The artist Terry Beauvais is a retired postal worker who started making glass beads as a hobby. She is entirely self-taught. Terry personally does all the beadwork, jewelry design and assembly. Blue Jean Beads was launched in December 2003. Check out the article from Investors Business Daily to learn more about the business.

In addition to managing Blue Jean Beads, Terry is active with the Old Granada Hills Residents Group and the North Valley YMCA. Terry has five grandchildren living in Washington State, who she loves to spoil. When she is not making beads, she enjoys bowling, sailing and sitting on the beach with a good book.

In an article from June 2005, Investor's Business Daily questioned Terry about her hobby and business:

For some folks, retirement's a time to spend days playing tennis, tending the garden and sipping afternoon tea. Others couldn't last a week living a life of leisure; they'd rather start a new career or business.

A recent Merrill Lynch retirement survey of 3,448 U.S. adults ages 40 to 58 shows that 76% of the respondents plan to work in retirement. Many plan to alternate between work and leisure, depending on wants and needs.

Further, more than half want to keep working in a different line of work. And 13% want to start their own business.

After spending the better part of their adult life focusing their time and energy on paying the bills and saving for retirement, many retirees often turn their attention to finding meaningful activities to fill their days.

From Hobby To Commerce

Sometimes, that boredom buster can turn into a lucrative business.

Terry Beauvais, a former Postal Service worker who lives in Granada Hills, Calif., took a class after her early retirement in 2003 and learned to make her own beads for jewelry.

"It's an expensive hobby," said Beauvais, 57. "So I had to find a way to earn money to support it."

So Beauvais decided to sell her jewelry at local arts and crafts fairs. While she didn't make a profit last year, she gained lots of experience. She met other businesspeople and built her sales acumen by meeting clients face to face.

Less than two years after starting Blue-Jean Beads, Beauvais says she makes an average of $1,000 a day at shows and fairs.

"This year I will be in the black," she said.

When deciding to start a business after retirement, consider how much you want to spend on the investment. Beauvais was thrilled to find it cost her just $200 to get started. She bought equipment and materials to make the beads.

Then she partnered with a friend to save money on space-rental fees at fairs, which can cost $250 to $2,000 depending on the size of the event.

Pace Yourself

Consider how much time you want to spend working. You are, after all, enjoying retirement. Beauvais says she typically spends a few hours every day making jewelry in a barn on her property.

"You could do a show every weekend if you want to," she said.

This fall, she plans to do just two shows each month.

As her business becomes more successful, Beauvais wants to know more about her finances - which she'd rather not figure out herself. She plans to hire an accountant.

Finding support while starting a business can be expensive and time-consuming. But Beauvais takes a practical approach. She says the fairs are an opportunity to meet potential clients and a chance to mingle with other crafters who can share their expertise.

Most important, find something you're passionate about if you want to start a small business when you retire. "And talk about it any chance you get," Beauvais said.

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