This week’s Work-At-Home Success story comes from Janet Perry of Napa Needlepoint. She’s the Internet’s Needlepoint expert and has been working from home for 20 years. She specialize in creating reference material, books, projects, and stitch guides for needlepoint. She currently has 11 books in print, as well as numerous electronic projects and stitch guides. Her encyclopedic blog, Nuts about Needlepoint, is the leading blog on the subject with close to 3000 entries.
1) How did you get started working from home?
In mid-1995 I developed MS, although it was diagnosed as a stroke at the time. Because of the effects I, could not work in an office under the conditions my employer set, and they would not allow me to work for them at home. That basically forced me into looking at other options, i.e. working for myself.
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I’ve done needlepoint since my early teens and had always hoped I could turn it into a career some day. So I took opportunities when they presented themselves and extended my business in ways that seemed natural from the work I had done.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
My initial steps were research into publishing a needlepoint magazine. I did this while I was running a business with two partners creating web sites. My research told me that it was not the best fit for me. About the time my partners were self-destructing in the web business, I came upon an opportunity (explained in the next section), I pursued, always keeping in mind that doing this would create the foundation of a business crating needlepoint books and projects – the current foundation of my business.
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
I saw something in WIRED magazine about a new company, The Mining Company, that had the idea of hiring experts to create content in their fields. I emailed them and they had actually had needlepoint as one of their initial categories. They hired me and I worked for them for almost six years until they cut our pay by over 2/3’s and wouldn’t allow me to republish my own copyrighted content.
5) How do you market your business?
Through my blog, which is the leading needlepoint blog, through some social media, and through direct email to my mailing list.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I have two blogs that require daily content. I generally do the 3 short post for my news blog early in the day, then respond to email and upload a limited number of pins to Pinterest. These things I do every day.
I then do my longer blog post. In between those things and after that I do the tasks on my master to do list which lists everything I need to do. These tasks can be all over the place from writing stitch guides for private clients, to creating new designs, or proofreading a book.
I quit and turn off the computer about dinnertime.
In the evening I stitch a model for new classes, designs, or blog posts, or test new products.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I had been firmer about keeping control of my content and making back-ups. I lost lots of useful content I could have reused.
I also wish I had realized how important pictures are for blogs. I have many things that can’t be used because there are no pictures.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Set limits for yourself. When working from home it is too easy to let your work consume all your time. Set a time to end work each day and end it. Set a day to rest, even God did this after creating the world. Resting and making time for your on-line life is important.
To connect further with Janet, visit
Facebook Page: Napa Needlepoint
Pinterest: Napa Needlepoint
LinkedIn: Janet Perry
Amazon author page: Janet Perry
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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