Is It Time for a Return to the Cottage Industry?

Bonita Jewel, MFA
6 min readOct 23, 2021
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

When it comes to work, one thing the Covid pandemic taught us is that we have more options than many of us previously thought.

A lot of full-time employees probably looked with envy at freelancers and remote workers who could work from anywhere and set their own schedule.

But most people assumed that just wouldn’t work for them …

Until Covid hit and many people were “forced” to work remotely.

And we learned that with modern technology, it’s easier to do than we had thought.

While many people have gone back to in-person work, an increasing number of workers are looking for ways to work from home.

And the cottage industry could be a great way to launch a work-from-home career.

What Is the Cottage Industry?

The cottage industry is simply a term used for manufacturing performed on a small scale, usually from home, which is the definition I will use in this article.

Interestingly, before the industrial revolution, cottage industries were the primary form of industry throughout the United States, Britain, and many parts of Europe.

With the development of large factories and similar places of work, however, many small, home-based manufacturers went out of business.

They could not compete with the prices and production of large businesses.

But because this is not an article on the topic of economics, I’ll get back to the main subject.

The past decade or so saw an increase in small businesses — among them, the cottage industry …

One cottage (or home, or apartment, or garage) at a time.

“Cottage Industry” Work-from-Home Opportunities

Following are several work-from-home opportunities that could be classified as cottage industries.

They basically involve goods you create at home and sell from home.

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