When I was nine years old, my Mother taught me to sew on a vintage treadle sewing machine. That started a fifty year love affair with creating and sewing. I didn’t sew during my career in the insurance industry, but even before my retirement, I was thinking about what I could do with my love of sewing. This was the start of Marilyn Arnold Designs, or as I have referred to it “My Second Act”. As I have learned since then, I am not unusual in the fact that many retired people are looking to a second or in some cases a third career. Those of us who managed to survive the corporate world don’t want to go back; therefore, we are becoming entrepreneurs. 20 percent of all new businesses are being started by people in the 50 to 59 age range, and 15% were 60 and older.
I began my business with $12,000 that I had in an IRA; and have been fortunate enough to pay my own way. It gets tight sometimes, but I find that is when I pay more attention. I have learned many lessons the hard way, but isn’t that how we learn? My happiest hours are spent marketing, networking and creating my designs. It’s a wonderful way to get to know more people. Creating items from my designs gives me such a sense of satisfaction knowing what I have done will be cherished by families for generations.