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June 07, 2013

Older Adults, Make Your Retirement Hobby a Small Business

For many older adults, retirement means they finally have time to dedicate to their favorite hobbies like woodworking, sewing, baking, or crafting. But what do you do with all of those hand-made fishing lures, jars of jelly, doll clothes, and intricate woodcarvings once they’'re finished? You can share your talents and fund future hobby projects by starting a small business! In today’'s connected marketplace, there isn’'t a need to open your own brick-and-mortar store – there are plenty of other methods for sharing your goods with interested buyers without a full-time investment. Here, we discuss just a few:

Craft Fairs

Almost all communities have some kind of annual festival that involves a craft fair. Some people can actually make a living traveling the country to sell their goods at such community events. Try selecting just one or two local fairs to get started. If you like operating your booth and are making enough products to keep it stocked, you can add as many events as you’'d like. Getting a vendor space at a fair usually isn’t very expensive – no more than a few hundred dollars. Just make sure you have enough items for the duration of the event.


Many communities have artist cooperatives where several artists share retail space. Your local chamber of commerce should be able to put you in touch with any in your area. These artists split the costs of the retail space and utilities and often share the responsibility of minding the shop. This can be a good option if you want a consistent business space (unlike craft fairs), but prefer an in-person sales point to selling on the Internet. Plus, co-ops can be a great way to network with other creators. Just be sure to team up with an agreeable group – you’ll need to collaborate on business decisions and marketing to make the joint venture a success.

Online Stores

If you’'re shy about selling your wares in person, or if you have highly specialized goods, an online store might be your best bet. Opening an online store lets you cast a wide net for possible customers. If you have money to invest in your business, you can look into having a website design company build you a business website where customers can order your goods. You can also start small and post individual items for sale on existing retail websites like ebay.com or etsy.com. Ebay is a general sales community, while Etsy is designed for handmade arts, crafts, and even baked goods. Try looking through these sites to see what’s available and how other sellers are posting their goods. When you feel comfortable with how it works, open your shop!

See how hobbies can improve your health and much more in this free guide >>

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