How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Career

A FedEx Driver hand-crafting soap. A hairstylist hawking porkless bao buns. A restaurant manager reproducing denim jackets.

The dream of turning a hobby into a Plan B career is almost with a gig economy Countless tips Published on sell Old comic books, brewing beer, Playing video games and even telling jokes.

After one year by the coronovirus epidemic, however, In which Millions Of americans Lost my job, It’s starting to look more like a necessity than a fantasy, Especially for those who have been fired or forced to teach far-flung children.

Yelp recorded nearly 100,000 trade-offs during the first eight months of 2020, but new businesses selling cupcakes, donuts, cakes, macarons and other desserts also grew 10 percent. ETS saw a 42 percent jump in new sellers in the third quarter of 2020, compared to a year earlier.

“It may be that some people wanted to respond to their creative calling,” said Daya Isma Johnson, ET’s trend expert. “But for many in this unprecedented time, it is about those who have faced unexpected financial challenges, whether they are unemployed or far away from their jobs.”

Here are five who jumped during the epidemic.

“I grew up in an Italian-Portuguese family,” Dan PelosiSaid a creative director for Ann Taylor, who oversees in-store design and marketing. “The food is what we had.”

And as a self-described homebody, Mr. Pelosi, who shares a three-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn with two roommates, found his way to cope with the existential existence of quarantine.

“Everyone else went out and got a sex boy,” he said. “I’ve stocked my pantry.”

At the peak of the lockdown last spring, Mr. Pelosi, a fond home cook and a 10,000-watt personality quippy fashionista, began posting stunning close-ups showing his spin on old family dishes, such as Hardness with vodka “Ara“And Soulful lasagna, Under his Instagram handle @grossypelosi.

He had no formal food training, but his recipes brought a homely, tonight-I-treat-it to himself. “I started getting messages from essential workers, like ‘I come home from work and see your stories, and this is a source of comfort for me,” Mr. Pelosi said.

As they followed, brands as Chobani, Ikia and Grindr reached out for collaboration. Pintrest asked him to be a paid producer, which he particularly liked. “I refer to myself as one Lesbian pinterest mom, “He said.” I have an annual holiday cookie party. I do a pumpkin carving party. “

By summer, cooking had become more of a job than a sideline. Now a website with 52,000 followers on Instagram, Gross peplosi Which attracts 37,000 visitors a month, plus a book agent and merch line called “This Very Pasta”. Hermit, A charity for LGBTQ seniors), he sees his future in food and not in fashion.

It is a casual career that gives him a chance to emulate one of his idols, the cooking guru Ina Garten.

Barefoot Contessa She is my queen, ”he said. And as a man who identifies as a bear in gay culture, he said: “I always joke that I want him to hand over his empire to me. I’ll turn it into BEAR-foot violence.”

“A lot of people are looking into IT work,” said Eric Warner, a web programmer at Wipp’s, “I’m looking to get out.”

Quarantine would have given him just the elbow he needed.

Isolated at home with his wife and two children, Mr. Warner, 46, began a second career in which he hoped to make his primary source of income: cutting custom vinyl records in his basement, often anniversaries, and As a gift for a birthday.

Two years ago, he bought a $ 10,000 record lathe, which looks like a giant DJ riding on the Death Star. It is a highly specialized machine that feeds an analog signal to a diamond stylus that grooves into an empty disk.

“There’s really no reason anyone would want to buy one,” he said.

As a former rave producer, Mr. Warner dreamed of starting an ambient-music indie label, Abstract expression, But the machine was mostly sitting in the basement. Until the epidemic.

His wife, 43-year-old Izabela, who designs online courses for universities, was unable to find work, and had to cut back on web design clients to help her raise her children, ages 5 and 11. The days were hard and long.

Looking for a more commercial application for their lathe, the couple opened an Etsy shop Vinyl, Sold-out albums – originally, vinyl mix tapes – with custom artwork for $ 95 to $ 110.

A woman from Connecticut ordered it as an anniversary gift for her daughter, with her spoken vows on one side and songs from her wedding reception on the other. A California woman commissioned an LP for her husband with the song Lori and performed an ultrasound on the cover as a gender-reveal gift.

Mr. Warner hopes to make vinyl his main gig, and Webb will build his side. This may be one way, as he has sold only 250 records so far. But sales have increased in recent months, even after the holidays.

“Hey,” he said, “I just want to make a record.”

As a personal hairstylist for Nike designers, Amazon executives, and other well-off customers, Thu Pham was living life.

“I was able to make a decent living working only three to four days a week, which was a great schedule for Single Mom,” said Ms. Pham, 40, who lives in Portland, Ore., With her 7-year-old child with. Daughter, Kinsley. “I was traveling, going to concerts. When your career is like this, why would you consider leaving? “

Portland then closed down its business last March. To pass the time, she began to scour YouTube for Vietnamese meat-free dishes (Ms. Pham is vegetarian), including fake pork made with coconut milk, tapioca and rice starch in the traditional style of Vietnamese Buddhist monks. Is included.

“Cooking for me was always a way to share love and affection with my family,” said Ms. Pham, who immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in the 1980s.

She was very pleased with her results, so last April she created the recipe on Instagram as a way to keep in touch with her hair customers. “Within minutes of going live, I had customers to buy my Pork Belly Slabs,” she said. “I immediately thought it might be a way for me until I could go back to work as a hairstylist.”

By the end of the week, Ms. Pham had filled 100 orders. Within two, she was shipping nationwide.

Last November, he opened a Vietnamese delicatessen Mm Dut (Meaning “Mama, Fodder”) in the city’s Bakman neighborhood, selling Porkless Bao Buns, Mushroom Banh Meal and other signature creations for takeout and bicycle distribution.

Business has intensified. Ms. Pham expects to make $ 350,000 in revenue this year, and wants to expand Mama Dut to Los Angeles. She is also donating like a charity Growing garden, Which builds gardens in schools, low-income neighborhoods, and corrective facilities.

He has no plans to return to hairstyling, perhaps as a customer. “I hope that I can afford myself as a hairstylist someday,” she said.

When schools closed on the last day of March, 31-year-old Tiffany Dangerfield of Huntsville, Ala., Had a difficult choice: continuing to work long hours as a delivery driver for FedEx, or staying at home with her three children .

“There was no way my four-year-old was going to put herself in a live class meeting every morning,” Ms. Dangerfield said.

She performed teacher duties at home, while her husband James Dangerfield, 31, worked as an assembly operator for a local defense contractor. Money was strapped, but he soon got another income.

About a decade ago, her husband was a corporal in the military stationed in Vicenza, Italy, and her young son and daughter suffered from eczema and chronic dry skin. There is nothing that doctors prove helpful on a prescribed basis, so she started making chemical-free soap.

While the initial batches were “a mess”, Ms. Dangerfield said, “the oil was floating on top, it never really hardened.” With practice, she mastered the craft. Not only does it seem to help reduce the dry skin of her children, she said, but, back home in Alabama, it becomes her childbirth and a way to disintegrate after completing her delivery routes.

“It was very relaxing to go to my soap room at night,” she said.

She made soap for family and friends, and when the epidemic hit, they convinced her to sell it online. Before long, Ms. Dangerfield had transformed her dining room into a studio with a mixture of junk oil, bowls, and packing materials. And he started selling confection such as blackberry and vanilla soap, cedar-scented body butter and coconut oil sugar scrub at his Etsy shop. We made it soap co.

It took months to gain traction. She now fills more than 30 orders a month like whimsical products Pheromones-activated charcoal soap ($ 7), Coffee-Whipped Sugar Scrub ($ 8) more Black Raspberry Vanilla Whipped Body Butter ($ ९). Recently a sorority at the University of Illinois ordered 70 self-care gift sets featuring soap and bubble baths. He has recently sent a ten-unit order.

Only problem? Ms. Dangerfield needs a new creative outlet to relax after a busy day. Recently, he has been crocheting. “Maybe that will be my next career,” he said.

In August last year, a manager at Sonia Crossroads, 38-year-old Mr. Chow, who was at Tribeca’s Buzzy Restaurant, was going to Reat Aid near his apartment in Ridwood, Queens, when he heard a loud pop.

His ears started ringing. Blood trickled down his back. A 9-millimeter bullet from a gang shooting engulfed his skull. While recovering in a hospital in Queens, Ms. Durga realized one.

“Life is short,” he said, “and there is nothing to be lost or afraid of.”

The epidemic proved to be an opportune time to change course. After being fired from work last March, Ms. Durga launched a fashion line, Take sunday: Festival Repeated Denim Jacket with Swarovski Crystals, Antique Brooch and Vinyl Print. Items sell for $ 295 to $ 1,500.

This was not his first step in fashion. Ms. Durga, who has a marketing degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, had been playing with denim since she was 20 years old. “I was always ripping denim, doing these crazy, cowardly things,” she said.

He wore his creations to work in Mr. Chow, which sometimes attracted the attention of its illustrious patron. She created embroidered jackets with patches that pronounced “hood” for La La Anthony, and one embroidered with the phrase, “The King of Bachata” for Latin pop singer Romeo Santos.

Adopting the sneaker-drop model, Mrs. Durga plans to release 10 to 15 new jackets on a custom order basis every season. Her revenue is $ 2,000 to $ 4,000 per month, which makes her hopeful that she will soon be in her final four top positions.

“Lying in the hospital,” Ms. Durga said, “I realized that I did not want to be missed for chicken decay.”

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