Our Side Hustle: Studio 513

I’ve been running a small business from our home for a couple of years and specifically chose a generic name for the business so I could branch out into other areas later if desired. My decision for a generic name came in super handy last year when MY business became OUR business. We definitely branched out into other areas!

Studio 513 was originally created as a sole proprietorship to run my quilting business. I purchased a 22″ longarm quilting machine with Pantovision, trained for three days with an award-winning professional, and was off like a rocket to longarm quilt for income. If you’re interested, you can see my work on my Facebook page for Studio 513. In addition to quilting for others, I also provided contract editing services for a telephone survey company. Although the editing pro       vided fairly good and regular income, I didn’t enjoy it.

About a year ago, I took a course through my church called Starting and Growing My Business for Self-Reliance. Each week we met together as a group, studied and discussed the lesson material, and then completed homework and tasks on our own throughout the coming week to prepare for the next lesson. At the beginning of every class, we spent 20 minutes studying scriptural-based doctrines pertaining to self-reliance. Honestly, it was my favorite part of the lessons because I could feel God’s love for me so strongly during this time. I felt Him prompting and leading me along the way. The topic for the sixth week was, “Work: Take Responsibility and Persevere.” We pondered scriptures about not being idle and read quotes about not giving up. We discussed replacing fear with faith and moving forward with patience and courage, trusting that God would provide. Our homework for the week was to choose something hard or uncomfortable and finish the task.

I wanted to quit my editing job. It wasn’t making me happy. In fact, it was kind of making me ornery. It was distracting me from things that mattered to me, specifically spending quality time with my family and developing my skills as a longarm quilter. The problem about quitting, though, was we had just found out my husband was going to be laid off. Editing was a sure income. Quilting was not a sure income at all. I was making some money from quilting, but not enough to support our family.

I was worried enough that I was breaking out in hives every night and was very miserable! I knew I needed to let the worried thoughts go and trust the Lord. I came home and prayed for an answer. It came immediately. He would be there for me. He would be there for our family. He would provide for our every need, but I would need to trust in Him completely. So I took a huge leap of faith and quit my editing job the very next day, even though I had no idea where my next paycheck would be coming from.

But He knew. Throughout the self-reliance business course, I developed a strong business plan and began selling weighted blankets. Every month I got more orders. I offered a Christmas Special beginning in October, and my life was CRAZY through December! I capped the sales at 30 blankets. After all, I’m just one person and there’s only so many hours in a day!

While my husband was laid off, we added a few side hustles to the business. We purchased a 20’x40′ event tent to rent for parties and weddings. We ended up purchasing it kind of late in the summer party/wedding season, but we were able to rent it out three times. We will recoup our cost with one or two more rentals this year. I made tent leg drapes to go with it, too.

In addition to the tent rental, we purchased used furniture from our local classified ads to re-finish. We completed and sold several projects, but our best seller seemed to be dining tables and chairs, and we still do a few here and there.

Now I’ve started this blog to document our entire journey on the path towards self-reliance. And what a journey it’s been! Thanks for coming along with us!