How We’re Supporting Our Family with a Handmade Business on Etsy {And a Weekend Giveaway!}

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Guest post by Melissa Kaiserman

In the spring of 2013, my husband was in his seventh year of a position that had gone from dream job to highly toxic work environment. The stress was getting worse by the week and affecting both him and our family. Despite his best attempts to just focus on doing his job well and not let it get to him, it reached a point where he really believed he was supposed to quit.

While my husband is (thankfully!) not a big spender, he is definitely the Free Spirit while I am the Nerd. I’m the one who knows the budget inside and out, divvies up the cash into spending categories, and pays the bills. So I was trying my best to be supportive and not panic as I analyzed how the finances for our family would be impacted since I was a SAHM with just a little side business that I was doing mostly for fun.

At this point in our marriage, we had been completely out of debt (except for our mortgage) for about five years, which was a major factor that allowed us to even entertain such a drastic change. So for the next few months, we saved the profit from my handmade business as well as our tax return and anything extra from paychecks. After we had accumulated about 3-4 months worth of living expenses, Dave resigned from his job.

He immediately started looking for another position in his field. While he was going through the process of applying and interviewing, he mentioned that I may as well teach him some ways he could help with my business since he was home and had time. So I did, though neither of us had any idea how vital this would turn out to be!

A few weeks after my husband left his job, I received an Etsy convo from a credit union many states away that resulted in an $1800 order! There is no way I could have fulfilled that request without my husband home.

From that point forward, we clearly saw God blessing my business and my shop continuing to grow. But while Dave had made it to the final interview round for three different jobs for which he was highly qualified, he wasn’t offered any of them.

After some initial discouragement, it hit us: Maybe God is closing doors because He wants us to do this together! We had assumed my husband would continue in his field and I would continue to be a SAHM who operated a side business that simply provided extra for Christmas gifts and vacations. Having a family business and working from home seemed like too big and lofty a dream.

For the past 2 1/2 years, we have supported our family of six with a handmade business which, despite the warnings of the pundits, has sold products exclusively on the Etsy platform. My husband gets to work in his field from time to time and keep his skills sharp, and while that only accounts for a small percentage of our yearly income, the opportunities always come at just the right time.

People often express amazement at our story and wonder how we are able to make it work. While there’s no magic formula–and while as Christians we believe the main reason for our success is that we’re doing what God has called us to do–I believe there are three very practical areas that contribute:

1. We are out of debt.

My husband quitting his job was a step of faith, and we couldn’t have taken it with confidence if we had been under the burden of debt. If you have a dream of one day quitting your day job to work from home doing something you love, I strongly encourage you to get “gazelle intense” about eliminating debt!

We have also stayed completely out of debt with our business. In the very beginning, I used cash to pay for a limited amount of supplies until I created some profit and could purchase more, increasing inventory as I went. We’ve never used and don’t even own a business credit card–only debit.

2. We work as a team.

While I am the one who manages pretty much every aspect of the business, my husband does not view any job I need him to do as beneath him. He doesn’t perform any of the sewing, but he completes so many of the intermediary and finishing tasks that I find tedious, freeing me to focus on the areas where I thrive.

The same teamwork principle applies to our home. In addition to being an excellent handyman, Dave washes all of the laundry (and passes it along to our four who fold!), does virtually all of the transporting of children as well as many errands, and is quick to jump on anything he sees that needs to be done around the house.

3. We live frugally and on a budget.

If we didn’t tell our money where to go, our money could easily tell us this won’t work and that my husband needs to return to a traditional job. The truth is, we love our life and want to do this for as long as possible. So for us, it is worth it to make sacrifices and forgo doing and having some things in order for that to happen. It wouldn’t be possible without choosing to be content and having a spending plan.

When I made my first cash envelope system wallet for myself over four years ago, I discovered that ditching the paper envelopes and having a pretty and durable way to organize our cash made living on a budget seem a lot more enjoyable.

MSM collage May15

Enter to Win a $50 Gift Certificate to Our Store!

I would love for you to experience that same feeling I experienced, so I’m giving away five $50 gift certificates to be used on any of our envelope system products and accessories.

Also, through May 9, readers can receive free shipping on any purchase. Just click “Apply shop coupon code” at checkout and enter MSMMAY15. (Free shipping applies to domestic orders only, but international customers may leave a note at checkout requesting a refund equal to the shipping amount a U.S. customer would save on that order.)

Giveaway ends Saturday, May 9, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway

Melissa Kaiserman is a wife, mom, and handmade business owner who designs cash envelope system wallets & accessories that put the beauty in budgeting. She also blogs at A Time for Everything and uses her experience and passion to support and mentor fellow makers at Makery Space.

Share This: Enter to win a $1000 Amazon gift card + more!

Enter to win $1000 Amazon gift card from! is running a HUGE Mother’s Day giveaway. 3 winners will win either a Madsen Bicycle, a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card, or a $1,000 Sephora Gift Card.

There are multiple ways to enter and you can enter every day.

Be sure to use my Giveaway Partner Code CRYSTAL8561 and you can get 5 extra entries every single day.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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Win a $50 Gift Card to Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, or Peapod


Have you ever wondered how Italy earned its reputation for creating world-class meals? The secret is actually quite simple: it starts with quality ingredients.

With Bertolli, you can bring the taste of Tuscany right to your table. The Bertolli super premium sauce line has been specifically created to deliver an authentic Italian taste by including high-quality native ingredients, imported directly from Italy.

Are you ready to take your cooking to the next level with help from these incredible sauces? Check out this Balsamic and Caramelized Onion Chicken Stuffed Mushroom Recipe with one of Bertolli’s sauces, “Imported Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, Italy, paired with Caramelized Onions.”


Curious to taste these sauces for yourself? I’ve got good news for you!

If you stop into participating Ahold stores (Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, or Peapod) on May 2nd from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., you’ll have the chance to sample one of these Bertolli sauces with Johnsonville Sausages.

Plus, not only will you get a taste of Tuscany, you’ll also receive a $1 off coupon, immediately redeemable for Bertolli sauces. Find your nearest store here.

Enter to win a $50 Ahold Gift Card

Share a picture of yourself at the Taste of Tuscany with Bertolli event at any Ahold stores (Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro or Peapod) on May 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoying a Taste of Tuscany, and include the hashtag #MyTasteofTuscany in your post and you could win a $50 gift card to participating Ahold stores.

You can post your picture on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or even your blog (if you have one). Then, just email me (crystal @ a link to your post by May 4, 2015. I’ll choose two entries to win a $50 Ahold gift card!

This post is underwritten by Lunchbox. Read our disclosure policy here

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Save on Dove products at Dollar General + enter to win a $100 Dollar General gift card!


Dove is currently running a campaign to encourage women to think about how their moms, grandmas, aunts, and older sisters inspired and passed down real beauty tips and positive, encouraging mantras to live by.

Whether we realize it or not, the women who have been in our lives since our earliest years are often our biggest inspirations and the first to help us embrace our own unique beauty.Enter to win a $100 Dollar General gift card!

Through May 24, 2015, head to Dollar General to take advantage of an in-store offer to save $2 on Dove products instantly when you spend $7.

And then share with me who has been one of the biggest beauty inspirations in your family and you could win a $100 Dollar General gift card.

Enter to Win a $100 Dollar General Gift Card

Here’s how to enter to win:

Post a tweet on Twitter sharing who has been one of the biggest beauty inspirations in your family and use the hashtag #DGBeautyStory and make sure to tag me (@MoneySavingMom). I’ll choose one winner from the entries to win a $100 Dollar General gift card!

This post is underwritten by Lunchbox. See our disclosure policy here.

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Last chance to win a Vitamix & a $500 Amazon gift card!


Who wants to win a Vitamix or a $500 Amazon gift card?!?! I’m giving both away this weekend!

I love my Vitamix and we use it all the time — to make smoothies, frappes, iced coffee, sauces, and much more. It’s one of our favorite kitchen appliances!

And who wouldn’t want to win a $500 Amazon gift card? You can use it to by groceries, household items, books, or even a large ticket item.

I’m giving away a Vitamix AND a $500 Amazon gift card to two readers who helps me spread the word about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. One reader will win the Vitamix and one will win the $500 Amazon gift card.

(Psst! Have you gotten your Ultimate Homemaking Bundle yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Go read all about this special offer here — it’s only available through TONIGHT!)

Enter to Win a FREE Vitamix or a $500 Amazon Gift Card

It’s really simple to enter to win and will take you just a minute or two to do so…

To enter, just share about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle with your friends and family on social media. You can use Facebook and/or Pinterest!

Entry Option #1: Leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d do with the $500 Amazon gift card if you win it.

Entry Option #2: Click here to share this post about 5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day on Facebook.

Entry Option #3: Click here to share this post about the Homemaking Bundle on Facebook.

Entry Option #4: Click here to share this post about Eliminating Paper Piles on Facebook.

Entry Option #5: Click here to repin this pin on essential oils & the Homemaking Bundle on Pinterest.

Entry Option #6: Click here to repin this pin on paper piles & the Homemaking Bundle on Pinterest.

You can do all six things if you’d like — and enter up to six times. Leave a separate comment for each entry option if you choose to do multiple entries and each comment will count as an entry.

The winners are: $500 Amazon gift card — Christine (christinetheblessed@) ; Vitamix — Tobiann (simplyspringer@)

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Weekend Giveaway: $50 Lilla Rose Gift Certificate (5 Winners)


Who needs some new cute hairstyle options that only take a few minutes to pull off? If that’s you, you’ll want to check out this giveaway today…

Have you heard of Lilla Rose? Lilla Rose is the maker of the popular and unique Flexi Clip. The Flexi allows you to achieve some beautiful hairstyles in a very short amount of time.

We got a sample of the Flexi in the mail and Kaitlynn immediately asked if she could borrow it from me. She’s had all sorts of fun using it to create adorable hairstyles.


Here’s an example of the kind of hairstyle Kaitlynn did with her hair (no that’s not her — she’s sick in bed this weekend, otherwise I’d have her model some of the styles she came up with!).

This weekend only, Jessica, a consultant with Lilla Rose, is offering a giveaway for 5 $50 Lilla Rose gift certificates to use on anything on her site.

Jessica is a homeschooling mama to 4 little ones and she emailed and said: “Lilla Rose has been an amazing blessing to me and my family – not just financially but giving ME something to focus on and regroup when I needed some downtime.”


There are 7 different sizes of the Flexi — one to fit every type of hair! These clips are flexible, durable, and stylish and they come with a one-year warranty!  Head over to this website for some videos on styling your hair with Flexi Clips.


Lilla Rose also offers cute, adjustable headbands, hair sticks, heavy-duty bobby pins, you-pins, flexi-ohs, and badge clips. We got to try out the adjustable headbands and the heavy-duty bobby pins and Kaitlynn and I have had so much fun using them. They are a great way to quickly dress up a boring hairstyle!

Create an account (only if you don’t already have a consultant) to be notified of sales and news on the limited edition Flexi of the month (FOTM). Also, follow Jessica’s Facebook page for specials and giveaways!


April’s Flexi of the Month is the Tulip Field — see above. It’s only available while supplies last.

Interested in earning money from home as a Lilla Rose consultant? You can start your Lilla Rose business for $50 and it requires no monthly requirements or quotas, no fees or hidden costs! If you have questions on becoming a consulting, you can contact Jessica here.

Would you like to win a $50 gift certificate to Lilla Rose? Click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. Five winners will be chosen and posted next week. Please note: The gift certificate does not cover tax or shipping/handling. This giveaway ends Sunday, April 26, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway

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