Stanislaus County workers increasingly are going it alone. They’re creating one-person companies and depending on their own wits to earn a living.
About 7 percent of the county’s adults — 25,236 residents — reported income from go-it-alone businesses in 2007, according to tax records accessed by the U.S. Census Bureau. This doesn’t include business owners who have employees.
The number has risen steadily this decade.
Working alone was never Anna Harris’ plan.
She earned a master’s degree and a credential to be a school counselor. Harris lost her counseling position last year, however, and she hasn’t been able to find another. Although she landed a restaurant job, she needed more money than it provided.
“About six months ago, I started my own online business,” Harris said. Her site sells handmade and vintage goods. “My shop is picking up momentum and doing quite well.”
Harris also sells items at the Turlock flea market and offers bartending services.
“After eight years of undergrad and graduate schooling, I never thought I would be a Jane of this many trades,” said Harris, a Turlock resident. “But in today’s economy, you have to get creative to make ends meet. I’m 27 and thought at this point in my life I’d be happily working as a school counselor, but … I get a wonderful sense of self-worth from all of my on-the-side endeavors.”
Photo by Modesto Bee.