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Cottage Business Ideas  RSS feed

 
Jayden Thompson
Posts: 120
Location: Danville, KY (Zone 6b)
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I'm looking to learn a hands on skill in building something useful that I can sell either locally or online (etsy, or something like that). I don't have any particular skills now, but I've had interest in learning all kinds of things from woodworking to metal works, to anything else. I'd like it to be a low cost upfront investment - meaning I don't want to spend $1000 on a welder just to get started. Preferably I could do it all the old fashioned way with hand tools.

Since I'm starting from scratch anyways, I'm wide open to any ideas you all can share with me. Nothings off limits if I can start with low investment costs, and I'm actually building something with my hands that is useful and that I can sell. All ideas are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks!
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3567
Location: Anjou ,France
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Making corn dollies ? Skeps or Wicker work zero cost
Also wood turning bowls and stuff
 
Steve Farmer
Posts: 390
Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
3
forest garden greening the desert trees
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start by telling us what you like doing. Then we can brainstorm ways to make money out of it, or at least out of something similar or connected.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
182
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Vegan all-natural cold weather gear: http://www.permies.com/t/56436/plantfiber/Vegan-friendly-warm-natural-textiles

 
Jayden Thompson
Posts: 120
Location: Danville, KY (Zone 6b)
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@Steve - I'm not totally sure what I enjoy, to be honest. Currently I have sheep, rabbit, one cow, and chickens on about 5 acres of my land, the rest is wooded and/or unused for now. I have plenty of room to grow or raise anything that would be good for my little cottage business, if there is opportunity for that.

I like spending my time outdoors, but it's really on the rainy days and cold winter days that I have a ton of free time that I'd like to spend creating things for this business.

I can't say what I enjoy, because I haven't experimented with much yet. I guess if I was forced to define what I think I'd enjoy, it would be to make something from scratch where the materials come directly from my farm - either plant or animal based. Just as an example - I could see myself enjoying growing bamboo on my property, then harvesting it and learning to make useful things from it. I don't actually have bamboo on my property, but that's just a very generic example of something I think I'd like. I hadn't heard of corn dollies before, but after David mentioned it I looked it up and that is roughly in line with what I'd like to do. Although, I think I'd rather work with wood or metal (or both) before straw.

But, again, one of my top priorities is that the initial investment is as close to $0 as possible. We live 100% on our minimal farm income and outside investments, so while I'm not poor I don't have a lot of free money to get started.
 
jimmy gallop
Posts: 196
Location: east and dfw texas
3
bee chicken forest garden hunting trees woodworking
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wooden spoons or rakes, hammer,ax,hoe, handles,coloring book boxes,bee hives, brooms,book cases,picture frames,butcher block,bows and arrows,. theirs just lots of things that you can make of wood that takes very little investment in tools or knowledge . good luck
 
Rick English
pollinator
Posts: 264
Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
36
books dog forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy trees
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Any ideas where you are gonna sell your stuff. If you want to sell at the local farmer's market, go there and see if there is anything you want to make. Also pay attention to what people buy. Ideally you can find something that people want to buy. It is probably counterproductive for you to spend a lot of time making something nobody wants to buy, or buy for $1, when it takes you 100 hours to make one.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
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How about some simple woodworking projects that will actually improve your local environment?

Bat house plans
Bird house plans
more bird house plans

Build them in the dead of winter so you will have a bunch ready to sell in the spring.
Many people are into bird watching, and these bird houses should brighten up their day (and your wallet).


 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 743
13
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Do you live near the coast?

Evaporate seawater into sea salt. As inexpensive as it gets.
 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 555
Location: Mid-Michigan
28
bee books duck food preservation forest garden hunting solar trees
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This article on Wired is about a guy who searches dumpsters for stuff (mainly electronics, seems like) to fix and sell. There are some.... enthusiastic... dollar figures quoted, but I believe the premise is still sound.

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/high-end-dumpster-diving-matt-malone/
 
Jayden Thompson
Posts: 120
Location: Danville, KY (Zone 6b)
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I like these ideas. I've been planing to build a bat house for awhile, so I may start with that. I can make one to use, and take a picture to try to sell it. If it sells, I can quickly make more and see where it takes me.

I'm also super jealous of the dumpster diving guy. I lived in Austin for 12 years, and I remember distinctly when the Circuit City was going out of business - the same one mentioned in the article. I was probably in the store paying half price the same days he was in the dumpster getting things for free...
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1238
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
44
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I made a chicken tractor just like this one (the picture isn't mine) and I have had several offers to buy it or build one for people to buy. They aren't hard at all. If you cut the parts for several at a time, you could make them much faster, but I built mine in 6 or 8 hours for the first one.
chickentractor012.jpg
[Thumbnail for chickentractor012.jpg]
 
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