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Get this:

My wife stopped by a new consignment store in town and found a child-sized cashmere sweater that she loved. 

The problem:

Even on consignment, the sweater was fifty dollars, more than she was willing to pay for an item of clothing that our daughter would outgrow in less than a year.

But she loved the sweater.

So a day later, she returned to the consignment shop with her laptop in hand and offered to barter her design and Photoshop skills in exchange for the sweater, and the owner accepted.

Pretty cool, huh?  I think so. 

I know a few unfortunate souls who won’t even deign to shop in a consignment shop, thinking the clothing unfit for their children or themselves, but not only is my wife savvy enough to find great clothing in these stores from time to time, but now she’s getting it for free.

Brilliant. 

I explained to my wife that this could also be the start of something great:

A newfound career in design. 

I know a wedding photographer whose career began similarly.  Back in 1992, he was a chemist, attending the wedding of friends, and the only one at the wedding with a digital camera (new technology at the time).  When the bride and groom learned that their photographer was in a car accident on the way to the wedding, he stepped forward and offered to take some photos of the day.  He wasn’t a professional by any means, but he thought that some pictures would be better than none.

The bride and groom loved the photographs so much that they began recommending their friend to others for their weddings.  He initially refused, explaining that he was a chemist and not a photographer, but after a barrage of phone calls from people he barely knew, he grudgingly agreed to photograph a few weddings for friends of friends.

Fifteen years later, he’s no longer working as a chemist.  His job as a wedding photographer is his full-time position and he loves it.  He’s gone to school to learn more about the art of photography, and he demands top-dollar in the industry.

All because of a car accident.  

And now, perhaps, because of a sweater.