Home Sweet Home

Intrepid student shows skill as begins business online

Taylor Thompson, senior, works diligently adding the final details on his handcrafted ornament. He models clay houses of his clients’ homes. He has been making them for two years and mostly sells them around the holidays. He sells them through Etsy, and the finished ornaments are shipped to the clients.

Jamie Pellikaan, Reporter

 Like most teenagers, Taylor Thompson, senior, needs a way to earn money; however, he did not go job searching for his source of income.

Thompson runs his own business through Etsy, a website that serves as an online marketplace for people all over the world to buy and sell handmade goods.

Thompson’s own shop, Taylor Made Homes, sells hand crafted and painted ornaments of the buyers’ homes.

A customer must send in a picture of his home, and Thompson will sculpt and paint a replica in clay.

“My mom found the idea on Pinterest,” Thompson said. “She thought it would be cool if I could make our house. What’s created that idea into what it is today, however, is my passion for artistic design and architecture.”

Thompson has no mentor for his business and has been teaching himself how to make the ornaments.

“I took a picture of my house, like my mother wanted, and I just sketched it out on clay,” Thompson said.

Taylor Made Homes has sold over 100 ornaments, with each taking 8-12 hours.

Thompson started the business two years ago and originally created it as a way to gain money, but now it has grown into something more.

“My ornaments have become a part of a lot of people’s Christmases and that has become really special to me. That feeling of contributing to something like that is really special,” Thompson said.

Thompson relishes in the fact that the business is completely

his.He prefers working on a schedule that he sets and hours that work best for him and not a manager.

“You can’t learn the economics behind the business in a job that most teenagers work at. In this type of situation you can,” Thompson said.

Gaining the knowledge of business also has many positive benefits for the future.

“Running my own business teaches me skills that will set me apart on job applications such as time management, that will help me in the future,” Thompson said.

Most people would associate creating things with their hands as a form of stress relief; however, the same cannot be said for Thompson.

“It does not relieve stress. I have to make sure everything is perfect before I ship them off. It’s my business, so I have to ensure that good business practices are in place in every aspect,” Thompson said.

Thompson advertises for his shop through the host website, Etsy. He pays a fee so that when a customer on Etsy searches an item that Thompson has in his store, his will be the first one that will be displayed in the search results.

Not only does Thompson sell ornaments, but also he has expanded his inventory to include “Star Wars” t-shirts and bow ties.

Thompson recommends Etsy to anyone who is interested in selling handmade goods online.

“The visibility is good for consumers and the website manages all of the money transactions for you,” Thompson

said.Etsy does charge a small fee for listing items on their website, but Thompson said the return far outweighs the costs associated.

After high school, Thompson hopes to continue his business on Etsy.