Make It and Sell It

Cory Heyman, Cottage Cupboard Cooperative

This podcast is about how to start a small-scale production business—a low-risk career option with low upfront costs but huge potential benefits—that can be done from home. Whether you are home because of the Coronavirus or family care responsibilities, limited mobility or transportation, or are just more of a homebody, you can still earn a living on your own time and at your own pace. And best of all, you can MAKE something to share with others. Whether you are a baker, a maker, a crafter, an artist, or even a mad scientist, you can turn your hobby into a living. This series will explore all aspects of this kind of business, sometimes called a “cottage industry,” from brainstorming new product ideas to perhaps one day making enough income to quit your day jobs. Episodes will include interviews with home-based entrepreneurs at different stages of their business development and from a broad diversity of fields. Who are they? Why do they do what they do? What have been the major challenges as well as the secrets of their success? What would they recommend to others?For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/350301745982098

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020  Sharing Cultures with Community, with Loretta Beiler, Baker and Instructor
Mar 23 2021
020 Sharing Cultures with Community, with Loretta Beiler, Baker and Instructor
In this episode, Loretta Beiler recounts her history of home-based bread and roasted coffee business, how a surprise trip to Italy inspired her to create sourdough bread classes in her home, and how these and her family’s coffee business complement each other in bringing healthy, clean products and services to the Lancaster, PA community. She also discusses how she organizes her business to ensure she can be at her best not only for her business but also for her family life. Loretta and her husband, Sam, have always been entrepreneurial in their professional lives. They juggle a successful social media company as well as a variety of home-based products and services. The Beilers have roasted coffee, and Loretta has baked bread to sell locally long before so many of us started trying to make these and other delicacies at home. Loretta’s early motivation was to make a healthier bread for her family with wild yeast and less processed ingredients. She was frustrated by some failed attempts along the way until she perfected her craft and started making a limited number of loaves available locally each week. With huge opportunities for growth, it was important to Loretta to keep this business a reasonable size so she could continue to prioritize her family and friends. She has created what seems to be a clear mindset and healthy balance in her life. It was then during a surprise trip to Italy four years ago that Loretta had a life-changing Airbnb cooking experience. It was an incredible way to learn about a new culture, share a meal with new friends, and take some new memories and skills home with her. In thinking about recreating that experience for others, she recalled her personal trials in perfecting sourdough, how she could have benefited from hands-on experience, and she decided to organize her own Airbnb experience around baking bread. The result has been a nice combination of complementary bread classes and sales. And while she has the potential to grow these business streams greatly, she is content in keeping her activities relatively small and local for the moment. You can learn more about Loretta’s coffee, bread, classes at and  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
020  Sharing Cultures with Community, with Loretta Beiler, Baker and Instructor
Mar 23 2021
020 Sharing Cultures with Community, with Loretta Beiler, Baker and Instructor
In this episode, Loretta Beiler recounts her history of home-based bread and roasted coffee business, how a surprise trip to Italy inspired her to create sourdough bread classes in her home, and how these and her family’s coffee business complement each other in bringing healthy, clean products and services to the Lancaster, PA community. She also discusses how she organizes her business to ensure she can be at her best not only for her business but also for her family life. Loretta and her husband, Sam, have always been entrepreneurial in their professional lives. They juggle a successful social media company as well as a variety of home-based products and services. The Beilers have roasted coffee, and Loretta has baked bread to sell locally long before so many of us started trying to make these and other delicacies at home. Loretta’s early motivation was to make a healthier bread for her family with wild yeast and less processed ingredients. She was frustrated by some failed attempts along the way until she perfected her craft and started making a limited number of loaves available locally each week. With huge opportunities for growth, it was important to Loretta to keep this business a reasonable size so she could continue to prioritize her family and friends. She has created what seems to be a clear mindset and healthy balance in her life. It was then during a surprise trip to Italy four years ago that Loretta had a life-changing Airbnb cooking experience. It was an incredible way to learn about a new culture, share a meal with new friends, and take some new memories and skills home with her. In thinking about recreating that experience for others, she recalled her personal trials in perfecting sourdough, how she could have benefited from hands-on experience, and she decided to organize her own Airbnb experience around baking bread. The result has been a nice combination of complementary bread classes and sales. And while she has the potential to grow these business streams greatly, she is content in keeping her activities relatively small and local for the moment. You can learn more about Loretta’s coffee, bread, classes at and  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
019  Kits and Classes, with Wendy Klinke, Art Instructor
Mar 16 2021
019 Kits and Classes, with Wendy Klinke, Art Instructor
In this episode, Wendy Klinke reflects on her start-up art instruction and art kit business this past year called Blue Cat Studio. Wendy’s love of art and teaching led her in a roundabout way to home-based production, as she created and sold canvas, paint, brush, and instruction kits to her students. Classes, both in-person and online, have created a growing residual business for new kits and supplies. With a lifelong passion for painting and crafts, Wendy studied fine art and architecture in college. Her career veered in a different direction, but she has come back to painting time and again over the past 20 years. It was during the federal government shutdown, in December 2018, that she recommitted to art as a serious focus, promising herself that she would sketch or paint every day. Then, in the fall of 2019, a friend asked Wendy to teach an art class for a Junior League event. Wendy describes the event as a “hot mess” but also a great way to bring disparate people together for a fun activity. The wheels started turning to start a new art instruction business. With infinite energy and creativity, Wendy only needed the business skills to get her new business off the ground. She started a master’s program in business, joined a Facebook group to help new art instructors market their paint parties, and launched Blue Cat Studio. With hard work and savvy advice, Wendy was able to create a solid business in just a few months. A crucial part of this success—and the part in which home-based production comes in—was the creation of art kits that Wendy made and sold to her customers. Find out in this episode why Wendy decided to make these art kits in the first place and how the combination of instruction and production has been so vital to her students’ enjoyment and her early business success. You can learn more about Blue Cat Studio, check out Wendy’s online classes, and purchase art kits at  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
017 Into the Fire(Sauce), with Vid Lynch and Ben Smith, Sauce Makers
Dec 1 2020
017 Into the Fire(Sauce), with Vid Lynch and Ben Smith, Sauce Makers
In this episode, Torchbearer Sauces founders Vid Lynch and Ben Smith discuss how they turned seven years of weekly parties into a thriving 15-year-old sauce business. As early innovators in the flavor-based hot sauce movement, they credit their success to decisions about reclaiming the production process and putting in the time to really get to know their products and customers. As their seven-year run of weekly dinner parties of 15-30 guests each started to wind down, Vid, Ben, and Tim had to figure out what to do with the peppers that they had been growing in their garden. The answer, well, start a hot sauce business, of course! It was the end of the growing season, though, and they needed more habanero peppers to make their first batch of sultry sauce. So, the first decision they made was to rent a trailer for a 72-hour road trip to farmers’ markets in Texas, where they were able to find only half of the markets that they had researched (the other half were no longer in existence) but still return with 666 pounds of fresh peppers. And so it began… Don’t let these cheerful and low-key gentlemen fool you, though. They put a lot of thought into their business before starting off on that fateful journey. Their seven years of experimenting had given them the knowledge to create their first product, and a year working with a small business association and a supportive dad helped with the establishment of the business. They even won three national awards for their first hot sauce, which was produced with the fruits of that first Texas trip (yes, habanero peppers are fruits, so pun intended!). One of the many things that is so interesting about the Torchbearer Sauces story is that they started their business working with a co-packer. However, after that partner sold the business, and follow-up with the new management was a bust, the founders decided to start making the sauces themselves! They credit this decision as transformational in the growth of their business. It gave a chance to build efficiencies into the production process and experiment with smaller batches, thereby helping to grow offerings much faster over time.  Now, 15 years after their first product launch and working out of restaurant and fire hall kitchens, Vid, Ben, and their team are going strong with their own production facility in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania (sorry, I mistakenly referenced Mechanicsburg, PA in the episode, which is just down the road from Lemoyne), market penetration into local and regional stores, as well as a strong online presence with food and other merchandise, and longstanding relationship with companies such as Heatonist and Hot Ones to bring national visibility and acclaim. And, they still seem to be enjoying every minute of it! You can find out more about Torchbearer Sauces and their incredible product lineup at  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
016  Deep dive, It’s GO Time!
Nov 24 2020
016 Deep dive, It’s GO Time!
This episode is the last of three episodes that attempts to answer the question, “How can I get over the initial hump of starting a home-based production business?” It describes branding, product development, and the creation of an Ecommerce website, as well as reveal the first of three home-based products that podcast host, Cory Heyman, has just finalized. As fun as it may be to complete paperwork and prepare your workspace, the best part of a new home-based production business is the actual creation of new products. Creativity flows with experimenting and tinkering, leading to immense pride when coming up with an incredible new product that you cannot wait to share with others. This episode is the story of that process. Podcast host, Cory Heyman, describes the conceptualization of his new home production business, decisions he has made about naming the company and its product lines, as well as his approach to research and development in creating new products. He reveals the address of his new Ecommerce website (www.triplesshops.com), the actual first three products, and plans for new products in the next few months! This includes turning his free online creativity game, Bright Idea! (www.brightidea-game.com) into a card game.  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
015  Deep Dive, Making It Real
Nov 17 2020
015 Deep Dive, Making It Real
This episode is a further deep dive into one of the most frequent questions we hear about home-based production, “How can I get over the initial hump of starting a home-based production business?” The second of three episodes, this segment discusses the nuts and bolts of the start-up process. It includes preparing the space as well as sourcing equipment, supplies, and ingredients.  There are two ways to start a new venture. One is to jump right in—building the proverbial plane while flying it. The other is to plan and organize. This episode argues that organizing and planning ahead is a much better way to go. It gives you the headspace to experiment and improve the quality and efficiency of production. This is the principle that podcast host, Cory Heyman, has used to prepare his own home for his new production business. He describes how he organized his limited space and the special issues he considered while preparing to make food and personal care products, especially decisions about separating personal and business items, food and chemicals, and food with allergens from food without allergens. Cory also discusses how he has sourced new items and the challenges of buying the right amount of supplies and ingredients to get good pricing but not have too much product on hand. Next week’s discussion, the last of the mini-series, will focus on research and development, branding, ecommerce, and the big reveal about the launch of Cory’s first products!  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
014  Deep Dive, Permission to Produce
Nov 10 2020
014 Deep Dive, Permission to Produce
This episode is a deep dive into one of the most frequent questions we hear about home-based production, “How can I get over the initial hump of starting a home-based production business?” We answer this question with personal reflections in starting up our own business earlier this year, focusing this discussion (the first of three episodes) on government permissions and requirements. The first step is often the most precarious in any new venture. Some people feel so intimidated by it that they never put that first foot forward at all. Others move so quickly that they miss crucial pieces and put their businesses at risk in the long run. There is, however, a third approach, which includes reasonable research and action. This doesn’t have to be all-encompassing, but it does have to be thorough enough to protect yourself and your future customers. Podcast host, Cory Heyman, discusses his experience in starting his home-based production experience earlier this year. He started by asking two questions, “What’s the best way to organize the business?” and “What do I want to produce, at least initially?” The answers to these questions then framed all his other start-up activities. Cory created his business as a Limited Liability Company and a Pennsylvania Benefits Corporation, the latter of which emphasizes the desire to create a public good in addition to a private good. Given that he is preparing to produce food and personal care products, he also registered his home as a “Limited Food Establishment,” the state designation for an entity that is allowed to produce some kinds of foods from a home. This episode details Cory’s exploration of rules and requirements at different levels of government to create his home business as well as the challenging new path that he had to negotiate in his community and township to gain necessary approvals. He discusses what he learned about the kinds of foods that can be produced from home as well as how to label his products to make sure there is no more governmental scrutiny than necessary. He also describes his recent home visit from a food inspector and how the inspection process has changed during the time of Coronavirus. Next week’s discussion will then be able the other organizing steps he has taken to prepare his home for upcoming production. For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
013  Fermenting Better Beer, with Tony Morrell, Brewer
Nov 3 2020
013 Fermenting Better Beer, with Tony Morrell, Brewer
In this episode, Tony Morrell discusses one of his obsessions, home beer brewing, how his process has changed over the past eight to nine years to assure regular brewing awards, and how he is thinking about turning his past time into a commercial venture. Tony Morrell received his first home-brewing beer kit eight to nine years ago. Excited to try it out, the results were pretty terrible. It could take a few weeks to taste one of his concoctions, and the results were often close to what brewers call “drain pour”—so bad that you have to throw it out. The learning curve was steep, and the ingredients that came in the initial kit were not the best quality. Tony was so discouraged that he stopped brewing for about a year. However, as Tony and his friends continued to test local options, he knew that he could do better. He also enjoyed drinking seasonal beers but have a wider window when these would be available. So, he studied up, bought new ingredients locally, and tried again. One game-changer over time was access to a new yeast, from Norway, that speeded up the fermentation process. Tony no longer had to wait six weeks to test the results of his experimentation. Instead, he could try many of his beers after only four to five days, cutting the wait time by 50 to 70 percent. This miracle yeast also brought rich new flavors, called esters, that created exciting new flavor profiles. The new yeast and other procedural changes helped Tony create beers that have consistently won awards in local competitions. He is definitely on to something. Tony enjoys brewing so much that he is contemplating opening one or more breweries. His latest two Brewers Choice awards will give him the opportunity to test his interest at scale, as he will have a chance to brew his Guava Strawberry Sour Ale in large quantities at the Pour Man’s Brewing Company. Tony will be able to use this experience and ongoing conversations with other brewers to see if he will enjoy turning his hobby into a career. He is already thinking about locations, combining a new brewery with another passion, outdoor living, as well as branding. Tony discusses these issues as well as other thoughts about how he would set a new business up for success—some of which might seem in contrast to the advice of previous guests. Why, for example, might Tony think about starting larger brewery initially instead of a micro-brewery at a smaller scale? You can find out more about Tony’s award-winning beers on his Instagram feed, at ( For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
012  Proofer of Concept, with Armando Lacayo, Baker
Oct 27 2020
012 Proofer of Concept, with Armando Lacayo, Baker
In this episode, Armando Lacayo explains how he transitioned from financial management to baking and the role of home-based production in opening what Bon Appetit magazine anointed the best new bakery in the country in 2016. Three decades ago, Armando Lacayo moved to the U.S. from France to study math at American University. After starting on Wall Street and then earning an MBA, he worked for years in finance in Silicon Valley. In his spare time, Armando also dabbled in the kitchen. He had developed a love of good bread from his grandfather, who in turn had worked in his own father’s bakery (Armando’s great grandfather). Baking was a way to connect with home and his childhood traditions. As a self-described picky Frenchman with a sweet tooth, Armando worked to perfect some of his favorite French baked goods. At the top of the list was croissants. He was fascinated that a treat that started with loose ingredients could come together with such a firm and tasty structure. Armando started baking his croissants with guidance from a book but then honed his recipe for more than 20 years to come up with the perfect product. Approximately 10-12 years ago, two friends who did not know each other bought him the same book, How to Open a Financially Successful Bakery, within a short period. Perhaps it was a sign that he should start a new bakery. However, the book presented success somewhat deceptively as a fait acocompli. Anyone could do it by following the prescriptions in the book. Armando knew that it would not be so easy. Plus, in contrast to the book’s emphasis on broad, formulaic systems that would supposedly lead to success, Armando knew that the real secret was creating an outstanding product, made with love, and at a reasonable price.  This episode tracks Armando’s journey from corporate finance to small business ownership. He describes important intermediary steps, such as opening a small bakery space within a café and participating in a bread baking program; and the actual bakery opening itself, in which he had to conscript his young nephew, who was on spring break, to work with him at 3:00am and then sit with coffee and croissants at 7:00am to show passersby that the bakery was open for business. Armando also describes his business philosophy, rooted in an “OSD” (objective, systematic, and disciplined) approach, which translated well from corporate finance to small business entrepreneurship. Last, he discusses the importance of customer-oriented staff as an essential key to success. Armando shares his story as well as recommendations for home-based producers who are at an earlier stage in their journeys. You can find out more about Armando’s bakery, Arsicault Bakery, at as well as on Facebook ( Instagram ( For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
011  Clarifying Commercial Kitchens, with Bev Martin and Nancy Rohrer, Food Producers
Oct 20 2020
011 Clarifying Commercial Kitchens, with Bev Martin and Nancy Rohrer, Food Producers
In this episode, food entrepreneurs Bev Martin and Nancy Martin, talk about their ghee production business, including expanding into a commercial facility and marketing a lesser known product. Bev Martin and Nancy Rohrer had worked together for years in marketing when they discovered ghee, what they describe as “a better butter.” Ghee appealed to each of them for different reasons, but they both became increasingly excited about sharing this remarkable product with the world. The marketing world had been changing, and they had been interested in collaborating on a product that was that was more tangible. Ghee was it. Nancy and Bev experimented with flavored ghee recipes in their home kitchens but knew right away that they would need to produce the ghee in a commercial kitchen. It wasn’t easy to find a kitchen at the start, though, and at a rate they could afford. However, they persevered, taught themselves how to run the business, and now, seven years later, the Ghee Gals have a thriving business. They sell locally, distribute widely, and have a strong online following. In this episode, Nancy and Bev talk about the evolution of their business, their experiences working in various commercial kitchens—including the challenge of producing during the age of Coronavirus—working with employees, and marketing a lesser known product. In a bonus segment, the Ghee Gals also discuss one of their biggest mistakes and share advice so other small-scale producers can avoid similarly tempting but risky situations. You can find out more about Nancy and Bev’s company, Simply Ghee, at as well as on Facebook ( and Instagram ( For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest, and subscribe to our email list ( and receive our living document, the Eightfold Path Plus One Guide to Success for Home-based Producers, and future updates.
010  Mixing It Up, with Jill Donaldson, Baker and Mix Maker
Oct 13 2020
010 Mixing It Up, with Jill Donaldson, Baker and Mix Maker
In this episode, Jill Donaldson, a formally trained baker and entrepreneur, describes her evolution from a home-based baker to a home-based creator of commercial baking packages. This change dramatically altered her business, daily routine, sales model, and success. In growing up, Jill’s favorite memories were of baking with her Lebanese Sito (Grandmother) Lilly. She knew at an early age that she would own a food business and worked diligently toward it. She studied entrepreneurship in college, with an emphasis on the food industry, and worked in restaurants, bakeries, and catering companies. She also took a six-month patisserie course and began to develop a set of baked goods that would form the foundation of her future product line. Three years later, Jill established a state-certified cottage kitchen and launched her baking business from her home. Although successful in growing her home business initially, Jill knew she could do more. She had worked previously in bakeries with large-scale production capabilities and felt as though she was working very hard at home but not yet reaching enough people or creating a sustainable work/life balance. With these yearnings, and some new personal needs to eat differently, Jill began to develop allergen-free baking kits—her LillyBean line of products, named for Sito Lilly—with dry ingredients and utensils for people to bake themselves. Over the last three years, Jill’s LillyBean line of Pastry Base has become an even bigger success and has shifted Jill’s business model completely. Jill now works closely with local and national businesses, as well as co-packers that produce and package her kits in allergen-free facilities, to sell her products online, in local stores, and in national grocery chains such as Wegmans and Food Lion. This episode delves into Jill’s personal story but also some new technical issues such as allergen-free food production, working with co-packers, and the benefits of tradeshows and entrepreneur networks. This episode is a bit longer than most but provides useful insight for aspirants, beginners, and veteran producers alike. You can find out more about Jill’s background and baking kits at as well as on Facebook ( and Instagram ( . For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, and check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest,
009  Inspiring first-wave customers, with Lygeia Ricciardi, Digital Health Entrepreneur
Oct 6 2020
009 Inspiring first-wave customers, with Lygeia Ricciardi, Digital Health Entrepreneur
In this last of four consecutive episodes about personal care products, Lygeia Ricciardi explains how home-based entrepreneurs can inspire friends and family to become their best advocates. Lygeia Ricciardi and Tania Teschke (our guest from the last episode) have been friends for 20 years. In that time, they have lived close together at times as well as continents apart. Despite the miles, they have enjoyed keeping in touch about each other’s careers and life journeys. This has given Lygeia a bird’s eye view of Tania’s production of her first book a few years ago, The Bordeaux Kitchen as well as the creation of Tania’s new home-production business, Bordeaux Kitchen Essentials. Given the depth of this friendship, it is not surprising that Lygeia would try Tania’s homemade soaps, balms, and cremes. However, friendship alone cannot turn a person into a repeat customer and ardent fan. What more does it take? In this interview, Lygeia explains why she is so excited about Tania’s new business. It is not only the high quality of the products themselves or the professional packaging. Just as important is that the products are rooted in Tania’s story, and Tania’s story is rooted in a life philosophy that resonates deeply: healthy living, natural ingredients, respect for the plants and animals that provide the ingredients, and yes, a bit of decadence and richness, too. Lygeia’s view is that although home-based products may be somewhat more expensive and less accessible than factory-based products, they offer other benefits. And the better that we as home-based producers can communicate about those benefits to our first-wave customers, our friends and family, the stronger our product launches and long-term sales will be. Lygeia shares her thoughts for how home-based producers can do this while, at the same time, continuing to do everything else necessary to make our new businesses succeed. You can find out more about Tania’s soap and balm business, among her many other interests, at as well as purchase her products at her Etsy store,  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, and check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest,
008  A Confluence of Influences, with Tania Teschke, Soap and Balm Maker
Sep 28 2020
008 A Confluence of Influences, with Tania Teschke, Soap and Balm Maker
In this third of four back-to-back episodes about people who make personal care products, Tania Teschke explains how many roads from childhood through adulthood have led her to become a home-based entrepreneur. This includes a do-it-yourself mindset, a passion for mixing, and a diverse set of skills, including cooking, soap- and balm-making, writing, photography, wrapping, and, perhaps most importantly, being a mom, that enabled her to launch her business earlier this year.  Tania is the daughter of German immigrants to the U.S. and has lived much of her life abroad. This includes time in Kazakhstan, Russia, France, and Switzerland. She has approached these adventures with open eyes and a desire to learn as much as she could from others. Over the years, she has viewed the world through the lens of a camera and has enjoyed writing. She has also taken long courses on cooking, wine, soap making; apprenticed with an organic butcher who taught her many things, including how to wrap meat (we’ll come back to that); and developed an appreciation for traditional cultures. But it was when Tania became a parent that she started thinking about better ways to feed and care for her family. This included deeper exploration of traditional foods, including the benefits of products such as animal fats for healthy skin and bodies. With this quest on her mind, and in living in Bordeaux, France, with exposure to some of the best food and wine in the world, Tania wrote the best-selling book, The Bordeaux Kitchen, a few years ago. Since then, Tania has continued to build on her foundational knowledge and interests to create a new balm and soap-making business, Bordeaux Kitchen Naturals. Tania always knew shew wanted to start a production business, and her family’s move back to the U.S. last year made the decision more practical. She knew it would be easier logistically and more cost effective to set up a business and ship products in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world. She started with various cream recipes that she has created over time and has now built soaps in her product list—most of which included animal fats such as tallow. And with the continuing flare for writing and photography, excellent staging, and simple wrapping techniques (from her past apprenticeship!), she has built a professional Etsy site in record time. Although sales are not yet where Tania wants them to be, she has a clear vision for where she wants to go and explains the next steps in her journey. You can find out more about Tania’s soap and balm business, among her many other interests, at as well as purchase her products at her Etsy store,  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, and check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest,
007  Pivoting for Prosperity, with Leslie Arthur, Soap and Cosmetic Maker
Sep 22 2020
007 Pivoting for Prosperity, with Leslie Arthur, Soap and Cosmetic Maker
In this second of four back-to-back episodes about personal care products, Leslie Arthur discusses how she started her first business in Hawaii 16 years ago and organized the most recent business, now seven years old. She shares practical advice about research and development; selling retail, wholesale, and by consignment; and strategies to make product lines more cost effective and accessible. Leslie started making and selling soap, bath, and body products when she and her boyfriend, now husband, lived in Hawaii in 2004. This was a practical decision, based on opportunity, access to unique flowers and fragrances, limited regulation, and access to a tourist market. But it was also a rush to sell her own products, sometimes hundreds of products a day. And it made more sense than selling food, another interest of hers. Fast-forward a decade and Leslie re-created her business as an alternative to a desk job and a way to manage her family life. Now in Richmond, Virginia, Leslie lives close to the largest farmers’ market in the state. This has given her huge opportunities to learn from her customers, streamline her product line, and grow her in-person business. Similar to many of us, though, the onset of Coronavirus changed Leslie’s business. She had to pivot to online sales—a difficult transition. In doing so, Leslie’s resilience and creativity has led to savvy sales strategies. Learn how Leslie has adapted her business approach, including an updated website (version #3), production, and sales. You can find out more about Leslie’s business at and as well as purchase her products at www.bonairnaturals.com. You can also find the book that Leslie referenced, Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine, by Mike Michalowicz at  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, and check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest,
006  Lessons from the Direct to Consumer Industry, with Jenna Watkins, Personal Care Product Director
Sep 15 2020
006 Lessons from the Direct to Consumer Industry, with Jenna Watkins, Personal Care Product Director
This episode veers somewhat away from our typical discussions with makers into a sister industry, “direct to consumer,” to explore how this industry markets and sells its products and lessons that can be applied to home-based production. “Direct to consumer” is a product distribution model that relies on representatives to sell a company’s products directly instead of through stores—think Tupperware, Cutco knives, or Mary Kay cosmetics. This is quite different from home-based production, as products are made on a large scale and not in a person’s home. Nevertheless, “direct to consumer” consultants face similar challenges and opportunities to home-based producers in the ways they market and sell their products. Both approaches, for example, thrive on direct person-to-person engagement and a personal touch. What can home-based producers learn from this sector? Our guide to the secrets of “direct to consumer” sales is Jenna Watson, Director for Beautycounter. In just three years, Jenna has built a team of more than 50 consultant to promote personal care products that are safer for people to use. Her strategy begins with a strong moral sense about problems in the marketplace and confidence in her products to solve those problems. She is then able to draw on a wide variety of income-generating activities to meet and educate prospective customers as well as impromptu conversations with people she meets every day. Learn about Jenna’s story, how she has become so successful, and what she would recommend for home-based producers to sell their wares. You can reach Jenna at bc.jennawatkins@gmail.com or follow her on Instagram at  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, and check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest,
005 The Bioluminescent Fashionista, with Lysandra Weber, Clothing Designer
Sep 8 2020
005 The Bioluminescent Fashionista, with Lysandra Weber, Clothing Designer
This episode describes how a home-based clothing designer and producer conceived her niche and comparative advantage in a market otherwise dominated by large labels. In her last months of maternity leave, Lysandra Weber tested an idea for starting a home-based business. Her work colleagues had regularly complimented her clothes, which she had made herself, and she wondered whether the interest would translate into sales. Well, it did. The test was such a success that Lysandra thought she could make a go of it, and she has never turned back. Six and a half years later, Geek Chic Fashion is a thriving business that Lysandra still runs from her home studio. She loves her work and stays closer to her young children and husband than would have been possible in the corporate world. In a business that is labor-intensive, fickle, and driven by short-lived trends, Lysandra has not been constrained by the small size of her enterprise. Instead, she has cultivated the trust of a loyal customer base. Maintaining full control of her business; using high-quality materials and innovative designs; providing outstanding customer service; and rooting her business in a core of ethical practices are some of the ingredients of success. Learn more about how Lysandra has employed these strategies to stay happy and grow her successful home-based business. You can find Lysandra’s creations at and follow her on Instagram at  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at follow us on Instagram, and check out examples of our guests’ creations on Pinterest,
003 Sourdough for Tie Dyes, with Matt Asin, Early Stage Entrepreneur
Aug 25 2020
003 Sourdough for Tie Dyes, with Matt Asin, Early Stage Entrepreneur
This episode explores the thinking of an early-stage entrepreneur who is deep in the process of fleshing out his longer-term plan.  Like many of us, Matt Asin spent the early days of the Coronavirus lockdown trying to keep busy at home. Matt is a professionally trained baker and restaurant professional, so he naturally spent some of his time in the kitchen. Although he had never thought much about making bread, his new time in the kitchen started to change his mind. He started to create beautiful sourdough loaves and developed a new passion and flair for this, making loaves for family and friends. But it was only after a friend offered to trade tie dye shirts (another love of Matt’s) for loaves that Matt began to think about the possibility of starting his own business. Now, a few months later, Matt has been testing the water and learning that people are willing to travel miles for one of his creations. The supply of fresh sourdough bread is limited in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, yet Matt is finding that the demand for great bread is high. So, he has begun to dream about turning his new hobby into a full-time vocation. Ideally, he would like to be fully operational in the next year or so. Hear about Matt’s early thinking as he describes his love of sourdough and how he is translating that love into a concrete business plan. This starts with inexpensive, pure raw ingredients, wild yeast cultures that he grows himself (as is the case for all sourdough bread), he can see a path to success. His marketing skills are strong, as demonstrated by the daily images of his baked loaves that he shares through social media, as is his ability to budget. Find out more about what is driving Matt forward, what else he feels that he needs to learn along the way, and his ideas for expanding his business over time.To see Matt’s loaves and, perhaps, request a taste, visit  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at
002 From Manic Crafting to a Thriving Paint-by-Numbers Business, with Amanda Farnum, Founder of Wehgo
Aug 25 2020
002 From Manic Crafting to a Thriving Paint-by-Numbers Business, with Amanda Farnum, Founder of Wehgo
This episode shows how quickly a new product idea can turn into a successful business and the key steps in the process! When Amanda Farnum’s kids were young, she wanted to take a break from her day job to spend time with them, but she didn’t want to retreat from the business world completely. She thought long and hard about how to use her project planning skills and arts education to create a small business. The “a-ha” moment came on a family vacation, when she thought that tourist hotels could make art kits available for their guests. After an all-night brainstorming session with her husband, Amanda decided then that she would be the person to create those kits. Five months later, she was representing her paint-by-numbers designs professionally at craft shows. Her home-based business, Wehgo.com, skyrocketed from there. Amanda’s success came from deep creative and organizational skills, a clear business plan, the discipline to execute that plan, a proprietary manufacturing process, and support from her business partner (her husband) as well as local networks of other entrepreneurs. Amanda discusses the growth of her company and some of its challenges and success milestones over the past five years—all the way up to the Washington Post article last week that spotlighted her business and spiked sales even more! She talks about the challenges of finding a name for her product, setting up the business, launching a website, selling on Etsy and Faire, displaying her wares in craft and trade shows, expanding her design portfolio, and moving into the world of wholesale to brick-and-mortar stores. She also talks about the role of her children in her business, seasonal planning, changes after the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, her current personal and professional goals, and possible growth opportunities from here. For more information about Amanda’s business, visit  For more information about the movement behind the podcast, visit our Facebook Group, at