FASHION AND FIBER ARTS
One of the reasons I started the business was because I wanted to work. I have a very broad and varied education, with many skills and a varied background. But even with all of that, I found it extremely difficult to find a full time job and to be taken seriously. So I decided that the only way I could work was to start my own business and work for myself. I knew that since handwork has long been a hobby that I love, starting a business by using that skill would be a great job. It would also take very little in the way of capital to start, since I would only buy the materials necessary for each project. I already had the necessary tools, so that would not add to my expense.
I sent ads to many of the magazines for the blind which provide free advertising, and got a few orders. One of these customers has ordered different items over the last 4 years. I have sent items as far as Canada as a result of those first ads.
I also have a group on yahoo for lind crafters like myself and am a member of other groups where there is selling and buying of different handcrafted items. This helps promote the business.
I also started the business as a way of earning extra income and as a way of using my vast pattern library. I got the idea from my mother, who, before her death, shared her knowledge and patterns with me. She also sold her work when she could.
I don't know what will happen to the business in the future. It is completely dependent upon whether I receive orders for work. But since it is not my only source of income, and does not cost anything to run, beyond what I make per order, I am able to see what happens.
I don't see any advantages to being a blind business owner, except that I don't have to prove to anyone above me that I can do the job. There are some disadvantages in that I don't have the mobility I would like, or the ability to market the business as much as I'd like. But those are not serious disadvantages. The biggest advantage is that I can do this work independently and that it is work I enjoy.
Find something you enjoy doing, and something you can do without much if any sighted assistance. It will give you a huge boost of your self-esteem, and you will have a sense of accomplishment.