Creating a job from a hobby

Art teacher Shanna Blair constructs her own pieces from scratch


One of art teacher Shanna Blair's creations, an anchor nautical high chair banner, is for sale on her Etsy account for $20.

Quietly thinking of ways to make extra money, art teacher Shanna Blair has a sudden burst of realization. She begins crafting from any scrap materials she can find in her home, leading her to selling homemade items on Etsy.

Four years ago, Blair started selling the products she makes on Etsy as a side hobby. Although she enjoys running the account by herself, she faces downfalls such as making items for customers who wish to have them quickly.

“I would say [my Etsy business is] very small,” Blair said. “If there [are] enough sales, [then] I could go bigger. It’s challenging, but I know it’s [not my] total income, so it’s [just a] side hobby [and] it’s not stressful.”

Blair offers items such as birthday banners and door hangers for children’s birthday parties. While doing this, she created a Instagram account to post her work in order to show her progress on current projects.

“I make birthday party supplies [for] kids’ birthday parties [and] I also sell [my artwork too],” Blair said. “[I make] high chair [decor], tiny top hats [and] cake toppers.”

Art teacher Nicole Franczvai supports Blair’s creative skills and encourages her to continue doing what she enjoys.

“I think I’ve known her for four or five years,” Franczvai said. “Mr. Cooper, our old principal, was walking her through [and] showing her the room [when] I said ‘hello.’ I think she is very talented and just a gem of a human being.”

Blair created a cake using diapers for yearbook adviser Kira Hayes’ baby shower. She also created a theme for consumer science teacher Kahla Scrivner’s son’s birthday party. The results were rather astonishing for Scrivner and she was pleased with how the event turned out.

“I work with her a lot with things like Grand Ball or just volunteering in other events and stuff,” Scrivner said. “She’s so creative, she’s genius. She thinks of things to make and she figures out how to make it; she does it really well. She’s very artsy, very creative and you could tell she loves it.”

This year, Blair has achieved a goal of reaching more than 500 sales on Etsy and She feels accomplished with this. Art is one of Blair’s passions and she is glad to have a hobby where she can enjoy her passion.

“People said you should sell this stuff and Etsy was the easy outlook,” Blair said. “What else is there in life? [Art] is what I enjoy.”