When Linda Cifuentes was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier this year, her mother, Carmen, braced for five weeks of radiation and chemotherapy.
Carmen scrambled to think of something to help Linda through the treatment. "Jewelry! Linda loves jewelry," said Carmen, who adopted Linda and her two younger sisters from Colombia almost three years ago.
"When we were adopting her, she gave me a paper full of different colors," said Carmen. "She told me she wanted jewelry in all of these colors one day." In the hospital, Carmen brought Linda a beads kit to make her own jewelry.
"It was hard for me after the first chemotherapy, but the beads helped me," said Linda. She made earrings from her hospital bed and scored $60 in sales to the nurses.
In remission since May, Linda founded Linda Designs 4U with her family's help and sells her own handmade jewelry online.
Carmen and Linda also recently secured a $5,000 loan to invest in marketing and packaging. "We're hoping that we can eventually hire a company to help make Linda's designs," said Carmen.
"I would love to have my jewelry in department stores," said Linda. Her other goal is to design gift bags filled with her jewelry and other fun things to donate to kids in foster care who are also battling care.
In a lousy economy, startup ideas can be found in surprising places. We asked Thumbtack.com which opportunities are drawing the most interest from entrepreneurs and their customers.