Shop Etsy

Quit Your Day Job: NestaHome

Jun 23, 2008

by Mary Andrews handmade and vintage goods

I was recently chatting with Tandie of NestaHome about how she was recently let go from her day job.  She actually took being let go as an opportunity to be her own boss and not go back into the corporate workforce.  Now Tandie enjoys spending her mornings in the yard with her dogs and a nice cup of coffee before heading inside to run her own business.  Keep reading below to find out how Tandie is progressing since making such a big decision.

When you first started selling on Etsy, did you have dreams or goals of eventually quitting your day job?
I knew I always wanted to own my own business, however, I didn’t think it was possible to make any money selling arts and crafts online.  I figured this would be a hobby.

How long were you selling on Etsy and working your day job before deciding you were ready to switch over to Etsy full time?
I opened up my first Etsy shop NestaUsa in October 2007.  I was shocked at how well it did and decided to open a second shop, NestaHome, to branch out with more designs and mediums.  Then, in February of 2008, I got laid off from my job as a Landscape Architect, along with many of my fellow co-workers and friends in the profession.  There was no local job availability and people began to move out of state for work.  I had recently gotten married and purchased a house with my husband so the thought of packing up and moving was both financially and emotionally distressing.

How did you decide what to do next?

Well, for me, it was not going back into the workforce.  After examining my budget and expenses, I realized that the money I was spending on gas, car maintenance, lunches, work clothes, car insurance, etc. was unnecessary now.  That was huge chunk of money that I didn’t need to make anymore.

How did you know you were ready to take the plunge?

I actually wasn’t ready at all.  But, with very strict budgeting and lots of books on business and marketing, I figured out a way to make it happen.  There are so many free resources out there on Etsy and the internet in general that can help with many aspects of starting a business.

Did starting from the point of being laid off impact how you moved forward?
I am working backwards, in that aspect.  I am very limited on what I may spend on my materials, so I have to be a little more creative.  I reuse more and waste less.  Also, before I do any piece involving expensive materials, I sketch out my ideas and figure out what I need from there.

What goals have you set for your Etsy business in the next few months and year?
To be honest, my biggest goal is to get through the year and re-evaluate what worked and what didn’t work.  This is all pretty new to me and I don’t expect it to be an easy journey.  The best I can do is get better and learn from my mistakes.

What are the most effective ways you have promoted and marketed your Etsy business?
I don’t market much outside of Etsy at the moment.  I market for free with my blog and flickr accounts and pass out as many business cards as possible.

How’s it going so far? Are you getting by?
I’m not able to buy all of the things I used to and travel as much as I would like, but that doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.  Sacrifice isn’t so bad when it’s for your own business.  Plus, technically, I am in even more control of my future and financial stability then I was before.  I can’t get fired!

Can you walk us through what a typical workday might entail now that you have no day job?
I normally get up around 8am, make some coffee and hang out in the yard with the dogs.  We are all wondering how it is possible to already be 90 degrees outside, and on that note, slowly wander on into the office to check emails and package up any orders that need to go out.  After a quick trip to the post office it’s usually time to brainstorm some new creations.  The rest of the day flies by.  [Pssst….Check out the crisp and professional look of Tandie’s packaging, it’s some of the best I’ve seen — marymary]

What do you enjoy most about not having a day job?
Not having that feeling of dread in my stomach every Sunday evening.

What piece of advice would you give someone thinking about taking the plunge to sell full time on Etsy?
Talk to someone who has done it.  It’s a lot less painful to learn from other people’s mistakes.  Save up before you take the plunge and always have a plan B.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
There were two peanuts taking a leisurely, peaceful walk through the neighborhood, and one was a salted. (My jokes are pretty bad.)

Thanks to NestaHome for sharing her story of success with us!  Check out the gallery below to see some of Tandie’s items. Check out some of our previous Quit Your Day Job posts.

Mustard Yellow Silhouette - 8x10 Signed and Numbered Print
Mustard Yellow Silhouette - 8x10 Signed and Numbered Print
the Yellow Rose Garden - set of 3 Felt Roses - Home Decor
the Yellow Rose Garden - set of 3 Felt Roses - Home Decor
Just Passing Through - Michigan - ORIGINAL painting
Just Passing Through - Michigan - ORIGINAL painting
Hand in Hand - 10 Postcards and Envelopes
Hand in Hand - 10 Postcards and Envelopes
a Delicate Girl - 8 x 10 Mixed Media Silhouette and Frame
a Delicate Girl - 8 x 10 Mixed Media Silhouette and Frame


  • Florcita

    Florcita said 11 years ago

    That was a very interesting interview. It's good to see that others have made similar decisions as yourself, and -with lots of work- are doing well. Great shop!

  • ezrascousin

    ezrascousin said 11 years ago

    Congratulations on making your business a success! The best to you!

  • DeAnneDeSigns

    DeAnneDeSigns said 11 years ago

    This is a very inspiring interview! It is great to hear about businesses like yours. Thank you for sharing.

  • flytie

    flytie said 11 years ago

    great interview.

  • jennadesigns

    jennadesigns said 11 years ago

    Congratulations! It is so wonderful to hear a positive come out of something negative. I recently made the decision to leave my job and return to school as well as launch an Etsy site. It's a huge leap of faith, but if Tandie can make of a go of it, I'm inspired to do the same! Thanks for the great interview.

  • sykin

    sykin said 11 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your success story! One day I might be brave enough to leave my job...maybe. :)

  • littlelakecompany

    littlelakecompany said 11 years ago

    I want to do this more than anything. Having set all kinds of goals for myself this year, so far so good - including starting to list my things on Etsy, a few every day. Take a look! (I'm open to suggestions that don't begin with "why don't you go and...) Thanks for your thoughts and story. Inspiration is like food for the soul, best of luck to you in your endeavors.

  • RunAliceRun

    RunAliceRun said 11 years ago

    I wish I could leave my day job (well not really since my day job includes taking care of my 3 kids). Love reading the story!

  • decor8

    decor8 said 11 years ago

    Yay Nesta! Nice story. :)

  • staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca said 11 years ago

    Go Burritos Go!

  • mommy2lilgems

    mommy2lilgems said 11 years ago

    Congrats! I too, was recently laid off, so this is a great and uplifting article to read!

  • NestaHome

    NestaHome said 11 years ago

    I can't believe no one has made fun of my peanut joke (at the end)!

  • TeenAngster

    TeenAngster said 11 years ago

    I thought it was funny!

  • PenelopeAndAnastasia

    PenelopeAndAnastasia said 11 years ago

    Nesta - I love that joke!

  • recycledrings

    recycledrings said 11 years ago

    What an inspiring story! Good luck!

  • SeaFindDesigns

    SeaFindDesigns said 11 years ago

    Good for you Nesta! I love seeing the face behind the art! Inspiring!

  • sweetestpea

    sweetestpea said 11 years ago

    Nice story Nesta, I'm glad you're making it work!

  • BBBellezza

    BBBellezza said 11 years ago

    Inspiring! I would love to get rid of that feeling of dread in my stomach every Sunday, too! Stories such as this one give me hope.

  • LaveMeSoapCo

    LaveMeSoapCo said 11 years ago

    what a great article!!! what an inspiration. i hope to someday take the plunge as well. this week i am going to stage my car to be sold. with taking the bus to work, i can save about $500 a month or more. next step???

  • Jillzwhimzy

    Jillzwhimzy said 11 years ago

    Congrats on success Mz Nesta It's wonderful when you hear about an artist making it! You've got some fun stuff & I think it is only right you made a fun joke!

  • vitamini

    vitamini said 11 years ago

    I'm also an unemployed Landscape Architect! (I've never been so excited to say that!) I know exactly what you mean about dreading Sunday nights... The industry is really slow right now so I'm doing my best to keep busy with my little etsy shop. Congrats on your success!

  • vitamini

    vitamini said 11 years ago

    oops, I guess I had to say it twice...

  • 2ReVert

    2ReVert said 11 years ago

    Still the best thing to read... these stories. All the best Nesta, I'm sure your tickled pink now that you were laid off :)

  • NestaHome

    NestaHome said 11 years ago

    Wow vitamini! That's crazy... I know LA's were hurting in California too :( I wonder how many people are selling on etsy because their chosen profession is hurting. Etsy is like our 'unemployment'. hehehe.

  • dennisanderson

    dennisanderson said 11 years ago

    very nice! Etsy as a venue has opened up possiblities that I would not have ever imagined. Keep up the great work and keep on with your bad self :)

  • CrotchStitch

    CrotchStitch said 11 years ago

    Well, your joke certainly made me laugh!! But I tell lame jokes too! :D Great interview!!

  • Kiiss

    Kiiss said 11 years ago

    I love the packaging!! Thanks for sharing with us such an inspiring interview cover story. :D

  • IrenaSophia

    IrenaSophia said 11 years ago

    Inspiring interview! Who needs those Sunday nights now that we have Etsy. Thank you Nesta for sharing your story, all the best to you.

  • Julez7Jewelz

    Julez7Jewelz said 11 years ago

    Ohhhh I would love to be able to do that. YOU GO GIRL!!! May your ideas be plentiful and your customers more so!

  • Julez7Jewelz

    Julez7Jewelz said 11 years ago

    A SALTED.... LOL wow, it only took me about five times of reading that to get it... the "salted" on the next line threw me of.. yep thats it.

  • kmaylward

    kmaylward said 11 years ago

    congratualtions on getting you full time at home business off the ground- it is quite an accomplishment!

  • lncgreetings

    lncgreetings said 11 years ago

    wow! congratulations! thanks for the advice and the inspiration i too am in the process of taking the plunge! :)

  • elisasherejewelry

    elisasherejewelry said 11 years ago

    Very inspirational - all I can say is..some day! Etsy is so fabulous, I love that we have these inspirational interviews to read. Go Nesta!

  • mintagehome

    mintagehome said 11 years ago

    Thandie, I've been a fan for a while, I loved reading your story. It's so cool you're able to focus on your own business full time now. Good luck! I love your silhouettes. Gabrielle

  • gingerlime

    gingerlime said 11 years ago

    Thanks for this story and advice to look up info on business and marketing! This is the dream :-)

  • abbiegroves

    abbiegroves said 11 years ago

    Truly amazing! There is hope yet!

  • heartvandana

    heartvandana said 11 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story with us; I found it amazing oh how I dream of quitting my day job. Wish you all the best for your business

  • RaeGun

    RaeGun said 11 years ago

    great story I love how your starting point is so different than the others. It's nice to see this can work and it's definitely not one size fits all. And your packaging is beautiful!

  • curlyfrysc

    curlyfrysc said 11 years ago

    Don't quit your day job by becoming a comedienne!

  • Shelleden

    Shelleden said 11 years ago

    Congratulations! Very inspiring. Great article.

  • pishcota

    pishcota said 11 years ago

    I too was "let go", so this is an uplifting article to read! :). Thinking about my options, but I agree, the feeling of dread in the stomomach every Sunday night along w the commuting to the office, are the worst. I don't miss them at all. I may never go back to work for the man. All the best to u Nesta!

  • MissEmmasCloset

    MissEmmasCloset said 11 years ago

    i absolutely love this article. it has really inspired me to focus and really be motivated. i would love to quit my "real" job and be able to stay home and create all of the time. kudos to you and all of your accomplishments!!

  • tweetysnest

    tweetysnest said 11 years ago

    Congrats on your success, nice interview and how great that you work from home. I love your packaging, too!

  • littlechaz

    littlechaz said 11 years ago

    Congrats on yoru success!! That is wonderful and your items are stunning! Wish you the best of luck!

  • NestaHome

    NestaHome said 11 years ago

    Thanks everyone for being so kind :) I really appreciate the support! curlyfrysc - Don't worry... I'll stick to arts and crafts :)

  • simpledream2

    simpledream2 said 11 years ago

    I am impressed with how you took advantage of building your business especially after being laid-off. Your gumption is inspiring. Your interview is inspirational. Thanks,

  • 1920

    1920 said 11 years ago

    Love the story. Love the community.

  • NikiJewellery

    NikiJewellery said 11 years ago

    Very inspirational, and well done. I think your joke was A+ too :)

  • rockyroadcreations

    rockyroadcreations said 11 years ago

    I'm trying to get the nerve up to do this. Stories like yours are sooo inspiring. I think I would like to not have that Sunday night sickness too. Diana

  • autumnsarrival

    autumnsarrival said 11 years ago

    Great interview & great tips! Although I will not be "let go" from my current job, all of my jobs are contract positions and usually are anywhere from 6 months long to a year long. I'm a Project Manager in Telecommunications construction (Cell towers, fiber optics, etc.). I live every day in fear of "after this project THEN what am I going to do?" And now I am getting ready to have my first little baby in October; my current contract ends the last day of September so I am really feeling the pressure. I am really hoping that my little shop does well here on Etsy so I won't have to hunt down another contract and leave my daughter to daycare! The very best of luck to us all!!

  • bashayer

    bashayer said 11 years ago

    very well said.. good job!

  • PinkLizard

    PinkLizard said 11 years ago

    I love your shops! Good for you. Lovely, candid interview. Best to you! :-)

  • staceyrebecca

    staceyrebecca said 10 years ago

    How had I never read this before!? Tandie, you rock miss lady!

  • MysticalRaindrops

    MysticalRaindrops said 9 years ago

    Inspiring story! Thanks.

  • NirvanaRoad

    Lisa from NirvanaRoad said 7 years ago

    I love that people can quit their day job and make a living from their Etsy store! I love your stuff and your packaging is very clever! Where in Nor Cal are your from? I'm from the Bay Area originally. All the best, Lisa

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