6 Hobbies You Can Turn Into Businesses 5

“We need more entrepreneurs in private and public life.”

– Tom Watkins

Although it is certainly not for everyone, entrepreneurship, the process of starting a business, is an excellent way for people to make money doing things they enjoy.

Surprisingly, the hobby that you enjoy doing in your spare time might actually be something that you can transform into a full-time job.

Today, we will examine six popular hobbies that can become businesses.

#1 Carpentry

Traditionally, woodworking has been one of the most popular hobbies for men.

If you are the type of man who would rather be in his workshop than anywhere else, you might want to consider turning this pastime into a job.


With hundreds, if not thousands, of niches, you have many options to choose from:

  • Cabinetry
  • House building
  • Toy manufacturing
  • Carving
  • Bookends
  • Wooden signs (for business)

Most likely, you already know which part of woodworking you like best, so choosing a good niche will probably be easy.

Entry Costs

Because of all the specialized tools and equipment needed, entry in this field can be an expensive endeavor. However, if you have been doing this as a hobby, you will probably already have purchased the necessary tools.

#2 Writing

The ability to write well is woefully lacking in much of our modern world. Although this is a major problem, it can present an excellent opportunity to you.

If you know how to write grammatically-correct and engaging copy (i.e., the words you write), you will be presented with a multitude of opportunities to turn your hobby into a business.


Depending on the particular niche you enjoy, you could…

  • work as a journalist.
  • write sales copy.
  • help job hunters perfect their resumes.
  • write books.
  • work as a freelance magazine author.

A multitude of options are available to fit your particular tastes and goals.

Entry Costs

Unless you plan to start a full-fledged business (as opposed to being self-employed), the costs are low in this type of endeavor. A freelancer, for instance, could build his writing career while still working at his day job.

#3 Calligraphy

Using a special pen to create beautiful letters, calligraphers can make simple words look like art.

If you are proficient in this hobby, you might want to look for ways to make a little money on the side by starting a part-time business.


Although printers have stolen much of the market for calligraphy, some opportunities do still remain:

  • Wedding stationary
  • Event invitations
  • Greeting cards
  • Award certificates
  • Logo designs
  • Restaurant menus

If you work in this field, you will likely have to take a wide variety of projects rather than only those within one specific expertise.

Entry Costs

Starting a calligraphy business is relatively inexpensive. In fact, you simply need a pen, possibly ink, and paper (which will vary from job to job).

Unless you get the most expensive tools available, you can probably get all the necessary supplies for less than fifty dollars.

#4 Candle Making

The hobby of candle making is much wider than one might expect. Not only do candle makers create the simple, everyday sticks of wax we are accustomed to, but they also create beautiful, carved candles that are true works of art!

If you enjoy making candles, particularly the unusual types, you might be able to establish a good income stream through this hobby.


Depending on your interests, you could create…

  • basic candles.
  • scented candles.
  • colored candles.
  • layered candles (with rainbow colors).
  • carved candles.

Do some market research before you start to see which candles are most wanted in your locale.

Entry Costs

You can start a business in this field inexpensively by using tools you already have around the house (i.e., cooking pots work as wax containers). The only supplies you will have to buy are the wax, strings, fragrance, and coloring.

#5 Portrait Drawing

Even with the quick and reliable results of photography, portrait drawing has remained a large and thriving field.

If you enjoy the hobby of portrait painting, you should investigate the possibilities of turning your hobby into a business.


You can choose between…

  • on-the-spot drawing (i.e., traveling to fairs, craft shows, etc.).
  • studio drawing (i.e., having the customer visit you).
  • long-distance drawing (i.e., using a photograph reference).

Based on your expertise and availability, any of these options may work well for you.

Entry Costs

Getting the necessary supplies can be expensive, but, since you are already doing this as a hobby, you probably will not need to pay much more to turn it into a business.

#6 Photography

Although photography is currently an extremely popular hobby, you can still compete if you have a special technique that sets your photos apart.

If you are already doing this as a hobby, you can easily turn it into a job by simply looking for freelance work and listing your photos for sale online.


Within the general field of photography, you can find a wide variety of specific niches:

  • Landscape photography
  • Wildlife photography
  • Sports photography
  • Wedding photography
  • Portrait photography

Look for a niche that is lacking a clear leader and so your expertise can set you ahead of the crowd.

Entry Costs

Getting excellent camera equipment is quite costly, but you can start out with less expensive tools and upgrade over time.


These are only a few of the many hobbies that can be transformed into businesses.

What other hobbies can become businesses?

5 thoughts on “6 Hobbies You Can Turn Into Businesses

  1. Reply bondChristian Apr 29,2010 8:50 PM

    Tricky to make much of a living unless you treat it like more than a hobby, but you can pick up some extra cash playing/teaching music. As with most skills, there are always more beginners than advanced students out there, so even if you’re not that good, you can still teach entry-level players. And playing out is always fun even if you only get a free pass to the fair or whatever.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  2. Reply Nate Desmond Apr 30,2010 9:34 AM

    @ Marshall Jones, Jr. – Thank you for your comment! You have an excellent point that it is hard to make a serious living off a hobby… probably because the competition is so strong. However, like you said, it is possible, and making any income from a hobby is a start.

  3. Reply Ibrahim | TwentiesLife.com May 5,2010 2:09 PM

    Great ideas here. I’ve done photography, and I’m starting to do web design. I’ve always wanted to do calligraphy, so maybe I should learn a bit of it as well.

  4. Reply Nate Desmond May 6,2010 11:41 AM

    @ Ibrahim – Thank you for your comment! If you are ever interested, I would love to have a guest post by you… perhaps about things you learned starting your businesses.

  5. Reply Marriage Proposal Guide May 12,2010 1:43 PM

    I think Ibrahim hit on another hobby to business idea. Web design is an excellent part-time activity that can turn into a full-fledged business. You can also tack on other computer-based hobbies like graphic design, programming, and internet marketing…all of which have the potential to earn a ton of money while requiring a minimal time investment.

    -RJ Licata

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