What It's About
A man in Santa Cruz takes a passion and shapes it into a profitable side hustle.
Words of Wisdom
The revenue that Drake brings in with his pottery ranges seasonally, from a few hundred bucks during the slow months to a lot more during the holiday season. Regardless, Drake’s annual costs are more than covered, leaving him with some extra income from a passion that he would have pursued anyway.
Moral of the story—if you're going to do something anyways, why not get paid for it?
To celebrate his very first sale, Drake bought more clay so that he could get back into the studio to tinker with the design of future mugs. He was so excited by the idea that someone wanted to buy his usable art that he couldn’t wait to get his hands back in the clay.
Notes from Chris
Today’s side hustle comes from the beach town of Santa Cruz, California, where Drake Bialecki has two very different passions that he’s managed to integrate into his life. By day he works as a Farm Certification Specialist. Drake provides customer service for organic farmers. He makes decisions that comply with the national organic regulations on new labels, input materials, suppliers, products and new land. This satisfies his passion for supporting organic, sustainable agriculture, but he has another, more artistic passion that he nurtures on evenings and on weekends. As a freshman in high school, Drake took a beginning ceramics class and was hooked. From the very first time he got his hands on the clay and turned it into something usable, he knew that this art form would always play a big role in his life. Throughout high school, he gifted his finished pottery pieces to friends and family and even started selling his pieces. His grandma bought his first decent mug, which as he described it, “I was totally stoked! I couldn’t believe she wanted to buy a mug from me. That moment was a huge confidence booster for me. If it wasn't for the support of my family early on, this side hustle might not have developed at all.” During his time in college, he managed to land apprenticeships at a couple local pottery studios. He noticed that people were most excited about functional pottery—things like mugs, tea cups, bowls, plates, serving platters, teapots and even olive oil bottles—that they could use and enjoy every day. So he naturally gravitated toward creating those kinds of pieces, as opposed to the works of art that sit on a shelf and get used maybe once a year. The revenue he brings in ranges seasonally, from a few hundred bucks during the slow months to a lot more during the holiday season. Regardless, Drake’s annual costs are more than covered, leaving him with some extra income from a passion that he would have pursued anyway.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- @pacificstonepottery: Check out what Drake is throwing on his new Instagram website
- Good Life Ceramics & Dark Horse Pottery: Two of the ceramic studios that Drake was an apprentice at
- 279 Days to Overnight Success: In my free manifesto, I explain the steps I took to start my own blog, The Art of Non-Conformity and gain attention from readers
- GE Engineer Sells Hand-Crafted Slate Artwork to All 50 States: A GE engineer uses his skills to make and sell hand-crafted slate artwork to all 50 states. In addition to bringing in a great side income, it’s also given him more courage and security to make decisions at his day job
- USPS Mail Carrier Makes Clay Imprints for New Parents: How a USPS mail carrier and court interpreter created an $800/month hustle serving new and expectant parents
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