How I turned my hobby into a profitable business
Ever since I can remember, I have been the best at wrapping gifts in my family – a random hobby, you might say, but this hobby helped me establish a profitable business at the age of 21. It started out as child’s play: whenever holidays were coming or my friends and relatives needed to wrap gifts, they put me in charge. For quite some time, I thought that they were the clumsy ones and I just happened to be decent at it, but then I discovered that it was more than a random skill. I put a lot of attention and detail into every package and it was a pleasure for me to mix and match wrapping paper with ribbons and various accessories. When I got into college, I completely forgot about this talent of mine, but, during a summer holiday, a found an old photo album with photos of the gifts I had wrapped. They may have looked random when I made them, but, three years later, as an interior design student, I saw them differently. I saw great potential in them and, since I was unemployed, I decided to do something brave and start my own gift wrapping business. It all started with buying sufficient amounts of supplies: I looked for wholesale clearance ribbon, various types of wrapping paper, bows, boxes in different shapes and many others.
Many of my friends told me that’s it wasn’t a practical idea and maybe in theory it wasn’t. However, I just happened to be successful. I didn’t do too much in the first months, but then a fellow student asked my help with wrapping a gift for her sister’s wedding. Being my first client, I did my best to create the best wrapping effort. It took me about two hours, but the result was pretty impressive: I chose elegant golden wrapping paper with royal blue satin ribbons and then I made a wedding card where I wrote a custom message with tiny delicate ribbon. The reaction I got from my colleague was the thing that motivated me to do more to advertise my business. A few leaflets spread around campus during the holiday season did the trick and one week before Christmas I had more orders than I could manage. It was unavoidable for me to make the same mistake that rookies make: I invested a lot of time and effort into my wrapping, but I had very small prices.
Fortunately, I met an investor the following year and he got me several contracts with large luxury firms that paid the right amount for my services. I’m one of the lucky people that work in a field that they also love and that managed to make money from a hobby. Like any job, my job requires a lot of work, but it gives me great satisfaction that I love what I do and I hope that my story inspires those who are afraid of working with what they like because they fear it might not be profitable.