640
9 min 6 sec

New Yorker Covers Up With Comfy Underwear Line

For years, she wanted her own side hustle—and she finally uncovered it in a drawer of intimate apparel.
Clothing Manufacturing Product Retail

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What It's About

An intimate side hustle for all shapes and sizes!

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Design & Experimentation
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Rachel has already done a lot of work on Jonesy, and since it’s already profitable, there’s nowhere to go but up. With that in mind, it can be helpful to look at what the bigger names are doing. They tend to invest a lot in testing, so often there’s a reason why something is priced or sold in a certain way.

Fun Fact

The total market for underwear in the USA is around $12 billion dollars. It’s safe to assume that women account for the bulk of this market. The average American woman owns 21 pairs of underwear and 10% of women own over 35 pairs. Contrast this with men, where 9% say they own underwear that is at least 10 years old!

Notes from Chris

Episode 640

Rachel Jones knew a lot of people working on creative side projects. She wanted to learn more about how they made them happen—so she started a blog called Industry Of One. The goal was to profile people in the creative space using an interview format. Over the course of a couple of years and dozens of interviews, she started feeling like one day she too, could make a side hustle dream a reality.

Rachel was working full-time as a project manager at a mobile development agency. The work was fine but the idea of starting something of her own never left her. She began brainstorming and, after tossing out a few ideas, landed on a surprising concept. You might say it was like being caught with your pants down.

See, Rachel had noticed the market of intimate apparel for women explode in recent years. She also knew there were plenty of options available for basic undies. However, she firmly believed there was a gap in the market between your everyday basic undies and bras and the more special items one might buy and wear every now and then.

She would fill this gap by designing her own underwear line. Something that would be both stylish and comfy.

The only problem was that she had no design experience! But like many a side hustler before her, she wasn’t about to let inexperience get in the way of ambition. So she began to sketch out her ideal of truly comfy undies using pencil and paper.

After working away for a while, Rachel came up with some concepts she was happy with. It was here that she hit a roadblock. While confident in her concept, she knew there was no way she’d be able to sew and produce the undies herself. So she began asking around for recommendations for a good garment producer…. And she wanted them to be made close to home.

Before long, she was referred to a mom and pop establishment in the New York Garment District. After a few meetings, Rachel believed they were the perfect fit to bring Jonesy to life. She commissioned them to start producing her first batch of undies and samples.

As the brand matured through 2017, Rachel’s skills from her day job came in handy. Most notably, the idea of iterating on the product as time goes on based on customer feedback. Although she didn’t launch Jonesy in that manner, she has used the methodology to refine the product as it matures.

Jonesy is still finding its way, but in doing so it’s generating around $1,500 each and every month. Not bad for what started as a creative side project while working full time.

Rachel’s next goal is to move the project from side hustle into something more like a full-time business over the next six months. For her, that includes increasing the range of products and connecting directly with more customers. She’s excited to continue iterating on her lifestyle brand of not-basic briefs.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Jonesy: If you'd like to learn more about this intimate side hustle, head on over to Rachel's website!


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Quote of the Day
"I wish someone had told me to listen to my customers before releasing an actual product. I’ve always taken a minimum viable approach to building the brand, so testing ideas and styles has always been part of our philosophy. But I wish I’d done more focus groups prior to launching, as it would have taken some pressure off of the initial idea."
—Rachel Jones #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau