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9 min 48 sec

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.
Arts & Crafts Creative Engineering Mechanical

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What It's About

A GE engineer creates more job security at his day job with his hand-crafted slate artwork side hustle.

Business Model
Arts & Crafts
Skills Required
Artistic & Mechanical
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

A reoccurring theme in many of the episodes this week is to find a way to monetize skills you already have. As a mechanical engineer, Andrew had hands-on skills working with a variety of materials, and one day, Andrew decided to experiment with slate.

What started as a home project and a new roof quickly took off into a nice side hustle when he realized how versatile the material was. You could do a lot with slate, he learned, and it wasn’t that difficult, and there weren’t a lot of other people using it so creatively.

For a next step, he decided to make Pennsylvania-shaped (his home state) cutting boards out of locally reclaimed slate. That’s how he ended up on Etsy, which seemed like a natural fit for such a thing, and that’s when he received that email notifying him of his first sale. It wasn’t a technical glitch, of course, it was real money! And it felt great.

Fun Fact

One of my favorite parts of the story — Andrew also mentioned that his division of GE has been transferring a lot of work out of town and that they recently asked him to move to Chicago. He did not want to leave his home, but, of course, it’s scary to say no when your company makes such a request - but that’s exactly what he did. He made it clear that he liked his work but the relocation was not good for him personally.

Knowing that he has the side hustle to fall back on if they completely shutter the plant made it easier to decline their offer. This kind of security is extremely valuable. Andrew is excited about the future and has an ambitious plan set in place for Bison Hill Stonecrafts.

Resources

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Quote of the Day
"I never have to buy another birthday, wedding, anniversary, or house warming gift ever again. I can create a personalized gift that tops just about anything I could get in a store. Also, I feel like every day I get one step farther away from depending on my full time job."
—Andrew Church #SideHustleSchool

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There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!





To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau