Monday, August 22, 2011

Cottage Industry:Thoughts on working from home

When young women are interested in staying at home until marriage, the question often comes up: "What's there to do all day if I don't go out to work?" Everyone's situation is different...But if you do have the option to stay at home, I just wanted to offer some thoughts on Cottage Industry.
~ Since graduating in '09, I've been able to use this time for growing in my interests and hobbies. I quickly found that the most valuable way to spend time before working from home is to Volunteer your time to learn a skill that you admire. By gaining the experience, you're able to grow more in your knowledge of that field :) Whether you're interested in Midwifery to Basket-weaving, use this time to study and learn all you can :)

So here are a some ideas for jobs you can start from the home:


Hampton university Home Ec class, 1902

Baking from home and selling to local cafe's/shops

Making 'freezer meals' for families (this is such a blessing in the church)

Putting together a frugal meal plan for families on a budget

Culinary photographer for businesses


Cooking/baking classes for students

Teaching a class on food history

Teaching a Nutrition/Organic food awareness class
Sell canned/preserved foods from home
Start a home-based catering business

~Lead a sewing class~
If you're skilled in the area of sewing, there's a huge demand for affordable modest clothing, historical attire etc. Websites like Etsy and Ebay are great places get started. Embroidering initials onto cloth handkerchiefs, Tailoring garments, sewing purses/totes/bible cases are also projects you can sell.

Teaching a class is such a beneficial way to share your interest with others, and at the same time, you're able to bring in an income for what you love to do... Many establishments welcome independent teachers of hand-crafts!

~ ^Learning the art of Butter making, NC college 1899^
Teach a gardening class, start a home-based plant nursery, sell heirloom/organic seeds online, organize a flower/plant swap in your community, make homemade soap, lotion or candles. Sew heavy-duty gardening aprons. The list could go on, but these are just ideas to get you started ;)
What we've been up to:

My brother begins to work on yet another story he's writing...
~ When we went to visit my Uncles' shop, he told us about his community garden he started earlier this year...Now it's time for a fall planting!
~We stopped by the local booksellers...
~ The beauty of books. I don't believe we stayed long enough!
~My family took a walk through a quiet downtown neighborhood...
~And we were struck by the beauty of all the greenery and gardens in the front of many of the homes..quite a lovely sight to leave with before heading back on the road.
Time for an Old-Fashioned Camp Meeting!
Driving through the foothills of Missouri
The landscape was so refreshingly lush,
those hills filled with clover and promise of a lovely week. I watched as the sweet, warm breeze moved among the thicket of trees...
~Nestled down a long country road, we finally arrived at the Camp-meeting :) Surrounded by nearby farms and clear skies, it was a beautiful sight to behold.
~One afternoon, a group of us took up our chairs to have an outdoor service under the canopy of the trees. As we hiked up to the trail, we passed an old cabin that was built over a century ago...
~ ~An old songbook rests against the antique pew~

In the calm of the morning hour, it was lovely to begin the day with acapella singing and prayer. The slight rustling sound of dried grass, and the earthy scent of the fresh hay became sweetly familiar to me as we knelt together in prayer daily.
~ A precious moment--my dear friend writes with a young girl.
~ A light rain brought about cooler temperatures--quite a relief from the August heat :)
~ One morning I asked this young lady what she was drawing, and after showing me her beautiful illustrations, I encouraged her to write about it--I wanted to know the story behind the traveler & his horse! ;)

She said they were on their way to the Camp-meeting...I asked,"Where did they come from? Will he let the horse stay by the lake during the day? What's its name?" And from there her story began to unfold.. So all during the the week we'd come up with more ideas!

I must admit, there's something beautiful about assembling together with friends... in unity of spirit and mind. Within the serene atmosphere of the countryside, it quietly reminded me of home.
~"Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD." Leviticus 19:32

It was a blessing to be able to lift the spirits of the precious elderly, as we visited a nursing home to sing. There were dozens of young people who attended with a song on their heart, ready to share. It was a memorable experience, indeed.


The sights and sounds of young children at play, whether they're dashing behind hedges or running across the lawn in delight, were filled with that old-fashioned innocence that truly made me smile :)
~Back to our dear Cottage duties.

Aprons to sew, Meals to prepare, Laundry to wash, A heat exhausted Garden to clean up... Our home & recipe updates will be coming up soon, my friends!


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

What a beautiful post! God bless and huggles.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

My 16 year old daughter has recently started her own business selling her desserts at the local markets. However she is prevented from using the home kitchen because of food safety regulations that apply when you sell food to the public. I'm not sure if you face these sort of restrictions in the States. There are probably different rules for every state. She went into the local council and found a very understanding man who was impressed with what she was planning which was to use our church kitchen but have all her own equipment in sealed containers, she even has her own portable stainless steel work bench. She researched everything about food hygiene and safety and completed her food handling certificate which was a simple online course which took only a few hours to complete. Anyway with his approval she was able to begin baking and so far is loving it but it is a lot of hard work when the market comes around which is once a month. She plans to expand to other markets when she is ready. She has gained many skills and learned a lot about setting up a business which is what I allowed her to concentrate on over the past few years rather than preparing for college which is what most of the girls her age are doing. I would encourage other mothers to consider how a homemaking skill could be turned into a business for a daughter and you shared some great ideas! I hope that what I have shared is helpful to someone who is thinking about the possibilities of a cottage industry based around food.

Anonymous said...

Many young ladies often ask the question what is there to do at home for a single lady. Getting into a cottage industry is not the first thing I suggest. The Lord is calling future homemakers and if their skill level is such that they can take over their mother’s home in all areas, first how to be a child of God, caring for younger siblings, cleaning the home, plan and cook meals, plan and buy the groceries, know what a well balanced meal is, how to bake healthy treats, budgeting the household affairs, sew and mend, etc. The list for home chores and duties is extensive and when employed often makes me wonder how there is much time left to be bored.

If after learning all the skills to run a home are accomplished, if their mother does not need them and if their relationship with God is set, then there are always neighbors who need help with little ones, or as in our neighborhood there are plenty of retired folks who just want someone to take time with them, read to them, bake for them, etc. If after the benevolence of the home church and community are accomplished and there still is time left, pursue a cottage industry, by all means, within the home.

However, far too often, what I see is that the family is struggling to make ends meet, so the responsibility for solvency is taken upon the womenfolk. They soon become overworked and burned out because something suffers either the income or the home. God calls the women a weaker vessel for a reason, for His purpose to reveal just how helpless the church is to save her self.

If we deny His calling to be keepers at home and pursue ventures outside the home or ones that draw us outside the home, are we not tampering with His calling for a visual picture to the world for His purpose? It is why in Titus we are told that if we do not hold to this calling we blaspheme the Word of God. Women are very able to do a lot of things; it does not justify doing them. It is in denying self and adhering to the calling that it blesses the home and God. It is this submission that speaks to the gentile nature God wants to foster in the biblical minded woman for His will and purpose.

That being said, however, like in my own situation, there is a dichotomy of believes within the home and the adherence to this calling to the degree of witness cannot always be accomplished because the head of the home does not embrace such. Therefore, the women are called to act in ways that seem counter to this calling and the witness is destroyed. I am often asked why do I do a blog for income if I do not believe it is a woman’s place, simply put it is to please my husband and bring peace in the home. Over the years I have had to learn we may have to compromise on things that are not do with a matter of salvation, as stated in the book of 1John, there are sins that do not lead to death. We are to bring these things in prayer and leave it up to God to work out. Duties call must run, but pray I have not offended anyone.
Mrs. J.

Amanda said...

I loved this post. Your cottage industry ideas made me want to try some and I'm already busy enough with my own. : ) Really, when you think about it the possibilities are endless, young ladies with "time on their hands" can be blessings to so many people around them.

Grace Marie said...

I must say that I have followed your blog for a while and have found it very encouraging! I am a stay-at-home daughter who recently graduated high school and, unlike my friends, am not in college. I work as a waitress, but I'd really like to find an occupation from home so I can contribute to building my own home one day, perhaps on a farm, from the home itself.

God bless you always

Stephanie Ann said...

I loved this post. I tend to think after a good few years homemakers have a good system down and can designate more of their time to learning and practicing other skills. I don't think there is anything wrong with a woman wanting some money if she wants to. What is the point of having skills if you don't use them?

If you have the time and can do something you enjoy and make money from it, why wouldn't you want to help your husband out? It could mean getting to spend more time with your husband and bettering skills that you then can teach to your children.

Suzanne said...

A lovely post Mia. I loved the camp meeting photos, especially the old hymn book on the pew:-)

Krafty Girl said...

What a fantastic and most beautiful post!

We have gotten away from the traditional way of filling our time and fill it with electronic devices instead. It is sad. It is also sad that society makes it hard to use a simple skill as a child, such as baking or having a lemonade stand, and then all these rules and regulations that take the learning and fun out of it.

You point out some great skills and good uses for them in order to help the family out in these tough economical times.


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Visiting your blog is like taking a quiet rest! Beautiful and serene!

Seasons Soapworks said...

I recently started my own cottage industry out of my home making all natural soaps and I've been summoned to make an 18th century gentleman's outfit for the new Chaplain of the 21st Regiment of Foot (loyalists)! I recently did some mending for pay, too. I would LOVE to grow fruits and vegetables to sell at a farmer's market or roadside stand, though.

Anonymous said...

Dear sweet Sister,
I was delighted when given your blog address. I so enjoyed meeting you and your family at the Campmeeting.
This blog has been a blessing to read and so instructional to all who will allow it to be. Please send hellos to the rest of the family and give your dear mother a hug from me please. Psalms 27:11 Sister Cindy Brannon

Quaker Cottage said...

Dear Mia,
This is a very lovely and practical post. Thank you for sharing your ideas and blessings.
God bless,

Mikailah said...

That is so true! There are so many things for a young lady to be doing to help and bless others! Thank you for sharing.

Blessings in Him,

Nicole @Project Inspired said...

Loved to read about how you encouraged the younger girl to write about her pictures. You are a fabulous example.

Nancy said...

What a beautiful post! Thankyou! Your blog is so calming and encouraging. Very inspiring.

Kathie Truitt said...

As I grew up in the foothills of Missouri (the Ozark Mountains) I especially enjoyed this article. Actually Mia, I enjoy all of you articles. I love your way of life...I wish you could find time to write to us each and every day! That would be such a blessing.

Donna said...

Blessings to you, I enjoy your posts, and beautiful photos. Soon I will retire, and will join you in the home life, and gardens.


Christena said...

Your blog is a blessing to me. Thank you. You are so wise for your age.

Becca said...

I feel like, part of the beauty of your blog is that you don't even know how awesome and wise you are. It is a true blessing to be content to stay and make your home and your life.

The Snow Child said...

I discovered your blog a little over a month ago and it is my most favorite thing - I love coming on here and reading older posts. You are such an inspiration. xxxx

Anonymous said...

Your previous poster nailed it, here in the States we have laws that "protect" the public from "unclean food" (oh my) made in homes that perhaps do not meet USDA or Health Dept standards. (After hearing of all the problems in government-approved processing areas, I'm wondering.) I make herbal oils and must be careful how I label them. Nothing can be claimed except "reputed as" or similar unless it's "tested" in an appropriate facility. Right now we can still grow veggies, fruits, and herbs for a farmer's market to sell, or perhaps honey, but that is very seasonal. I checked into sewing at home, but it seems many think I should be "competitive" with a local big-box store (i.e., cheapter) and are astounded I might have the nerve to ask for $20 to sew an entire dress. It's very difficult to earn money without leaving your home here in my area of the Midwest. I HIGHLY commend those who can and do....

Kathleen in IL

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful inspiring blog. I have visited a couple of times, and the Lord uses it to refresh me, and encourage me in my own gardening, homemaking, and growing in beauty. I am a homeschool mom in CA.
May the Lord bless you and your family. I will go back and read some of your past posts.

justclickyourheels 123 said...

I just discovered your blog and really enjoyed reading your post. I'm an aspiring homemaker and would love to be in the home full time but it's just not possible at the moment. I'm enjoying learning how to make preserves, crochet and quilt though!

Rhonda said...

Hello Mia!
Love love love your interesting! A cottage industry is wonderful to start for anyone young or older. I am in the process of starting my Etsy shop. I will be offering all sorts of recyled items, made into crafts or useful items to use everyday. I'm so excited to get my little shop up and running!
I love the photo of your brother laying on the floor writing his story! That room is just so cozy! I just love that photo!

I love your blog and have enjoyed reading it for many years now!
Blessings to you and your lovely family!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mia, so glad to see you again, It has been awhile since last we talked.
I finally found our new church home, and we love it.
I am now dresses only :) and DH,and Son Loves it..
Glad you dropped by, Jacob is fixing to hit 15 WOW! I know hard to believe how the little ones grow up so fast,and time passes.

Anonymous said...

Hello Miss Mia,it is me jacob, Renees son.Mom said I can pop in. How are you doing? How is your family?
Sending you all my blessings...

Brother Through Christ,Jacob

Anonymous said...

An excellent and timely post. My 17yo is vacillating on what to do once she graduates from high school; she has many ideas and is torn. I am emailing this post to her for review and encouragement.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

A thought - I see so many bloggers who seem to share your values allow their writings to descend into vitriol and bile, engaging in feuds with commenters over political postings or hatred-filled rants against various social groups who do not share the same beliefs.

I commend you far and above for keeping your site free of such pettiness - it remains a joy to visit and a beauty for the soul, and speaks volumes as to your personal character. What a delight it must be to know you personally! May you influence others in such a manner!

Lydia said...

Dear Mia,
You are such an inspiration to me every single time I vist your blog. Great work! Thank you! I would LOVE to visit your place. It is beautiful because of he simplicity in which you live. God Bless you!

Far Above Rubies said...

as always.

Anonymous said...

You have such a gentle soul and way about you, thank you for enriching my life, warm loving hugs from Vermont..Mona

Cyndi Lewis said...

What a wonderful blog! And this post was a blessing. Thank you!

Laura Lee said...

Mia, you are such an inspiration to me! I regret that through the Summer I wasn't a regular visitor on your blog (staying busy around the farm!), but that is about to change!

I hope you are doing well, sweet friend!


Laura Lee

Dulantha said...

Home making is the most suitable job for women. Be feminine and protect the human society. Do not accept feminism. Feminists are destroying the whole human civilization.

Teresa said...

Hello! I've been following your blog for awhile and I just wanted to say that your photography is simply beautiful!You have such a sense for beauty and "the right moment." I'm sure it helps to have such a beautiful family and lovely surroundings to capture. God bless you and yours.


ZipZip said...

Dear Mia,

So glad to have found your blog again. It has been a year or two and it is a pleasure to read and to look at the pictures, as it always was. I shall be very glad to follow it again.

Many thanks for visiting my blog, and very best,


Anonymous said...

A beautiful blog, I am looking forward to your next post!

Maria, Sweden

Julianne said...

My sisters and I would sure love to see a new post.
We believe you are giving many women such a new vision for the home. Please don't let anything stop you!

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Delightful and thoughtful post. This is my first time here and I so enjoyed my visit. I am your newest follower. I too work from home for many years now and am so happy that I do. My work enables me to meet wonderful, interesting people from all walks of life. It is so nice to meet such a lovely young lady Mia.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Donna said...

Missing your blogging!

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenna said...

Your blog is beautiful! I really appreciate your love of home and family. I, too, am a stay at home daughter and love anything old fashion. My passion is to encourage other young ladies in the path of biblical femininity and their calling as daughters.
Thank you for inspiring young ladies in this high calling!
God bless!

Maryjane-The Beehive Cottage said...

Time past quickly as I read your beautiful blog! A pleasant place to come visit. What a wonderful life you leave. Thank you for your inspiration! ~Maryjane

Shell said...

Hi Mia,

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I love yours!! It's beautiful and I like how your whole family is committed to a natural lifestyle. I'll be coming here more often to see what you are doing.

Mia said...

Thank you for the comments, I always enjoy hearing from you all!


Bijbelvorsers said...

Marvellous photographs, which also share the love of God.
We noticed you do refer to Him also as Lord, but dare to use His Name as well.
Wishing you His treasures on this earth.
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

When I can hardly take what our culture has become anymore, I like to visit your site and am encouraged that there are still some out there who hold to values and morals that are simple, quiet and productive lives.

Wrenn said...

This was my first visit and I found it so refreshing!Thank you ! Very inspirational I look forward to reading your older posts

Anonymous said...

Hello Mia...I love your blog so much! The lovely pictures, music and encouraging words are absolutely wonderful! :)
I too am a stay at home daughter, enjoying my family and home while waiting on my Lord for future blessings He has in store for me.
Meanwhile I stay very busy with homeschool and household duties
( which I love :0), along with a little bread baking business;I also love to sew. If you would like to come visit my bloggy,
it is http://ashleighatjoyfulheart. ( I am commenting from my momthers lovely blog :)
May you have a blessed day...bye!
Ashleigh from V.A

Miss Keith said...

You are stunning.

Lora Goulet said...

It has been an immense blessing to read your blog. We are on the "same page". May you and your family be richly blessed by Jesus our Savior.

5N Family said...

i love this blog. i wish you'd continue!~Lee

Anonymous said...

my mom found this blog for me and the more i read about you the more i find how much we have in common!its like reading about myself!please do continue!~Lee (age 13)