5 Parents Who Make Money From Home in Incredibly Creative Ways

Are you currently exploring the idea of having a more flexible career? Then you’ve probably heard plenty of advice about becoming a freelance writer, marketer, virtual assistant, or consultant. But what if you aren’t interested in any of these careers?

Then stop thinking about them.

Instead, consider cashing in on activities you love.  I remember when I had my first daughter, Gabby.  I was looking to see if there was something I could do to keep my skills up and earn money at the same time.  I didn’t want to go back to my job at IBM.

When I started looking, there was a lack of creative ideas and stories of parents using their unique skills and interests and creating business models from them.   So, check out these ideas from parents who have created unique businesses while having the opportunity to stay at home with their kiddos!

Angel Wilder Runs Errands

Parents.com shares the story of Angel Wilder, a mom who makes $175,000 per year by running errands for other people. Her duties include things like:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Pet sitting
  • Returning movie rentals
  • Picking up the dry cleaning

She can even stop by her client’s house and wait for the cable guy. Wilder has grown her business to the point where she outsources some of her errands and earns a cut of the pay.

Granted, Wilder can’t be home 24/7, but if you choose to go this route, you can always limit yourself to errands that allow you to bring your little ones along—such as grocery shopping.

The good news is that errand runners are becoming more popular, so it’s easy to market your services on sites like Task Rabbit.

Alicia Shaffer Sells Stuff on Etsy

If you’re into crafts, then you’ve heard of Etsy, but have you ever thought of turning your Etsy account into a business? California mom Alicia Shaffer does it, and her business grosses $70,000 to $80,000 per month doing it, reports ABC News.

That seems like a crazy amount of income, but she pays herself $55,000 per year and invests the rest back into her business and employees.

Shaffer’s Etsy store, Three Bird Nest, is reportedly one of the top five highest grossing Etsy stores, but Shaffer never expected to make more than $100 per week. Now, she’s selling all kinds of products, including:

  • Scarves
  • Leggings
  • Bracelets
  • Headbands
  • Hair ties

It’s something countless moms are turning to as a source of income, but don’t think of this as a get-rich-quick scheme. If you’re serious about selling on Etsy, create a product people are truly interested in, and treat your store like a business, not a source of side income.

Mark and Rhea Post Youtube Videos of Their Kids Playing With Toys

Parents Mark and Rhea (who choose to keep their last name private) have cashed in over $1 million just by posting Youtube videos of their children playing with toys.

Keep in mind that if you choose to do something fun like this, you have to go into the project with a purpose. Think about why people want to watch your videos. It’s not because they enjoy watching strangers’ kids playing. It’s because they want to know what toys they should buy for their own kids. For instance, Mark and Rhea make these videos useful to parents by reviewing the specs on the box before opening it.

You may also have to invest money in new, popular toys that people commonly search reviews and unboxings for.

Stephanie Collins Makes Money Through Quilting and Embroidering

Stephanie Collins reports on LiveLikeYouAreRich.com that she makes a side income of $1,000 per month (on a good month, she says) by selling quilts and taking on embroidery projects.

Her best pieces of advice?

  1. “Gift a few items so people can see what you do.”
  2. “Learn to say ‘No!’”

Think you don’t have the skills for quilting? Don’t be afraid to start taking lessons! Collins didn’t even buy her first sewing machine until she was 32 years old.

When quilting out of your home, don’t forget about the cost of supplies. As Collins reports, “I only buy [supplies] when needed or if I find a really good fabric sale.”

Donna Fisher Distributes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Donna Fisher is another mom who shared her stay-at-home income story on LiveLikeYouAreRich.com. She says she started distributing microfiber cleaning cloths back in 1999 when they were new, and it works for her because she loves the product.

The idea isn’t to copy what Fisher’s doing but rather to find a product you love, whatever that may be, and to sell it out of your home. You can do this through making sales online via eBay or on your very own website. Otherwise, sell in-person by attending trade shows or by setting up a physical shop on your property.

The cool thing about this is that you don’t have to put a lot of time into developing the product like you would with quilts and crafts. Instead, you’re running the business side of things where you distribute products already available.

Fisher offers some great advice:

  1. Test out the waters first by selling on eBay.
  2. Make sure you have an online presence through a website and Facebook.

These are some examples of some cool and fresh ideas on ways you can use your expertise and create a flexible business. Plus, you can do these from anywhere in the world including your house!

Are there any new ideas that have come to the surface after reading about these businesses?

Photo credit by gubgib


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.