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[pros and cons] working at home


#1

Hello everyone,

I have reached a crossroad in my life and need to make some
changes. I have read messages with envy in the past from those
of you who work from your home. Would anyone care to discuss the
pros and cons and maybe the things needed to start up an
operation. It’s all I am able to think about. Any and
advice would be greatly appreciated. Patty in MO.


#2

I bought a great book put out by the Rosen Group called Crafting
As A Business. Check it out- you can buy it through one of their
magazines (American Craft/ Niche) or you can check out Amazon.com.
It pretty much gives you the pros and cons and is a very easy
read.

Good luck!
DeDe


#3

I love my commute, and it works out great with having a family.
It is helpful to make “rules” for yourself about when to work and
when to allow yourself “flex-time”. Cindy

Cynthia Eid
http://www.silverhawk.com/crafts/eid
http://www.silverhawk.com/ex98/eid-c


#4

Hi Patty. I too would like to hear these stories! I spoke with
one of my profs about my impending departure (which is becoming
more likely daily) from my schooling, and in the conversation, he
said that he doesn’t know a single person who has opened a store
on the basis of selling one-of-a-kind jewellery (i.e.
non-commercial) that has succeeded, at least not one that had
other goods as well. Maybe it would be better just to work from
home and find someone else to sell it for me… who knows. :slight_smile:
-Kieran


#5

Hey Patty, There are definitely pros and cons on this issue. I
have worked out of my house for about 4 years now. It’s great
being able to just get up and work. You don’t have to go out
every morning and fight traffic. On the other hand, I never go
anywhere! I can get stuck working on a project and not leave the
house for days. A lack of social interaction is another dilemma
I face. It’s me and the cat all day until my wife gets home. My
wife also thinks I generate more dust than jewelry.

The plus side is not having to pay additional rent for a

studio. We use an extra bedroom now, but I would much rather have
a detached studio in the back yard. That would keep the dust at
bay and give me a feeling of getting out of the house. Good Luck,
Robert


#6

Hi Patty I worked part-time from hoe for several years before
giving up the day job last July to work full time at home. Moved
house at the same time to give room for workshop and retail
space. =46or my sanity and personal happiness it has been the
best thing I ever did. Don’t imagine that it is easy though - I
now work at least 12 hours a day seven days a week but at
something I enjoy which makes all the difference. If you can build
up to it gradually as I did that makes the mistakes easier to
bear and be sure to cost it out properly first. I assume you are
looking at the jewellery field so workshop equipment doesn’t
come cheap if you try and get it all at once but some pieces can
pay for themselves early on. For example I got a lot of criticism
for buying a rolling mill ( I am a bit of a tool junky I admit)
but I had worked out that the mill meant I could reduce my
stockholding of sterling by more than the cost of the mill as
well as using it for new lines with impressed patterns which are
doing quite well. I don’t know how relevant Uk experiences are to
you but if you want to discuss in detail mail me at home by all
means.

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England


#7

Hello Patty- Does the question include making the decision of
being self-employed vs working for another jeweler? That has to
be a personal decision and commitment.

I always had a jewelers bench in my room - since early college
days - like a woman would set up a sewing machine. My husband
knew what he was getting into! It has expanded over the years
to having a wonderful set up of equipment in the basement.
Having my studio at home has enabled me to do the work along with
having with children - flexible time. The hammering has to be
planned out - noise factor. Self-discipline is a must. I went to
the public library and read several books in the 80’s about
working from home. Very useful. This gave me a broad view of the
complexities of juggling time - still a very complex issue. Time -
for me - is one of the biggest obstacles. I just sleep less
when necessary. And it is important to have the support of your
spouse and family in order to adjust to times when the workload
is greater - like the holidays. It is not an easy path - but I
love it. One step at a time - and prioritize. Also, have
patience with yourself if it takes longer to manifest your goals
than you would like or imagine. It is a rewarding decision.
Cynthia


#8

PattyI am a home jeweler (wire sculptor) my bench is
about 25 ft. from by bedroom. I work about 12 shows a year, have
a wholesale company,and sell instructional videos on my art. A
home business is a blessing . I have mental illness (manic
depression syndrome) It is the ONLY way I can work and be
productive and do the things I love to do, make jewelry and help
others learn my art. My best pieces of jewelry sometine come
from small spurts of creativity in the middle of the night! My
best literary works come from just being so close to my computer
when the feeling to write hits me ( I publish a free newsletter
on wire jewelry called THE WIREWORHER) I am sometime at my bench
at 5:30 am and leave at 8:00 p.m. By 8:10 I have crashed and am
sleeping. This could not happen in a normal business environment.
People ask me "How many hours a day do you work at your business"
my answer is None. Find something you love
and you will never have to work a day in your life! Being a home
jeweler has allowed me to grow both as an artist and as a
businessman. I have about 500 home jewelers on my little
newsletter and you shoud listen to their stories. These are some
of the main advantagtes of having a home based jewelry business:

1.No costly overhead
2 Dont have to keep up with the fashon rat race, dress casual
3.No cummuting an hour or two 
4.No costly telephone bills,deposits etc.
5. Work your own hours day, night whatever.
6. Spend more time with your family
7. Great home biz tax advantages

I think we as artists and Americans sometime forget that we are
in the greatest Country in the World at the greatest time in
history ever to start our home business. To sum it all up, A
friend of mine who wrote a book on home businesses received this
letter. I will write it unedited-

–Many years deliberate to open my own business, to realized
easy, better and wealthy life for me and my family. My country is
Croatia, destroyed but FREE, democratic no more communistic.
Now is opportunity for business.

Preston J. Reuther
Master Wire Sculptor

Preston J. Reuther Master Wire Sculptor
http://www.wire-sculpture.com
preston@wire-sculptue.com
Get THE WIREWORKER a FREE newletter on
making hand crafted wire jewelry


#9

Kieren/all:

I crindge when I encounter the “mass production” syndrome.
These people look upon jewelery as a commodity-not an art. I
suppose we must forgive them as it takes many different
viewpoints to make a world. Personally, I’ve been working at
home doing repairs and special order fabrications for the last 15
years. I enjoyed watching my kids grow and being around to help
my wife. Now however, I work as a contractor 4 days a week and
enjoy getting away from home. I still do some repairs and all my
fabrications at home the rest of the week. I think the real
secret is starting out poor with a family to support. You’re
under pressure to produce knowing that if you don’t work hard
your family will suffer and that’s the best form of self
disapline there is! Now I’ve won a reputation for honesty &
quality work and have a built-in market for my fabrications as
well. Hope I’ve shed a little more light on the subject. Now if I
can only find affordable health insurance…

Best;

Steve


#10

hi Patty Ive been working out of home for 20 years,the first
few years I worked in a back bedroom… the problem with working
in your living space is the dust and dirt that jewelery making
creates…plus you have no privacy from your friends and family
who always assume since you are home you are available for phone
calls and inturruptions…I finally built a studio in my backyard
garden…but keep my office space in that back bedroom…which is
my own private mess!..during craft show season no one dares to go
in that area!. When I am really busy i tell my friends not to
call untill after 6 pm…that leaves the phone open for business
calls only… I enjoy working at home … it is so convient. When
I take breaks its nice to walk the dog or stretch out on the
living room floor to get the kinks out of the bod…,always
remember to keep your work and living space seperated…and you
should enjoy the comfort of working at home…good luck…Jana
Cooper where it is rain rain rain in Seattle and I cant wait to
get into my cozy studio!


#11

The plus side is not having to pay additional rent for a
studio. We use an extra bedroom now, but I would much rather have
a detached studio in the back yard. That would keep the dust at
bay and give me a feeling of getting out of the house. Good Luck,
Robert

The dust factor is definitely a consideration. Jewelry making is
one of the dirtiest things I know of. I have my studio in a
small upstairs bedroom, and my husband has a computer graphics
studio in another. I have to be very careful to keep my dust and
dirt in my own studio and away from his electronics.

Janet Kofoed

in Philadelphia where the snowdrops are just beginning to bloom


#12

Patty, Hi, I have been working at home for the past 5 years now,
the first three part time, but the last two full time… Well I
can tell you this… there are definitely pros and cons… the
pros include the fact that you can work whenever you want to,
meaning if you want to work until 2:00am then so be it… you have
the freedom to set your own hours… but with this also comes the
fact that you really should set a schedule of when you are going
to work and when you aren’t… by this I mean, being that when you
work at home you can wake up whenever you want… or decide to
sleep in… this can get very aggravating… I try never to sleep
past 8:30 but that doesn’t always happen… to me this is more
freedom than I need… sometimes I feel guilty for sleeping an
extra half hour… But then I will work an extra hour to make up
for that… also people sometime think that because you do work at
home, that you are at there disposal to leave at any time during
the day to go and do whatever… This can definitely be a burden…
Basically you have to say to yourself, well just because I work
at home doesn’t give me a free ride to put off the work… There
is definitely some self discipline needed… There is also the
little annoyances you normally wouldn’t have working at a studio,
such as the dog barking at the wind, of course I have to find out
what he is barking at, because what if it wasn’t the wind… then
you have the phone calls in the middle of setting that $1500.00
Alexandrite, or the phone calls from someone like Sears trying to
sell you extra insurance on that appliance you just bought…You
get the point I am sure… Now with all this you also have the
good points… you are your own boss… nobody is hovering over
your head, There will be no customers to pretend they know more
than you do. You create your own work environment. You set up
your tools where you think they should be and you make your shop
the way you want it… There is no more begging your boss for
that specific tool you want, only to be told you don’t need it…
BUY it… That is what I tell myself… If I need it I get it…All
in all I say go for it… The pros definitely out way to cons…
just remember self discipline in working when you should be
working is key… Marc Williams MarcCo. Jewelry Mfg.


#13

Patty, Hi, I have been working at home for the past 5 years now,
the first three part time, but the last two full time… Well I
can tell you this… there are definitely pros and cons… the
pros include the fact that you can work whenever you want to,
meaning if you want to work until 2:00am then so be it… you have
the freedom to set your own hours… but with this also comes the
fact that you really should set a schedule of when you are going
to work and when you aren’t… by this I mean, being that when you
work at home you can wake up whenever you want… or decide to
sleep in… this can get very aggravating… I try never to sleep
past 8:30 but that doesn’t always happen… to me this is more
freedom than I need… sometimes I feel guilty for sleeping an
extra half hour… But then I will work an extra hour to make up
for that… also people sometime think that because you do work at
home, that you are at there disposal to leave at any time during
the day to go and do whatever… This can definitely be a burden…
Basically you have to say to yourself, well just because I work
at home doesn’t give me a free ride to put off the work… There
is definitely some self discipline needed… There is also the
little annoyances you normally wouldn’t have working at a studio,
such as the dog barking at the wind, of course I have to find out
what he is barking at, because what if it wasn’t the wind… then
you have the phone calls in the middle of setting that $1500.00
Alexandrite, or the phone calls from someone like Sears trying to
sell you extra insurance on that appliance you just bought…You
get the point I am sure… Now with all this you also have the
good points… you are your own boss… nobody is hovering over
your head, There will be no customers to pretend they know more
than you do. You create your own work environment. You set up
your tools where you think they should be and you make your shop
the way you want it… There is no more begging your boss for
that specific tool you want, only to be told you don’t need it…
BUY it… That is what I tell myself… If I need it I get it…All
in all I say go for it… The pros definitely out way to cons…
just remember self discipline in working when you should be
working is key… Marc Williams MarcCo. Jewelry Mfg.


#14

Hi Boni,

I have been working from my home for the past 14 or so years.
It has its obvious good points BUT when you work from home you
are not physically at work and this means everybody and their
brother figures that if you are not physically away you are fair
game for all sorts of interruptions! The absolute worst
offenders are your own children (Mine were ages 4, 6, 8, and 10)
and your spouse. Situations when they would never dream of
calling you at work suddenly become life and death dramas that
cannot possibly be resolved without your complete, total and
immediate attention. You suddenly become arbitrator of
disagreements, referee of disputes, solver of problems that you
previously never had a clue even existed when you were at
work
! You will suddenly become bank teller, doctor, auto
mechanic, and pawn broker.

Expect to take at least 10 hrs. to do what you used to do in 8
hrs. You know what? I wouldn’t trade watching my kids grow up
if I had been paid triple time x 10 for the extra hours!

Regards,

Skip

Skip Meister
@Skip_Meister
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor


#15

Must be nice to sit at home all day , I’m a independent
jeweler and I make my rounds every day … Maybe you should try
the repair end if you feel like you made more dust than work
!!! ROB


#16

Working at home…I love it!! I had a very analytical job
working for an insurance company…serious injury claims,
litigation…I would come home and try to get in a mood to
create…by the time I divested myself of my corporate mindset,
it would be late at night and I couldn’t work very long because
I had to get up the next day.

I have been working at home for over five years now. The
further away I get from the corporate thing, the more creative I
get. Bear in mind, it’s not easy. I used up all of my savings
the first two years and have had to depend on all kinds of shows,
wholesale, consignment and a variety of things I never thought I
would do.

I don’t have that second income to buy supplies and pay show
fees so I have to be very judicious with my use of supplies. I
am divorced with a child in college, so finances have been
tight…but I still love it.

I’m sure there are those out there who have had an easy road at
home working, no financial worries…etc. I haven’t, but I still
love it. Waking up in the morning…working on my own
time…and FREEDOM…

Carol


#17

Having just finished college, I am starting up a home studio. I
am using my back porch for this endeavor. It is very cold, so I
purchased a space heater, which does the job - but not the best.
I tried to set up a studio in the basement - but it was dark and
wet down there. I’d love to convert one of the bedrooms into a
studio, but my hubby nixes that idea - saying I am just
procrastinating and to just get to work.

And I suppose that is my problem - not the studio, but the
effort. I work PT as a secretary for my church, and then I am
mother to a 3 year old boy. When I do have spare time, I just
want to veg out with a book or on the computer during the week.
Weekends I get things done in the studio, because hubby is
caring for our son. But I’d like to get more done than I can in a
weekend.

Can anyone share their experience for time management? From
reading other’s responses, it seems time management is the
biggest problem in working from home.

I suppose I’ll never get the time I want unless I quit the
secretarial position - but I don’t think that is a step I am
ready to take yet. Well, thanks for the venting outlet :slight_smile: I look
forward to everyone’s comments. ***Kirsten in PA


#18

This has been a very interesting forum/discussion.

I am presently closing my business, a retail jewelry
store/gallery/manufacturing shop after 22 years of business.
That means open from 10:00 to 6:00 every day, 5 days a week
except between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we were open 6
days a week. Having to keep 4 employees happy, fed, insured and
busy. Paying the landlord his bit of flesh and keeping his greed
at bay, whenever the lease would come up for renewal. Worrying
that the next person walking in the front door would not be
carrying a gun, a bad check or be another bay area loon. A breed
of insecure, indecisive, vain and or drug addled time wasting
shoppers. Demanding retail service for wholesale prices. Retail
services require answering (but not necessarily fulfilling) every
client’s request. And regardless of the urgency of one’s present
tasks or the thrill of the creative process’ one may be consumed
by, you must politely get up and answer that odd client’s request
for a lead soldered repair of some priceless antique pewter nose
ring. This is the contrary side of retail business less anyone
has missed the point…it means dealing with people on a large
scale.Oh, I forgot, and more and more city, state and federal
taxes. Which I am not opposed to, but in San Francisco there
seems to be a game amongst the beaurocrats to tax imaginary
subjects (scale-tax, acid-tax, polishing-motor waste tax). I kid
you not.

So I am selling my business and stock and taking a sabbatical.
Recharging the batterys and begin again. Working at home. To
concentrate on the creative, challenging and what I find
meaningful projects. Money isn’t the be-all of life. There’s
enough to be happy with. But to enjoy one’s work is a blessing.

Thank you all for your insights. Might I add three suggestions
that I am taking in expanding my home-based workshop: 1) A good
security system AND a good safe 2) A business telephone line 3) A
state of the art polishing-vacuum machine.

Kim-Eric Lilot, from sunny San Francisco, where the Plum
blossoms are in bloom and allergy season is beginning. Cheers.


#19

There is no such thing as time management where the care of a
three year old is concerned! Enjoy three while you can. Looking
back on my kids growing up it seemed to take forever while it was
happening but they were both in school all day eventually. Soon
it will be time for him to go to school and you will have more
time - and energy. Three year olds are exhausting. Karen


#20

Hi Kirsten, I have to tell you I have the same problem, which I
determine is a workspace that is not appropriate for the way I
think, work or function. It takes super concentration to tune out
my family, other job and household stuff, though when I do the
rewards are fantastic. I dream of setting up my own
office/studio, where I’m not ‘making do’ in whatever corner of
the house I can squeak into.

Gail