Coloradans turning hobbies into careers during the pandemic

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DENVER (KDVR) — Many Coloradans are using this time during the pandemic to turn their hobbies into careers.

This is evident in new data showing a growing number of employees transitioning into entrepreneurs.

At the beginning of the pandemic we saw plenty of people who lost their jobs giving entrepreneurship a shot, but new research seems to highlight more people are now quitting their gigs to give self-employment a go.

“What I did is I launched a service called, ‘Twigge’,” said Kristi Pihl.

Kristi Pihl of Denver is among that population of employees.

After contracting COVID-19 last March, she decided to quit her executive level job at a company in Denver to create the online book rental service.

“And I had sort of topped out in that career, from my perspective. And I was really looking to take a sharp left turn and try something different!” Pihl added.

According to data, the popular website ‘Etsy’ saw a 42% spike in the number of new sellers using its platform.

Pihl wasn’t surprised to learn that.

“I find this more rewarding [than my old career]. I’ll be very honest about that. I think there’s something about when you take that left turn or you dive off that cliff – and you get what you’re doing professionally in line with what you’re passionate about personally, there’s just a joy and a magic and a new drive and motivation that comes with that,” Pihl said.

Since launching ‘Twigge’ in November, Pihl has seen plenty of growth and already has 550 subscribers.

“We’ve been almost doubling month over month so our inventory has already increased by 50%,” Pihl said.

As a former executive who worked in the e-commerce world, Pihl offers the following advice to new entrepreneurs:

“The key to me is surround yourself with smart people, always be humble and make sure you’re listening to experts. While it’s important to be passionate about your hobby, it’s also important to build a business so you’re in it for the long run and not just a short term endeavor,” Pihl said.

Pihl added: it’s also important to do your research.

Look at what others are doing who have similar business and see what they’re charging for their product.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, it typically costs around $3,000 to create a micro-business.

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