What It's About
Two friends help tongue tied couples put their love into words.
Words of Wisdom
If you were looking to start a similar business, Alicia says you have to have to be fearless in putting your name out there. You may waste some time, or lose some business cards, but eventually, it’ll lead to clients.
They even invested their time into free work at Yelp Elite events to help drum up more business, and Yelp is still their second biggest driver of clients.
Alicia and Angie actually found their first customer on Craigslist. She was looking for a writer to help her write a rhyming poem for her boyfriend's 40th birthday party. They contacted her, offered their help, and what they learned from helping her became the basis of their process. To celebrate, they ordered their first batch of business cards.
Notes from Chris
Alicia Ostarello’s Side Hustle started out like many good side hustles; as a simple favor to a friend. As she reached an age where engagement photos started to take over the late night party pictures that usually clogged her Facebook newsfeed, she found herself sitting in the audience at more weddings. While many of the ceremonies were touching and heartfelt, she sometimes found herself at a ceremony where the vows and speeches were choppily written, generic, or even confusing, leaving the crowd in a state of bemusement. These encounters left Alicia—who had just gotten her MA in Creative Writing—feeling that surely she could write something better. While Alicia has always been blessed with a quick pen, some of her friends were not, and several even reached out to ask if she could write their wedding vows for them, at least two of them in a mad, frantic rush the night before. That’s when it hit her: if her friends were asking her for this service, there would probably be strangers who would be more than happy to pay for the service too. After all, people hire florists to arrange the flowers, bakers to bake the cake, so why not a writer to write the vows?! Alicia reached out and asked her friend Angie if she’d like to join her in this new endeavor. She said "I do"—and the pair set out to work on their joint side hustle together. In their first six months, Vow Muse made just about $500, but since then their income and number of incoming clients has grown tremendously. Since the beginning, Vow Muse has provided over 300 clients with the perfect words for all different occasions, and that extra income has helped the duo out significantly. This additional income source has especially helped Alicia who used it to completely cover her health insurance last year since benefits are not readily available for freelance writers.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Vow Muse: If the thought of giving your Best Man speech has you anxiously reaching for a bottle, check out Alicia and Angie's website!
- The New York Times, The Daily Mail, & The Today Show: Check out some of the media coverage that Alicia and Angie's side hustle has received
- Weebly: The platform that Alicia and Angie used to create their first website iteration for Vow Muse
- Chicago Psychotherapist Becomes Ceremonial Wedding Officiant: After being featured on TLC, a Chicago psychotherapist and marriage counselor becomes a ceremonial wedding officiant
- Designer Illustrates Success with Personalized Wedding Products: A graphic designer in New York City taps into the wedding e-commerce market and turns her side hustle into full-time work bringing in multiple six-figures
- Wedding Bells Ring Brighter if the Bride’s Not Broke: A New York professional rents high-end accessories to brides who want the glam without the buck
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