Today, Brooklyn-based Stringer-Mowat, 36, is one of the most successful Etsy sellers and runs the store full time, spending about 50 hours a week on the business. She plans to expand into other home-décor products soon, including baby-related ones. "I've always been interested in doing things on my own, and I've worked for a lot of small-business owners. [The Etsy shop] seems accidental, but it was also in line with what I set in the back of my mind," she says. She is now looking for ways to outsource some of the work in preparation for her baby's arrival.
Those who used their entrepreneurial activities to survive a layoff often focus on a common theme when asked to share advice for others: The importance of getting started, even in a small way, before that pink slip arrives. Crimaldi's website doesn't yet replace the salary she made pre-layoff, but it's on its way to doing so. Her first thought when she received work of her layoff? "Awesome. Now I get to work for myself."