Career Magazine

Inspired by Her Dogs, She Tried Exchanging on Etsy … and Made $ 100 K+ Last Time

Posted on the 16 October 2016 by Nick Creighton @starshomejob

While growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm, Cristen Breuer saw her bulldog Moose liked to play with the pitch-black rubber tubings used for milking cows.

That discovery conducted the registered nurse to upcycle the tubes into puppy tug playthings. In 2012, she started selling the aMootugsa on Etsy as a slope business for between $14 and $21 each.

Fast forward to 2015, when she brought in six fleshes — and discontinue her full-time task.

Hereas how Breuer improved her slope gyp into a full-time business.

Getting Started with Mootugs

Inspired Dogs, Tried Exchanging Etsy Made Last Time
Image from French Bulldog Rescue Network

Breuer started Mootugs as a activity and a mode to raise money for the French Bulldog Rescue Network.

aI was a brand-new volunteer at the time and since I was unable to foster, I looked for another way I could contribute, a she says. aSince my own bulldog liked to play with the milking tubings, we thought it might be a merriment piece other peopleas puppies would enjoy too.a

Shead pick a save organization to support every month and donate percentage points of the proceeds to the rescue in exchange for them helping her promote the toys.

Thanks to positive word-of-mouth, Mootugs was featured in the publications Country Living and Modern Dog, and territory a five-figure wholesale deal with the dog subscription service BarkBox.

For three months, Breuer and her husband wasted nights and weekends building Mootugs by hand — about 600 on a weekend and 150 during an evening.

aA bedroom in our room was evacuated out so we could load it( to the ceiling) with containers of playthings, a she says. aIt was so much work and our friends and family thought we were totally crazy.a

Despite her success with BarkBox, Mootugs didnat take off the mode Breuer had hoped, so she brainstormed other ideas.

Breueras Big Break

Inspired Dogs, Tried Exchanging Etsy Made Last Time
Image from BadTags/ Etsy

At the same time, she was promoting puppies and says she awanted discovery tag for my promote and resident puppies that paralleled their silly personalities.a

She couldnat find tags that said aOh **** Iam Losta for her large-hearted clumsy bloodhound or aCanat control my lickera for her bulldog that cherished to lick everything in sight, so she learned how to realize the labels herself.

In 2014, Breuer applied funds from the wholesale deal with BarkBox to purchase tag-making paraphernalium and launch a second Etsy shop announced Bad Tags. That shop sells handmade, personalized puppy ID tags with cute and sassy sayings on them like athe snuggle is reala and astraight outta rescue.a They sell for $14.

Once Bad Tags propelled, social media buzz facilitated drive sales.

aIt immediately taken away from, a Breuer says. aFriends and family prescribed labels and they cherished them. They shared photographs of the dogs wearing the tag and it snowballed. I started going tells from strangers.a

In addition to the Etsy shop, she also propelled a standalone website for Bad Tags.

Taking the Side Hustles Full Time

Inspired Dogs, Tried Exchanging Etsy Made Last Time
Image from Mootugs/ Etsy

But it wasnat easy for Breuer to poise her two slope hubbubs and her full-time task. She made about $68,000 a year as a wet-nurse and processed around $100 in orders per daytime out of her room, a gait that precisely wasnat sustainable.

aIad be up all night taking care of cases, going some sleep during the day and waking up with enough time to fulfill tells, a she says aTheyare all handmade, so I was elongated so thin with my time.a

Something had to give.

aIt got to the point where I had to continue harbouring and applied the two enterprises on the back burner or I could take the leaping and go for it, a she says.

She decided to go for it.

In January 2015, Breuer and her husband sold their large-hearted suburban dwelling and moved into a little fixer-upper room on a hobby farm so theyad have fewer financial obligations and shead seem more cozy leaving her job.

How Much Do the Business Make?

Inspired Dogs, Tried Exchanging Etsy Made Last Time

Despite the risk, Breueras leap has paid off.

Last year, her two enterprises coalesced averaged$ 10, 415 in auctions per month (8 0% of which is Bad Tags) and overall auctions smack six fleshes.

Breuer is expecting a big fourth part this year, since many of her clients tell her concoctions as vacation knacks. In additive, the ashop smalla action, where customers subsidize small-minded, local enterprises over big corporations, too gets a boost around the holidays.

These days, Breuer hand-makes about 30 tells per daytime and merely slams up shop most darkness when her husband reminds her to get off the computer.

aI work more being self-employed than I did working as a wet-nurse, a she recognize. aItas a 24/7 task, but I adore it.a

Your turn: Have you tried selling on Etsy? What other domesticated concoctions might you make and sell?


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