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Crafting A Business

Should you turn your part-time hobby into a full-time business?

This story appears in the March 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Transforming a crafts hobby into a homebased business can be a little bit of heaven and a little bit of hell. At least that's the way it was for Howard Stevens, founder of Shuttleworks Ltd., an 8-year-old Berea, Kentucky, firm specializing in rugs, tote bags, place mats and table runners woven from rags.

Stevens began weaving 12 years ago to relieve stress from his job as a university administrative assistant. "I started having all this merchandise pile up, and I could only use so many things," recalls Stevens, who lives and works in an area known as Kentucky's "crafts capital." To get rid of some of his inventory, he began selling at local crafts shows, where a woman asked him to supply items wholesale for her shop. "I had no idea what she was talking about," says the weaver.

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