What do teachers do during the summer months? Well, if you’re Amanda Adler, you grow your own home-based business. Amanda teaches Kindergarten and also Art to K-8 students in Valier. This summer she taught herself how to make faux leather earrings and hair bows and has been marketing them on social media to earn some extra spending money.
“I started making the earrings and bows at the end of June,” shared Amanda. Like most crafters, she finds many ideas and inspirations on Pinterest and from there learns tips and tricks from Facebook groups and online websites.
She purchased a Cricut Explore Air 2, complete with Design Space software, which connects to her SmartPhone via Bluetooth. Thanks to the technology, she is able to design and create her earrings and hair bow “from the ease of my phone.”
Over the past few months she has expanded her inventory of supplies and equipment to include not only the Cricut tools, but also a variety of faux leather, earring and jump hooks, alligator clips and more.
Listening to her explain the process for creating her designs, she makes it sound so easy. First she selects a design from the software program and then lays out the faux leather on a custom Cricut mat. Once the leather is all smoothed out, she lines up the machine and “presses go. The machine quickly cuts it out and I put on the finishing touches for the earrings or bows by hand.”
Amanda has developed a system whereby she can work on several pairs of earrings at once, usually during those hours when her two-year-old daughter, Hailey, is napping.
“Most of my orders are custom orders,” said Amanda. “People message me on Facebook with requests for earring or bow combinations and if I have the material on hand, I can usually get it done that day. If I need to order special prints, it takes a little longer,” she shared.
“I also post pictures of the earrings and bows I have made up and pick up orders that way, too. I can ship whatever people order. Smaller orders ship for around $1 and larger orders for $4 or more,” she added.
What’s her most popular item? “My biggest seller right now is my Mommy and Me bundle. It’s a pair of earrings and matching hair bow for $14.” Another popular item is Amanda’s “mermaid collection” which features a double bow with a mermaid tail on top.
“I’m currently working on some fun new designs for earrings and bows,” she added.
Amanda’s earrings are all affordably priced and are very lightweight. The earrings sell for $8 each and hair bows are also $8 unless a customer wants a larger custom size bow.
“Hailey is my official bow tester. That’s the fun thing about having my own earring and bow business. I can whip some up for any outfit or occasion,” she smiled.
Amanda has also dabbled in making custom decals for water bottles, cups and margarita glasses. “I make those out of permanent vinyl,” she said.
She is still working on a name for her business and hopes to build up her inventory to attend area craft fairs this fall and winter. In the meantime, her biggest challenge is finding time to do it all! “I wish I had more time to design and make things, but I need to balance my time carefully between being a mom, a teacher and a crafter,” she concluded.