518
8 min 55 sec

Speech Pathologist Sells Turkish Tea Towels By the Seashore

When her day job no longer provides her with joy, a speech pathologist creates an online store that helps others make every day more like the weekend.
Blog Product Reselling Social Media

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What It's About

A woman discovers an opportunity to help others live like it's the weekend.

Business Model
Reselling
Skills Required
Resourcefulness & Marketing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Liz kept a close eye on her Instagram growth and used what she learned to start a beginner’s Instagram course for business. She breaks it down into three different sections: 1) the best time to post every day and minutia like that, 2) how to be discoverable through collaboration, and 3) how to dress to impress. Liz says that the other strategies won’t work if you aren’t paying close attention to the overall look of everything. It’s not really for you (shouldn’t include lots of selfies!) and all content should be driven by what your followers want to see with consistent aesthetic and overall look.

People make a split decision when they visit your Instagram page and decide pretty quickly if your feed is something that makes them happy to look at. Be consistent with the overall look of the things you’re putting out there because Instagram is a visual platform.

Fun Fact

When she was considering additional products to offer alongside her Turkish towels, she decided to tackle something called felted soap. If you’re like me and have never heard of this before, it’s essentially a bar of soap with bright, colorful wool wrapped around it that has undergone a felting process. Once felted, the wool is smoothly matted and totally adhered to the surface of the soap. It’s basically an ancient Turkish version of a natural loofah!

Many markets that Liz went to put an emphasis on handmade products, so this was her attempt at producing a handmade product. But it was so time-consuming for the amount you can charge (there’s totally a cap for how much you can charge for a bar of soap), so she abandoned it. Plus, it really took over her entire kitchen, and her husband wasn’t overly thrilled about it.

Notes from Chris

Episode 518

Liz Martin’s mom always told her that “you should have something to look forward to every day.” In 2014, Liz realized that this “something” was completely absent in her life. Although she had a rewarding day job as a speech-language pathologist for a nursing home in Charleston, South Carolina, she also felt a creative void in her life. You see, like many of us have done at one point or another, Liz was working for the weekend.

When things got rough, she’d try to convince herself that everything was okay. She had a good salary and felt that she was lucky to have the job that she had. Still, when something is missing from your life, it’s hard to forget about it.

Liz decided to focus on adding little, happy things to her daily routines—a new journal from a shop she loved, or some fun straws that would add a little color to her drinks. Basically, something small that would bring a little pizzazz or joy to her day. Something she could look forward to when the hours at work started to get to her. Her mother’s words became her mantra and an idea she tried every day to live by.

What does this have to do with starting a side hustle? Well… around this time, Liz had a cousin who lived in Turkey, and she sent over a set of Turkish cloth towels to the family in the States.

These Turkish towels were extra special. The richly dyed, handmade cotton creations were made on a loom, and they had many uses. Picnic on the beach? Bring a Turkish towel to sit on. Whiling away the evening on your front porch with a mint julep at hand? As the sun set, there’s no better way to stave off the chill spring breeze than by wrapping yourself in a stylish Turkish towel.

Since this was the ultimate weekend companion, Liz thought that she could try selling them.

As her sales increased, Liz felt more and more comfortable weaning herself out of her day job at the nursing home. She first dropped down to 4 days a week, then 3, but by late 2016, she was working just 2 days a week while dedicating the rest of her time to developing Charleston Weekender.

When the nursing home was acquired by a new company, they weren’t thrilled with this arrangement. They told Liz that she was welcome to work for them full-time again—but instead, it was exactly the push she needed. It was a great job, but it just wasn’t what she wanted to be doing. Had this not happened, Liz said that she’d probably still be there working part-time and never really taking the leap.

The Charleston Weekender has evolved considerably in two years of part-time work and now one year of full-time focus. These days she’s bringing in anywhere from $5-7,000/month. In addition to product sales, Liz also gets paid for sponsored social media posts, IG classes that she started to help others market their times. She even decided to open up a retail shop of her own!

What about that sense of something missing? Well, the side hustle turned small business has brought Liz the freedom to travel and reclaim more of her time for herself. Best of all, she no longer feels like she’s working for the weekend.


MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • The Charleston Weekender: Learn how to make every day feel like more of the weekend over on Liz's website!
  • Squarespace: The website building platform that Liz used to create her website for The Charleston Weekender
  SEE ALSO:

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

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

CREATE YOUR ONLINE STORE

Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.

Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

Learn More

GET YOUR FIRST 1,000 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

Social media is nice, but building an email list is still the single best way to get customers and clients for your hustle. It's not hard to get started—sign up for a 30-day trial and join the list-building challenge! You’ll be up and running in no time.


Learn More

Quote of the Day
"I notice that doing occasional Instagram live videos and consistently creating Instagram stories keeps my audience interacting with me. It never hurts to pop in to have more face time with your social media community!"
—Liz Martin #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau