Last year, my cousin Stephanie asked me if I thought she should open an Etsy Shop for her amazingly adorable knitwear for children and adults.

An Etsy zealot, I barely screamed YES!!!!

Girl Flapper Beanie Hat

A little over a year later, she has several hundred sales, wholesale accounts, and a very very very busy schedule, AND she has four kids.

"Little Hooter Owl Hat" by Hookaholic

Her hats and knits are fun, creative, and so freaking cute and what more adorable models have you ever seen?  I am personally a huge fan of the Bear Hats.  I want to buy eight, but I don’t have any friends with kids and I also want the baby in the photos to come with the hat, but I don’t know how Steph feels about that…

With her adorable totally Stephanie-replica girls and boy as hat models, she has managed to create a business from her Pennsylvania home that not only gives her a venue to sell her work, but also extra income AND the ability to stay at home with her little ones.

"Cute Baby Bear Hat With Ears"

I started selling on Etsy just one month after the website started back in 2005 and I can’t even count how many lives it has totally altered because of it’s success.  Stephanie is just one of the thousands of people who have been able to “quit their day jobs” and make a living making things.  It has revamped commerce and retail as we have come to know it.  Plebeians are taking over much of the income from huge companies and businesses.  We are taking back craftsmanship, quality, and reinstituting the relationship consumers used to have with businesses.  You can actually talk to the person who designed and handcrafted what you’re about to buy.  That relationship had become rare since the turn of the 20th century when things were made behind closed doors.

I am so proud of Stephanie and my other friends and peers who have been able to change their lives with their own hands.