Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hobbies and Leisure Time to Riches

The rewards are great! When a job is less than fulfilling or difficult at best a hobby can bring great rewards and even some economic stability. Unemployment always comes at a most inconvenient time.

It hit us when our daughter was in college, we were subsidizing a self-help program for low-income people and I was teaching. Thank goodness I had a little extra time in the summer to take on some additional work. I had always met the challenge of teaching clothing and textiles by using my skills to do alterations for a few people who became regular customers. When my husband lost his job I alerted all my 'regulars' that I was looking for additional work. The first month I put out the alert I earned more money sewing than I had in a monthly salary teaching.

One particular instance brought me additional customers. A young woman, who was the niece of one of my regular customers, wanted her mother's Italian lace wedding gown altered to fit her. She had taken it to a prominent local department store which is now out of business. The price they quoted to her was several hundred dollars. They simply looked at the exquisite, fine detailed expensive lace garment and priced their services accordingly.

Her Aunt referred her to me and I was able to do the alterations for the grand sum of $10.00. It was a joy to work on such a fine piece of material. It was a challenge I enjoyed and since I charged by the hour what I received at the time was a fair price. As a result of the one simple, enjoyable task I received many interesting projects from other family members. And there are also some side benefits to those of us who sew. We love fabric and we sometimes love expensive fabric that we hesitate to spend money on even in the best of times. A member of this same family also wanted a new lining put into a fur jacket. When she went to buy her very expensive lining material, embossed satin, she, of course, was advised to purchase too much. Since no one in her family ever did sewing, she had no use for the unused part.

Besides being paid I received the remnant, which was far more costly than the amount I was paid.

It was a win-win situation and even though it was the result of my professional training, it was a skill anyone could learn to help themselves or others.


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