What It's About
When she leaves her old life behind, this designer turns to watercolors to fill her time...and her wallet.
Words of Wisdom
Renee is an avid believer that if you write out your goals, you’re more likely to make those goals happen. She sets daily goals for herself because she firmly believes that it’s good to look at tasks from a day to day perspective and it’s satisfying to check things off as she goes. It’s an added boost of accomplishment!
Fortunately, she has plenty of paper to write down her goals.
Renee's first sale was actually from a neighbor. She had no idea he knew about her, and he had no idea he was buying from her! She refunded the shipping and personally delivered his order to him.
He was a little confused at first, but they had a good laugh about it and he and his wife are still customers of hers today.
Notes from Chris
Renee Gutzwiller has always had a bit of a creative streak, and these urges were heartily encouraged by the creative role models she had growing up. Her mother was a full-time photographer, and her grandmother had been a seamstress. Paired with the business acumen of her entrepreneurially inclined father, Renee was on the fast track to learning how to pursue a creative career. Renee went on to get a Master’s degree in Design Management and landed a role as a User Experience Designer for a tech company in Charleston, South Carolina. But despite the creative elements of her day job, Renee realized that she still wanted more. She fell in love with watercolors, and she started filling her home with her works of art. The move to Charleston brought many changes. Far away from her friends and daily routine, she found that she needed something a little more substantial to fill her free time. What she needed was a side hustle. Inspired by the beauty of this old coastal city and its influx of tourists, Renee decided to start painting watercolors of the area and selling them to visitors eager for a keepsake to take home with them. She called her company Island Haus Paperie, and decided to start selling her watercolors in the form of prints, cards, notepads, and of course, stationery. When she first got started, she sold her products in person at market events and on her website, but these days you can find her products in 10 different stores, 8 of which are located in Charleston. So far she’s selling around $1,000 each month in product, and after her printing expenses, Renee clears approximately $700 each month. Her profit increases each month because she’s starting to print larger quantities, which makes her printing cost go down tremendously. She has a lot of plans up her sleeve, and this is one side hustle that she won't be watering down.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Cat Lover Creates Cat-tivating Portrait Series: A 21-year-old college student combines her obsession with pets and love for painting to pay her way through school with customized animal portraits
- Artist Turns Daily Commute Into $5,000/Month Side Hustle: A painter uses her love for her hometown and her last $100 to start a side hustle creating art that pays real money
- Host a Birthday Party, Drink Wine, Make $2,000: A birthday “paint and sip” celebration becomes an accidental side hustle, providing a sustainable income for an artist in between day jobs
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