“Best job I ever had, because I got to be with my kids and do something I feel complete at doing everyday.” My mom would state this to me as I entered into my fourth consecutive side hustle job as a vintage clothing online shop owner. For 26 years my Mom has worked as a vintage dealer. I have seen her own side hustle start and still run strong to this very day. I grew up as a baby being carried in cardboard boxes, as my mom visited stores she was dealer at.I sat in cars full of crusty gold as we went up north hunting at garage sales, antique markets, and anywhere something cool could be lurking. When I became older and was finding my own way, my heart always came back to my mom’s endeavors as a working saleswoman of her own. She built her legacy herself and everyone in Minnesota that is someone in the junk world knows my mom. Which to be honest is perhaps boasting but I haven’t been to one antique store where someone doesn’t know her and plus she is my mom after all.
I always had my mom’s vision in doing what I wanted for myself and taking the initiative to get that done. That’s why I started my first online business when I was out of high school. I sold random clothing items and costumes that I made. I then had to close my store for a time to focus on another creative career that I wanted to flourish in.When that didn’t work out, I came back to the online shop, but this time I wanted to take it more seriously. I edited everything from the name, the look, and the items I would be selling. I loved costumes so much at this time in my life. I began making costumes that ranged from post apocalyptic marauder outfits, to European noblemen, and many other villainous or rugged hero type getups.It was a success! I had custom orders that I was fulfilling every month, as well as selling my own main pieces that I made for the shop inventory from time to time. It was a side hustle I loved but my life outside of that job was pulling me away from it, and I had to again close my shop.
In the past 2 years, I reopened my online shop and also ran a full fledged physical store where I was part owner. I altered the product of my shop to vintage attire and small goods. The online shop was kicking butt. I was gaining a loyal following of people who trusted my products, and my esteem to be honest, detailed and to the point.The motto of my shop was to form who you were, and I was merely the one to give you the means to find those pieces. The brick and mortar was a great networking tool for me, to get my face more seen and meet others in the community.I met a lot of great people through the shop but the profit wasn’t there, and I took my full time service to my online gig. Thus, I moved on from the brick and mortar. I began working at a warehouse, taking photos, investing in a better camera, searching for products everyday, and setting up listings everyday. From there I branched out to pop up shows in the Minneapolis area.
I did a few pop ups when time was available, and got to be part of the bigger community that was beginning to grow in this hustling business. I was able to support myself and I saved up for my next big adventure, which was to go back to school.For me I love selling vintage clothing but I wanted to try my hand again at education. Feeling ready and knowing the direction I could take, I began working another job, easing off a bit on the online shop. I was able to fund enough money to actually move to the west coast, begin my education, and be able to support myself on the money earned from my online shop.I achieved one dream of being able to sustain on a side gig, but I saw it not as a side gig but as a feeling of doing what I felt completed a great chapter of my life, and enabled me to go to the next chapter of the one I am on now. Just as my mom had said, but now I was adding to a legacy I was born into, and one I always know is still in my blood. I was born to hustle.
Love this story? Share it on social media to vote! Check out the other finalists here: 2019 Side Hustlin’ Student Scholarship Results Page.