355
9 min 48 sec

Paralegal Starts Side Hustle During Maternity Leave

After starting her hustle with a friend, this new mom buys out her co-owner and begins earning $10,000/month selling baby items.
Arts & Crafts High Profit Product Retail

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What It's About

After shopping while on maternity leave, a new mother walks away with a lot more than a pacifier.

Business Model
Arts & Crafts
Skills Required
Design & Trendspotting
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

After bringing in less than $2,000 in 2016, Linda managed to average $10k/month in sales in 2017. The best part about that is that since she gets her materials straight from manufacturers (foregoing 3rd party seller markups) she’s been able to consistently bring in upwards of 75% profit margins for all of her products.

If you're trying to cut costs, consider cutting the middleman and purchase your products from the manufacturers themselves!

Fun Fact

Linda has a lot of new plans in the works for 2018 including increasing the wholesale side of the business and developing her own line of baby clothes and shoes. She’s also looking to add a few fresh-faced (they’re babies after all..) brand reps to highlight her modern teething accessories, but for now, she’s comfortable taking some baby steps to get there.

Notes from Chris

Episode 355
Bibs, pacifiers, rattles, teething accessories—there are an abundance of items you need when you start building a family. And this fact was not lost on Linda Trieu—a new mother on a four-month maternity leave from her day job as a paralegal. One day while shopping online for unique homemade toys for her son, Eden, it dawned on her that not only was she spending a lot of money and time looking for these items—she could actually make a lot of the products that she was interested in.

Since she had always wanted to start a side hustle of her own (and there was no time like the present), this new mother decided to do a little something extra with her four months off from work. She’d craft her own line of baby products and sell them on Etsy! After enlisting the help of a friend, the duo got down to business discussing how much they were comfortable investing in this new venture and painting a picture of what their overall vision for the company would be.

Between sewing machines, fabric, teething rings, and snaps they were spending their startup funding for Three Hearts Apparel quickly, and Linda was eager to see some return on their investment. So in March 2016, they launched their brand with braided pacifier clips, bib-danas, bunny ear teethers, graphic shirts, and—of course—onesies. Initially, they tried to use the advertising options available on Etsy but weren’t able to make that work for them since there was simply too much competition on Etsy with so many similar items that were sold at cut-throat pricing.

Linda realized that they needed to sell their products in person so that people could touch them and see how unique and cool they were. She thought that they could start at street markets in the Houston area since there was such a strong “buy local” community there, but Linda’s partner disagreed and wanted to focus on building their website and pushing online sales. At the beginning of 2017, a couple things happened: Linda got laid off from the law firm and she bought her partner out of the business for her original investment.

In 2017, Linda has managed to turn her struggling side hustle around, into a growing and thriving business. After bringing in less than $2,000 in 2016, she averaged $10k/month in sales in 2017. The best part about that is that since she gets her materials straight from manufacturers (foregoing 3rd party seller markups) she’s been able to consistently bring in upwards of 75% profit margins for all of her products.


MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Three Hearts Apparel: If you've got a teething infant, give your jewelry a break and pick up some fashionable teething accessories on Linda's website!
  • Etsy | Three Hearts Apparel: While she's no longer actively using it, here's the first Three Hearts Apparel online store
  • Shopify: Linda used Shopify to set up her store for Three Hearts Apparel, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Download 2017 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC

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Quote of the Day
"Trust yourself and your instinct. I learned the hard way that I had it in me the whole time. Do what you can yourself and if not, don't do it! You should trust yourself and your ability. Nothing is better than hard work because it really pays off."
—Linda Trieu #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau