What It's About
A D.I.Y. hobby using upcycled materials turns into a profitable side hustle.
Words of Wisdom
As she was quickly outgrowing the limited production capacity of her bathroom, Jen decided to raise her prices. And, in a story as old as time, the higher she raised her prices, the more she sold!
While it may seem counter-intuitive, sometimes going with the lower price isn't always the best route for your side hustle. Use A/B testing to help you determine what rate best fits your product or service.
Jen may have turned her side hustle into her main business, but she still likes to dabble in new side hustles from time to time. Occasionally she'll pick up a few old ones as well!
Having sold all of hers before the market crashed, Jen can’t resist buying rare beanie babies whenever she sees them for sale.
Notes from Chris
Jennifer Brown has been side hustling since she was ten years old, starting with selling beanie babies on eBay to dogsitting for $30 per day. She even tried re-painting abandoned furniture from an alleyway, but it wasn’t until college that she found her stride. At a college craft show, Jen saw a liquor bottle with lights inside of it and, always looking for a DIY project, Jen decided to make one for herself. Once she’d placed Christmas lights inside a painted liquor bottle, her friends kept asking to buy one from her so, like any good side hustler, she started selling them. Within one week, Jen had her first sale for $60. She sold a second lamp later in the week for a total of $100 in revenue. Jen started looking around for other things on Etsy that she could create and recalls that the moment she realized she could turn $10 in supplies into a $300 light fixture, as the moment things really started to take off. But for years it was only a side hustle as she worked her day job as a sales rep at the recycling company. In fact, it was her day job that made selling on Etsy so easy. Her background in sales, marketing, graphic design and SEO put her leaps and bounds above other home-crafters selling their wares on Etsy at the time. The Etsy side of Hangout Lighting took three years to grow to $1 million in sales and, between her various online channels, she now brings in about $70,000 per month. And yet the fears that she felt when she started have never really gone away, only evolved as she’s grown. With larger orders and bigger clients come greater expectations. Every day, she realizes how much she still has to learn.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Hangout Lighting : Take a look at more of Jen's upcycled creations on her website
- Etsy | Hangout Lighting: Check out the million-dollar Etsy shop that Jen created!
- EXTENDED CUT #6: The Million-Dollar Etsy Shop: Most Etsy shops don’t make money—or if they do, they make a small amount of money. But some make a lot of money. What separates them? This special episode takes a detailed look at what sets them apart
- Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, Houzz, Groupon, Jane, eBay: The various e-commerce platforms that Jen used to sell her products on
- 7 Steps to a Successful Start on Etsy: Starting a new business on Etsy can feel overwhelming. Find out how to make the process more manageable (and fun!) by following a few simple tips
- 4 Ways to Improve Your SEO and Increase Your Traffic: Here's a quick look at how you can improve your Etsy shop's visibity online
- Social Worker Turns De-stressing Hobby Into $2k/Month Hustle: A lifelong crafter who makes jewelry to cope with the stress of working in the mental health field launches an etsy store and gets her items featured on several major TV shows
- British Man Builds Terrariums for £600 Monthly Profit: An avid plant collector in the UK makes the most out of a temporary unemployment situation by building and selling glass terrariums
- IT Manager Unlocks the Secrets to a Successful Etsy Shop: Always up for a challenge, this IT manager discovers what it takes to stand out on Etsy, and creates a vintage antique style shop bringing in an extra $1,000-2,000 a month.
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