One of the most interesting parts of my "real" job --- designing for the web and for print --- is that I get to work with the most interesting people. Over the last year or so I've had an increase in people who contact me to start or enhance cottage industries to help them through the current lean times. The creativity and ingenuity of these people impresses me and the way they are using their passion for a particular area of interest to create business is a testimony to their cleverness.
A couple years ago a Reiki practitioner from Texas contacted me to create a web site. Recently she enhanced it by adding information on her tai chi classes and her workshops in mask-making, an endeavor I was completely unfamiliar with. She is keeping busy with classes, workshops, seminars, etc. --- all out of her home.
Similarly an artist from Wisconsin wanted a web site to sell prints of his paintings of airplanes and to accept commissions. He knew exactly what he wanted including an opening slideshow played to the tune "The High and the Mighty". He told me that once the web site went live his wife would sometimes just put the homepage on her computer and let the music, and images of his paintings play as she worked.
Those of us who live in Gloucester often forget that people in other parts of the country don't have access to the quality of seafood we get here. An entrepreneur in Pennsylvania decided to start a business selling Canadian lobster, salmon and other delicacies. He wanted a shopping cart and a means of updating the prices and availability himself which I was pleased to provide. He told me he knows the prices seem ridiculous to those of us in coastal towns but inland people are willing to pay for these luxuries.
One of my favorite projects was a web site for a man who loves to fish --- fly-fish, that is. Not only does he have a lot to offer in terms of information on fishing for Atlantic salmon and steelhead trout but he has designed lures and flies and is now writing articles for fishing magazines all thanks to his web site. Because I grew up in central Pennsylvania with a father and brothers who were inland fishermen, I found this site especially fun to work on and his photographs of fishing trips are wonderful!
This site is still in progress but is one of the most interesting sites I've ever worked on. The owner is in love with vintage stenciling and is creating a site chock-full of information, photographs, historical backgrounds plus a shop that will sell her own vintage designs based on New England stenciling by masters such as Moses Eaton. We hope to have it ready soon.
All of these people are taking advantage of tough times to pursue their own passions --- and generating income in the process. I've also done a bit of work with people who are selling information via e-books, something I've had success with on my own. But more about that later.
Thanks for reading.