Monday, November 3, 2008

Marketplace Mavens: Jessica Forbes of

note: Marketplace Mavens are women who use their hobbies and interests to make new friends as well as money.  Join me weekly on Mondays as I highlight a new Maven!

Since I received my invitation to join this week (they are so busy adding people to their site that you have to sign up on a waiting list!  Talk about great success!), I thought I would highlight Jessica Forbes, Ravelry's co-founder, as this week's Marketplace Maven.

As with a lot of great business ideas, Jessica's was born out of frustration.  Loving to knit, but frustrated with the lack of easy-to-find, reliable knitting information online, she wondered if there was a better way. Fortunately for her, she was married to a computer programer.  Her vision plus his skills, and Presto!, an online community for knitters and crocheters, was born!

As of September, Ravelry now includes over 182,000 members, with even more waiting to be added daily (note: the wait isn't bad--only about five days for me.).  Once a member, you have access to all sorts of goodies, like patterns and yarns, forums, blogs, groups, and more! Jessica's vision for a place to find quality knitting information has definitely evolved into much, much more!

Here are two things I like about Jessica:

*  She doesn't work alone.  Like a lot of mavens, Jessica is one-half of a dynamic duo.  The other half is her husband, Chris.  Together they are taking crafty entrepreneurialism to the next level.  And certainly their "two is better than one" arrangement is paying off well.

*  Jessica uses her business to create community.  Ravelry isn't just a site to look at patterns or buy yarn.  It is a place to connect with others, post profiles and blog entries, participate in forums, ask questions, and make friends.  Knitting is one of the best "communal" hobbies I can think of, and Jessica (and of course hubby, Chris) were very wise to use technology to foster that community.

If you like to knit or crochet, hop over to today and put your name on the list!  Not a knitter?  Then visit Ravelry to see how Jessica and Chris have used technology to foster a unique community and earn some revenue for themselves in the process.  Maybe their creativity will spark an idea of your own!

Interested in reading about previous Mavens?  Then check out the links below:

Also, don't miss my current series, Deviancy 101, where I talk about departing from the "9-5" beaten path.  There are new Deviancy posts daily!

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