Closings and delays

How to turn your hobby into a full-time job

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- You know the saying, "if you love what you do, it's not work."

Sharita Benson was laid off three times in the tech field, but says it was a gift, because now she is living her passion.

"When the job market tanked, my company did massive layoffs. They laid off like 300 people in one day," says Benson, of custom clothing website bysbenson.com. "So I took my severance package and decided to give myself a chance. I spent like all my time honing my skills making clothes."

Bysbenson.com sells custom made clothing for plus size women. "I knew what I wanted because I've been plus size all my life. I've sold to customers in Europe, Asia, Australia."

Benson says turning a hobby into a full time gig can be challenging. "You have to be willing to learn all parts of the business because it's just you. I learned how to take really good photographs for the website. Now that's a side business of mine as well. "

Benson is one of several local entrepreneurs who will share their stories on how they turned their crafts into cash Monday from 6-8 p.m. at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship at 1451 S. Elm Eugene St. in Greensboro. The class is free, but participants are asked to register at fydctc.eventbrite.com.

"Everyone will have the ability to meet all of these people and find out some other tips, tricks and secrets to be successful. Greensboro is a great community full of makers and people doing things that others can learn from," said event organizer Chisa Pennix-Brown.

"I can do something else, we always can do something else; but this, it's just my spirit, my soul, it's just like this is my journey," Benson said.