I have been officially unemployed now for 30 days. Holy shit! Really? Time flies when you don't have a routine. It has been weird, not having to set my alarm and spend the bulk of my day away from home toiling for someone else. I can't say I am making the most of it though, I have been sleeping more than I should, and spending far too much time goofing around online. Some of the goofing is actually market research for my self-employment. The past few evenings I have been working on my business proposal to the State to get hooked up with their Self Employment Assistance Program. I have hit a bit of a snag. Well, a conundrum actually. Originally I had planned on using my "vanilla" business idea of repurposing and refinishing furniture as the ideal plan to lob at the State. I don't doubt that I could make okay money at this, but it would be labor intensive, and the cost of bare materials could be high. But as I have been delving into the market research for my other, totally not vanilla, business idea, I have realized that it has the potential to be a decent money maker with minimal actual upfront costs. The idea? Fetish gear. Yes, hand tooled leather bondage gear. I have ample experience with leather work and leather tooling, and have been keenly searching for a line of marketable items, as well as a reasonably untapped market. What did I find? The thriving, underground Kink communities around the world. There is an entire world out there that most people are basically unaware of. I knew it was there, and have been wading the shallow end of the pool for a bit. It was a chance outing in Portland, and the last minute walk up Burnside and past Spartacus (a fetish wear store) that made the lightbulb go off in my brain. I had wanted to do tooled leather corsets but knew just how costly and time consuming they would be, so had shelved that idea. Walking past Spartacus I suddenly thought of hand tooled leather manacles, collars, ankle restraints, matched sets, the combinations are endless. It sent my mind into that frenzy of design that hits when I come up with an idea. I set things in motion, found an online community to start getting my name out there, doing market research, testing the waters so to speak. It took a while to finish the first prototype wrist restraints, and they are lovely. I need to perfect my technique a bit, streamline the process, tweak and tune. I posted pictures and have been getting amazing feedback, including a number of people wanting to know if I make them for sale. So far so good. Now comes the tough part, selling the idea to the State without it sounding quite so kinky. It is a fairly untapped market, the responses I have received are proving that to me. But how to tone it down? Make it a bit more "vanilla?" I will sleep on it. Hopefully it will come to me in a dream. But I think I am on the cusp of something rather awesome.