From Hobbyist to Entrepreneur: Monetizing Your Hobby

Listen to The Mess in the Middle Podcast once per week, every Wednesday, to achieve the business of your dreams.

This episode of “The Mess in the Middle” features Audra Carpenter’s conversation with Tori McElwain, a quilt pattern designer and course creator.

Tori shares her journey from being a new military wife struggling to find her path, to developing a successful quilting business.

She talks about the challenges of creative burnout and the importance of pivoting to maintain passion and relevance.

The episode delves into Tori’s transition to teaching quilt pattern designers, the impact of social media on her business, and the strategies for nurturing an online community.

Key insights include leveraging one’s skills, adapting to life changes, and the importance of community in the creative industry.


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In this episode, you will learn:

  • 01:00 – Tori’s transition from military wife to quilt pattern designer
  • 04:00 – Overcoming creative burnout and finding a new direction
  • 07:00 – The significance of teaching in Tori’s career
  • 09:00 – Embracing digital marketing and course design
  • 13:00 – The challenges of adapting to audience needs and business pivoting
  • 17:00 – Pricing strategies and understanding customer perception
  • 20:00 – The importance of community in the quilting industry
  • 24:00 – Utilizing research and feedback to refine business offerings
  • 28:00 – The role of social media platforms in reaching target audiences
  • 32:00 – Strategies for building an online community
  • 36:00 – The importance of data in growing a business
  • 40:00 – Final advice for entrepreneurs navigating business challenges


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Starting a business can be a daunting task, no matter how passionate you are about the product or service you offer and the values you stand for. But getting stuck at any point is never a sign of failure; it is simply a call to refocus.

The Mess in the Middle with Audra Carpenter is a podcast meant to move small business owners and entrepreneurs, out of being stuck, no matter where they are in the process of launching or growing their businesses.