too late, but I just saw this Group. :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Bruce McAuley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-02-05 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
45. Chocolate and eBay
The wife and I have run a home-based chocolate business for a few years now, long enough to get the recipes down and the production techniques to expand if we desired. We now know how to produce the World's Best Chocolate, or so close you can't tell the difference. We DON'T desire to expand, however. We are getting older, and health considerations would limit the time we could give to the business. We took a business class for developing a business plan for our enterprise, and continue to interact with many of the enterpreneurs here in Ferry County, and our group has gotten a grant to form a "virtual mall" for the businesses here, including the computers to make it a reality, and most especially the broadband required to make ANY business competitive, all because we have the highest unemployment rate in the state, and we are so isolated geographically we make a good case study. The locally owned cooperative cable association owns the cable, and has the broadband and Internet access for the town ONLY, but now we may be able to expand to the 2nd largest town in the county, and tie them together. We keep a finger on all the latest happenings here in the sticks.
Our REAL money maker is eBay. Beats the chocolate business all to hell! We might pull in $400 a month just by selling JUNK(but NICE junk!). The yard sales around here have made us over $1000 on just 2 items we bought this last year, both recreation related items. You just have to be prepared to stand behind everything you sell(and ship it), so you don't just put ANYTHING on for sale. Like I said, it has to be a NICE example.
Gonna be an interesting year enterpreneurial-wise here in Ferry County.
Please feel free to contact me if there's any details you may want about our grassroots digital frontier.

Bruce
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
The empressof all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. I want chocolate!
Hey Bruce

I'm always a sucker for good chocolate. Let us know how we can buy some from you. I'm an amateur chocolate/candy maker myself and have recently been practicing my hand dipping.

I'd love to hear more about what you are making out there.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
superconnected Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
49. 3 businesses
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 11:58 AM by superconnected
A maid firm I started 3 months ago. 3-4 employees -changes. I work all day in the computer industry while the employees clean homes. It's taught me that I don't have to be there to own/opperate a business. I think that's a lesson of a life time for me because I know I will need it for the future businesses I start.

A graphology firm thats never made me a penny.

An indie movie production company that has cost me tens of thousands that I would never give up. I've made 3 feature length movies(over 80 mins) and plan to shoot my next feature shortly.

My dad always owned businesses. I'm sorry I didn't start as a business owner from the time I got out of school. Instead I went to the computer industry - fun but by my mid 30's it became appearant I need to be self employed to be happy. It's never been easy to work for someone else. I'm great with companies I own.

All of my businesses were stared on unemployment.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
51. Computer Software
I write programs - mostly for a niche hobbiest market, my wife takes care of the web sites and does some additional business on eBay.

Quitting the paycheck job was a difficult step - about an 80% drop in income, but we love the freedom, the stress reduction and working together has been great.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-11-06 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
52. Herbal Doggie Treats
www.bowwowbotanicals.com

and my wife has a children's boutique.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-03-06 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
53. I'm not in a business of my own as yet.
Edited on Wed May-03-06 02:19 PM by raccoon
Though I've thought about it often.

My job offers no benefits, so that part wouldn't matter.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
shireen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-05-06 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
54. dreaming of being a small business owner ...
just don't know what I want to do, tho'! LOL!

This is a great thread -- I've really enjoyed reading it.

I've been working in the same place that hired me out of college for the past 18 years. They have great benefits, flexible work hours, and the work can be interesting. But I am seriously burnt-out, and want to do something involving energy independence and community agriculture. I know nothing about either area, but am trying to learn more about it.

Please keep posting about your businesses ... this is so interesting and inspiring, warts and all.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-14-06 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
55. my wife and I own a small import shop
we direct import from Thailand, Nepal, and Indonesia. We also carry stuff from other Central and Southeast Asian countries. We've been doing this for eight years, so far.

We carry a lot of clothes, jewelry, incense, and home decor items, with a heavy emphasis on "dharma gear".

This business, although it has made money every now and then, has never supported us - one or the other of us has had a "real" job most of the time. The first few years it looked like we might be able to build the store into something ... but the Bush economy has been very hard on our dreams.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
StrongBad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-20-09 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
57. -Edit-Delete
Edited on Mon Apr-20-09 11:58 PM by StrongBad


Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Dec 25th 2014, 07:43 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Economy & Jobs » Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC