What Is a Cottage Industry?

A cottage industry is an industry made up of people working from their own homes and using their own equipment. Products or services made from a home-based business instead of in a factory setting are made in a cottage industry setting.

Many people operate their own cottage industries by making and marketing crafts. Weaving, crochet and knitting are among the craft work found in cottage industries.

A good example is Louisa Goodrich, who founded Alanstand Cottage Industries in North Carolina. Goodrich was born in 1856 and died in 1944. She was a graduate of Yale University and a staunch supporter of mountain arts, crafts and cottage industries.