Cottage industries are a way for people in economically depressed and/or rural areas to make a living from self-employment that doesn’t require a large capital outlay. Therefore, cottage industry products usually are made with locally grown or inexpensively produced materials that are crafted in the kitchen or home workshop. Some common cottage industry products include candles, handmade body care products, baked goods and canned goods, as well as textiles, furniture, wooden toys and dolls.
A home-based business in textiles is a good example of a cottage industry that can raise or grow its own material, process it and sell it. A homestead can keep sheep or alpacas for wool and can grow cotton and flax. All of these natural fibers can then be spun into thread or yarn, dyed and woven into products such as clothing, place mats, hand bags, wall hangings and other hand-crafted creations. These homemade products can then be sold online or through local retail outlets.
Body care products are common in the cottage industry. Natural products are always popular, and the ingredients can be grown in the home garden and combined with other products in the home kitchen. Salves, lip balms, shampoos, moisturizers and soaps are just a few of the many products manufactured by home-based businesses.
Candles are popular with home-based businesses and the buying public. Although inexpensive candles are available at some discount outlets, people enjoy buying and receiving handcrafted candles because of their beauty and uniqueness. A home-based chandler can create a custom candle for a specific occasion that incorporates a specially selected scent.
People who enjoy working with their hands and like to fix up and paint old furniture can turn their hobby into a home-based business. Flea markets, yard sales and thrift shops are good sources of inexpensive, used furniture that can be transformed into beautiful, hand-painted creations. Some of these items are then prominently displayed in front yards next to signs that let the driving public know that there is a cottage industry in furniture located there.
Just about any hobby can be transformed into a cottage industry. Whether a person likes to bake, enjoys growing plants for natural fibers or food or likes to work with his or her hands to create a homemade product, a business can be developed. The Internet has revolutionized marketing and sales, so a person or family that runs a cottage industry can create a product from start to finish and sell it without ever leaving home.