I’m a stay-at-home mom – my “home” business brings in up to $30,000 a month and it started in the kids’ room

TERRA Osman showed how you can be both a stay-at-home parent and an extremely successful business owner.

The 37-year-old mother-of-two expects to bring in $30,000 a month in income from her third baby – her Farmish business.

Terra Osman created Farmish, a platform that connects communities to local food sources

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Terra Osman created Farmish, a platform that connects communities to local food sourcesCredit: Terra Osman

The Farm and Food Market connects communities to local food sources and helps them buy and sell local produce, backyard chicken eggs, garden supplies and more.

The company launched in March 2022 – eight years after Terra, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, left the workforce to raise her children.

At the time, Terra had spent years in nonprofits and sales, but didn’t see her career moving in those directions, and the cost of daycare was high.

She told The Sun: “I wasn’t happy with the job I had, and my husband at the time had a good job, and more importantly, he had good insurance.”

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If the roles were reversed, Terra said her husband Adam, 39, who works in marketing automation for a tech company, would have gladly switched roles.

The way to start

After staying home with her kids, Terra started learning web development and found a few small projects here and there.

But the pandemic has brought a much bigger opportunity on the table.

In light of supply chain issues, families were looking for more local food sources, even turning to neighbors who grew produce and chicken eggs.

This is how Farmish was born.

When Terra first went to meetups and local business competitions, she felt like an outsider.

“I really felt out of place,” Terra said.

“The first question was always what is your background? “Oh, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for eight years.”

While building a prototype for Farmish, Terra began connecting with farmers on TikTok, building an integral audience that would help the app get nearly 50,000 likes in a single weekend.

Today, Farmish has over 190,000 downloads in the United States and Canada.

But Terra is blunt: the process to get here was full of winding roads and a good deal of knowledge gaps.

“Lots of googling,” Terra said of how she got started. “That’s how I got all the skills I have.”

She paid $1,000 to build and launch the app initially.

She also read a lot of books, constantly playing audiobooks while she did the dishes, got ready for the day, or spent time with her children.

To create the first pilot product for Farmish, she used a low-code platform called Bubble.io, which allowed Terra to build a product without all the computer knowledge one would acquire with a traditional degree.

Without a professional network, Terra said it was difficult at first to convince others to believe in the idea, but she persevered.

“Even the idea was greatly underestimated at first,” Terra said.

“Like, oh, it’s a great idea, but you can’t make it work. And I just think there was a lot of skepticism.

Once the app was fully launched in March, built almost entirely from its children’s playroom, Terra found that families were connecting to their communities and getting customers without having to create their own websites or pay for advertisements.

Farmish’s original model was to charge per ad and have monthly fees for unlimited ads.

But over time, Terra realized it wanted to remove the barriers preventing local families from starting their own businesses, and the fee ran counter to that mission.

“I wanted to remove all barriers to starting a business,” Terra said.

“So we made this big change. We had to go back and tell everyone, “No, no, we’re not going to charge anymore.”

Instead, Terra works with brands in the home and garden ecosystem to advertise on the platform.

Today, she has already won $14,500 in business grants and $20,000 in pre-seed investments for Farmish.

She is also in talks with regional and national brands that are expected to generate around $30,000 in revenue per month by early next year.

Challenges along the way

When Farmish finally came out and exploded, as thousands joined every day, Terra said she faced the biggest hurdle.

“It was just me alone in my kid’s playroom, trying to figure it out and having so many negative comments,” Terra said.

After connecting to its local startup ecosystem, it gained developers and resources to help with some minor issues.

The balance

Balancing the role of stay-at-home parent with a growing business has its challenges.

Terra often sacrifices her own sleep and work schedules in pockets of time on weekends or during her children’s naps.

But with her husband’s support, she said she was able to make it work.

“I say this with all the privilege of having a very supportive partner and a stable home life because I think that’s important when we talk about how we make things work,” Terra said.

When Terra first became a stay-at-home mom, she said remote jobs were limited.

But alongside the pandemic, a new wave of work norms has emerged, and it’s allowed parents to choose to be home with kids in ways they weren’t able to before. Terra said.

“This generation of parents is really empowered to step out of traditional nine-to-five jobs, especially with kids, especially with the cost of daycare,” Terra said.

“Families can now really get closer to an ideal balance.”

Remember that with all the side hustle and business ventures, you have to report your income to the IRS.

Otherwise, you risk being audited and facing heavy fines.

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Another side business is selling Costco products.

A 21-year-old shared how he made $80 every five minutes with a free app.

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