It's never too late to turn your hobby into a business
Liz Pacey, 59, from Hull, has amalgamated her creativity and business skills to turn her hobby of knitting into a business called Knitspiration
‘My name is Liz and I am a knitwit’. Well we don’t actually start our twice monthly knitting group meeting at St Columba, Drypool with those words, but we are all happy and incredibly proud to be known as knitwits. I hope you are as lucky as me and are able to turn your hobby into a business too.
I followed a degree in English with nurse and midwifery training, and then moved around from my home town of Middlesbrough to Dundee, Edinburgh, and Cambridge and eventually settling in Hull with my husband in 1991. While midwifery was a profession that I loved, eventually the role began to become more stressful and I decided to leave.
For the next eleven years I worked as a home visitor for the visually impaired with the Blind Institute. I also trained as a reader in the Church of England which entailed writing courses. As a result I then became a freelance writer.
Passion into pounds.
I have been a keen knitter all my life and I had an inkling I could turn my passion into a profitable business. Then two years ago I set up a charity knitting group. I was giving talks to groups and decided to set up a business based on knitting which seems to have become increasingly popular.
I went on a three day course ‘Preparing to run your own business’ organised by Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise. The course was brilliant and I loved talking to other people in my age group and sharing ideas. I worried that as I was nearly 60 I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a businesswoman. However I felt my confidence grow as a result of being there and it really helped me. So if you are thinking of turning your hobby into a business you might want to do this too.
I started knitting courses and about 30 people – all women so far – come along. We meet in a local church hall. I can now be booked for ‘Days of Knitspiration’, which can touch on such things as knitting for others less fortunate; music and reading to knit by and prayer shawls knitting.
The business is building and I am making a little money but by the end of next year I should have a viable business. I would encourage anyone who has a hobby that they could share with others on a commercial basis to give it a go.
Liz Pacey, Knitspirationhullcom
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