Today I’m sharing an interview with Natasha, a stay at home mom of two adorable kids who made over $40,000 last year by working while her kids slept! I know a lot of stay at home moms look for jobs they can do from home and I think this interview will inspire a lot of other stay at home moms to create their own job and find ways to earn an income from home.
Let’s get started!
Tell me a bit about yourself
I’m Natasha. I’m 28 years old and a work-from-home mom to two. I opened my first Etsy shop in 2010. I was making jewelry on the side while working and going to school full-time.
Pretty soon, I was making almost as much with the jewelry as I was at my full-time job! My husband and I lost our house and everything we owned in a wildfire in 2011. I was 19 years old and quickly learned that material things didn’t truly matter, but time and how we spent it did.
I had this dream of staying home with our future babies, nurturing them, soaking them in, and not having to worry about bills being paid. So I fought to make that a reality. My oldest is 6.5 years old now and I have been home with him from day 1. He has always been my sidekick.
What do you do to make money from home?
I sell jewelry supplies on Etsy and clothing on eBay and Poshmark.
Is this full time, part time or just on the side?
I guess that depends. It is a full-time income but with part-time hours. Ha! I really only work when the kids are in bed at night. Generally between 8pm-1am.
How long have you been doing this?
I have been full-time on Etsy since August of 2011. I started selling on eBay in January of 2017, and Poshmark shortly after that.
How much money have you earned or do you earn?
Last year, I made over $40,000. That is with having two kids, homeschooling my eldest, and only working during the occasional nap time and from 8pm-1am.
How did you get started?
With Etsy, I was originally selling finished jewelry but slowly transitioned over to selling jewelry supplies by the end of 2011, and I’ve been doing that ever since!
I have been featured in a few magazines showing complete pieces of jewelry using my items. I mostly cater to other small businesses and creators on Etsy and I really enjoy being a part, albeit small, of someone’s creative process.
In 2013, we opened a small online boutique called The Northern Sea. While that didn’t last long in the grand scheme of things, we sure learned a lot. We ended up closing the online bit and selling out of a huge shop on Historical Route 66. That was super fun. Our space had clothing and curated antiques and vintage items.
We closed our space in 2016 and decided to sell our remaining clothing stock on eBay, which quickly turned into a “side gig” to Etsy. I started going to thrifts to find things to flip, and soon started buying liquidation lots.
About how much time do you spend on this?
I do not work every day. I make use of working in batches – steaming a rack of stuff, photographing all of that at once, measuring it all at another time, and finally – listing it (I like to schedule it out on eBay).
For Etsy, the only work I do is restock things as they sell out and pack orders each night. Etsy is much less time consuming! I love to make use of our weekends and spend them with my husband and kids.
That’s what is so great about this to me – as long as I have stuff scheduled out on eBay, my business doesn’t take a hit if we decide to go to the beach for a week or camping in the mountains for a weekend. And I LOVE coming home to dozens of orders that need packed up!
What skills or knowledge is important for what you do?
I think multitasking is a must. Luckily for moms, I feel that comes very naturally. Practicing good time management skills and staying on top of your to-do list is good, too.
Inventory management is a MUST. Whatever kind of system you have for tracking your inventory and COGS, stick with it! It is much harder to go back and re-figure numbers come tax time.
If you were to start over, what would you do differently?
I would’ve started eBay a lot sooner. It is a bit more work than Etsy but much higher sales numbers. The growth on eBay has surpassed what I ever thought it would be two years ago!
How has this impacted your life?
We have been able to pay cash for surgeries and other medical needs, paid off all debt minus the mortgage, and used this income to pay for a few vacations.
Currently, it is helping my husband go to school full-time, a few home renovations, and cushion our savings account. We could probably financially swing me being just a stay-at-home mom without my added income, but it would’ve been much more stressful.
With my income, we have been able to do so much more. I love working. I love being a mom, but working fulfills me, too. I am so thankful I can do both.
Do you have any plans to expand or grow in the future?
Absolutely! I am trying to grow our eBay store currently. I’d love to see our numbers double or triple!
Side note from Aileen: In case you didn’t know, I have a FREE ebay course for beginners! So if you want to learn how to start selling on ebay, you can sign up here for free 🙂
What is your #1 tip for someone who is just getting started?
Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet. You can start small. I started my Etsy business with my last $70 check from my full-time job in 2011. Just keep reinvesting your money into your business!
Same with eBay – I sold old clothing stock and some of my personal clothing before buying at thrifts. $4 can quickly turn into $20 – and that can quickly turn into $100 if you keep at it! Also – STAY ON TOP OF TAXES FROM THE BEGINNING! I can not stress that enough.
What else should we know about you?
I am an only child and my dad raised me entirely by himself and was self-employed, too. He always made it work, even when things were tight. I definitely took notes from him throughout my life!
My past businesses include – a online used bookstore (2,000 books, burned in our wildfire. If only I knew about Amazon before then!!), snow cone stand, drop-shipping, and importing Korean stationery.
Where can we find you?
- Business instagram – @violetsea_
- Personal instagram – @_sutures
- Shop – www.thenorthernsea.com
Thank you for sharing your story, Natasha!
If you liked this post, one of these might interest you too:
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- 16 items I sold on ebay for $50+