Jillian Ellis started out as a teacher but soon pinned her
hopes on sewing and selling some of the cutest decorations
youíll ever see.
Choosing to market her handiwork on the online shopping site
Etsy in August, sheís since made over 500 sales and is
attracting customers from all over.
made you want to start your own business?
not sure I ever decided that I wanted to start my own business
per se; it was more of a "happy accident." I graduated from
college and had every intention of becoming a high school
English teacher. I went to graduate school and received my
Teaching Credential and began teaching soon after.
Unfortunately, due to budget cuts and teacher layoffs I found
myself looking for my next adventure. Iíve always wanted to
have a job that I felt good about, that I could pour my
passion in to and see progress and change at the end of the
day. As a young teacher I could really connect with my
students, build relationships, bring energy and fun in to the
classroom, and, coincidentally, be vulnerable to budget cuts.
it came time to take my income in to my own hands I turned to
Etsy and opened my own shop. I knew I was momentarily leaving
teaching behind, but wanted it to be a part of my new business
ventures. This is where Pink Slip Inspiration came in to the
picture. I wanted my shop to reflect where I have been and
where I am going. I truly love making the items in my shop. I
feel a connection to people once again. If you can dream it, I
can make it. I am constantly reinventing myself each day and
finding new items that inspire me.
are the positives and negatives of going into business on your
own in todayís economy?
were many positives in starting my own business in todayís
economy. After being laid off from a job I loved due to the
economy and never knowing whether or not I had a secure job, I
knew I could count on myself.
teacher it was maddening to know that I could do my best to
teach my students and work as hard as possible and still lose
my job at the end of the year to a less-dedicated, more senior
teacher; however, today I know that my hard work and
dedication to my business is benefiting me at the end of the
day. I see my products leave the shop each day and can seek
out growth on my own.
young adult starting off in life I am surrounded by
individuals looking for work and have been able to hire
hard-working friends that otherwise would be out of work.
There are always willing hands to help that are very
supportive of my success.
are your greatest strengths?
the end of the day I had nothing to lose. I had been brought
down by a system that I believe is broken and wanted to take
life into my own hands. I was willing to take a risk, to find
something I enjoy and give it a shot.
Through the years I have learned resiliency is the key in
surviving this economy. I was let go from one teaching job and
decided to go back to school. Once school started I was
offered another teaching job, so I again left school and went
back to teaching. Weeks later I was let go again and Iíd had
enough. I always knew that I had to bounce back and try
something else. I wasnít about to let it get me down.
Resiliency and flexibility has allowed me to constantly
reinvent myself and what I want from life and my career.
that you are established, is there anything you wish you had
done differently or known about earlier?
still so overwhelmed with the initial, and unexpected, growth
that I am trying to keep up with demand and ensuring
high-quality products. It would have been nice to anticipate
the growth and demand, but it has been a great problem to have
and Iím very appreciative to be in this position.
still working on establishing my business and working on the
longevity of my products.
advice would you give to someone else starting a home-based
were to give anyone advice on starting a home-based business I
would simply tell them to go along for the ride. I really had
no expectations for myself other than to be happy with my life
and the products I was creating. If you have a passion for
your craft and give it your all someone else will appreciate
it for what it is. I looked for a niche that I thought people
would enjoy, which happens to be Christmas stockingsÖ go
figure, and went for it.
Slip Inspiration's online store at