What It's About
Two experienced New York entrepreneurs tap into the urban sweet tooth with their desserts-only festival.
Words of Wisdom
Having worked in events and seen how challenging it can be to make money, Miraya and Liang tried their best to build a business model that didn't depend on sponsorships to make a profit since that's something they weren't able to control. Instead, they found ways to cut costs and focused on building a strong marketing and advertising campaign on social media to get the word out.
There are plenty of free resources out there that you can use to market your side hustle. Figure out who your audience is, determine which platform will best advertise your message, and focus on building a strong, recognizable brand.
The sweet tooth wasn’t an invention of Twinkie manufacturers. Many ancient civilizations had forms of dessert, including fruits and nuts candied with honey. Forms of sugar began to be manufactured in the Middle Ages, but the sugar itself and any confections made from it were prohibitively expensive and only favored by nobles and the wealthy. Ice cream, invented by the Chinese perhaps as long ago as 3000 BC (pre-refrigerator!) might be considered the first authentic dessert. Dentists cheered.
Notes from Chris
Here at Side Hustle School, we think goals are a pretty good thing. And when the side hustle goal is dessert—and we mean a boggling array of tasty treats—there’s just one word to describe it: sweet. But Dessert Goals, the dessert-event brainchild of New–York based event entrepreneurs Miraya Berke and Liang Shi, is worth many sugary sentences, not just one word. Dessert Goals is Miraya and Liang’s production company for periodic dessert festivals in New York and Los Angeles. If you think “festival” is too lofty a word for eating sugary morsels with your friends, you haven’t been to an event produced by Dessert Goals. The two women shared a delight in finding and eating quality desserts together, and since Miraya is an event planner and Liang is a freelance designer who works on events, it was a candied certainty they’d come up with the concept. After securing the number of ticket sales they needed, Miraya and Liang cold-pitched vendors on the concept, creating a deck that explained the idea, venue photos, and their bios. After the first festival, vendors saw the success of the event and started reaching out directly to them. They invested $10,000 in their first event and made $5,000 each in profit with the biggest upfront cost being $5,000 venue deposit. The second event notched them $10,000 profit each, and the next close to $20,000 each, with all events again going viral through Facebook. That word “sweet” comes again to mind.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Dessert Goals: Satisfy your sweet tooth, and join Miraya and Liang next year at Dessert Goals 2018 in NYC or LA. Visit their website for more information!
- SquareSpace: The website building platform that Miraya and Liang used to create Dessert Goals
- Dessert Goals | Vendors: The vendor lineup for this past year at Dessert Goals 2017
- PR Consultant Launches California Restaurant Week: A PR consultant in Long Beach, California, earns an extra $20,000/year producing an annual “restaurant week” that brings together chefs and new diners
- Candy Heart Hustle Becomes Six-Figure Second Income: After being unable to find branded candy hearts for a client, a marketing executive decides to create her own
- Subscription Box Service Delivers Candy from Japan: An expat living in Japan packages candy twice a month and sends it around the world to hundreds of people who pay $29/month
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