Christi Teske started WildRidge Design in
2011, selling handcrafted custom-scented wreaths from her home
in Ashton, Idaho. Her unique and beautiful designs were chosen
to be showcased on ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover Home Edition’, in
an episode airing this past December 3.
Christi is a wonderful crafter with a
beautiful family who is blessed by many things. One of which
is her very busy business that has helped to change the
direction of her life and the lives of others around her.
Christi thought she would be starting her
career as a nurse after she received her RN-Nursing degree in
2010, but life often has twists and turns. Unfortunately,
Christi suffered a stroke a few months after graduation. When
she discovered that she wouldn’t be able to return to nursing,
she started to come up with other ideas. In her own words,
Christi says, " I was trying to find something I could do at
home to pay all our medical bills, as well as help support our
large family. My husband was skeptical [but] he thought Etsy
would give me something to do and keep my mind off not being
able to return to nursing. Surprisingly, it has turned into a
full time job, plus I have had to hire outside help."
Entrepreneurs who work from home and
utilize online resources to generate new sources of income are
becoming more and more common. The internet is a popular place
to shop and many crafters wind up showcasing their wares on
many virtual crafters markets such as Etsy, which Christi is
very glad she found.
"It has been a huge blessing in my life!"
Christi happily exclaims. Many people who work from home wish
to remain employed, but may not be able to meet the demands of
traditional work outside of the home due to health issues,
family responsibilities, or mobility. These entrepreneurs
enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed thanks to the
easily accessible venue of the world-wide web.
Christi realizes that being an entrepreneur
takes time and hard work and gives the following advice to
other fledgling start-ups: "Don’t give up. I think getting
feed back helps. It is hard to receive critical remarks, but
that is how you learn, grow and improve your product. Use any
Christi perceives mainly positives when she
talks about her work, and likes to label negative experiences
as challenges. Both positives and negatives help her business
grow, just as they help her to heal.
"The positives are I’m at home with my
family more. I can arrange my schedule so I can be at all
their sports and activities, which I LOVE to watch. For me
personally, when I’m having a bad day (due to the stroke) I
can lie down or rest whenever I need to.
"The challenges, or negatives, for me are
balancing my time with my family and work. When you have your
business ‘in your home’ it is hard to separate it and get away
or take a break from it. There is always the stress involved
with meeting deadlines or handling problems that arise.
Learning to financially manage the business at first is tricky
and a learning process."
Christi is a lifelong learner and valuable
resource, not just to herself, her family and her clients, but
also to her local entrepreneurial community, where she is
starting a support group for other home-based businesses. It’s
important to her to network with family and friends to get
ideas, and to get the word out about new business. She says,
"I have found you can help each other grow and learn
Design's online store at Etsy.