What It's About
A mother of two reconnects with her creative side while stitching a sewing side hustle into her busy life.
Words of Wisdom
As far as long-term goals go, Roula stresses the importance of setting realistic goals for yourself. Think about concrete steps you want to have taken within the next three months, and then the next six. Remember that even slow progress, like working just 30 minutes a day is still progress. And be patient. The business will not boom overnight, so don’t get discouraged. Just keep plugging away, even when there’s sew much to do.
The ancient Egyptians were probably the first civilization to develop special tools to make rope. Egyptian rope dates back to 4000 to 3500 B.C. and was generally made of water reed fibers. Other rope in antiquity was made from the fibers of date palms, flax, grass, papyrus, leather, or animal hair. The use of such ropes pulled by thousands of workers allowed the Egyptians to move the heavy stones required to build their monuments.
Notes from Chris
Episode 656Roula Rallis is no stranger to entrepreneurship. She was surrounded by it all through her youth. Day after day, she watched her parents run back and forth from the restaurant they owned. It was a little Italian place called the Kittery House of Pizza. Her father worked 80 hours a week at the restaurant. Oh, and he only took off two days a year—Christmas and Greek Easter. Soon, Roula wasn’t just watching her parents work, she was working, too. At 12 years old she started biking a paper route. In her spare time, she and her sister folded pizza boxes for their dad, where he paid them 10 cents a box. Once she turned 14, Roula got a job at a trendy clothing store in her hometown. There, she could buy the clothes that her parents couldn’t afford to get her themselves. Roula didn’t dream of becoming an entrepreneur like her parents. It was either feast or famine in her home—some seasons bringing in far more money than others. She didn’t like the feeling of uncertainty. Instead, she put herself through college. While she got a degree in business, she was still adamant about not delving into any kind of entrepreneurial work. Instead, she jumped into the corporate world. As she moved through adulthood, Roula was grateful for her stable income—especially once she had a family of her own. Yet, as time went on, Roula couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something missing in her life. Even though she liked the stability, she had gotten lost in that corporate world … you could say she was hanging on by a thread. Her thoughts turned to an idea she’d once had. Years earlier, she had taken classes on design and pattern making and began to make clothes. She briefly made an Etsy shop before abandoning it. She put her love for DIY projects on hold when she became pregnant with her first child. Now, seven years later, it was time to dust off her old sewing machine. This time, Roula decided that she wanted to try experimenting with rope. She made a basket for her home. Once she finished the first one, she knew she had to do more. It was like she had found a creativity needle in the haystack of life! Of course, she didn’t need dozens of baskets in her home. So she reopened that long-abandoned Etsy shop, which was called the Sewcialite. Before long, it was back up and running and filled with all kinds of new products. Roula made everything from coasters to hanging baskets to tote bags—all out of rope. Roula started this back in March of 2017. A year and a half later, she is bringing in up to $1,500 a month. She knows that there are plenty of ways that she could expand her business, like going to craft shows or doing more wholesale, but right now she’s happy with where it is. Her Sewciliate sewing shop is running seamlessly.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Etsy | Sewcialite: If you're not tied up, head on over to Roula's Etsy page to check out her handmade, rope products!
- Father-Daughter Duo Sells Handmade Looms For Fun and Profit: A customer support manager sees her side hustling future looming off in the distance. You’d better be-weave it!
- Bright Idea Leads Chicago Woman to Million-Dollar Hustle: A Chicago-based plastic recycling sales rep overcomes her fears and doubts to transform her love for DIY lamp shades and $10 in supplies into a multi-million dollar business
- Philadelphia Lover Maps Out $35,000/Year Side Hustle: A neuroscientist turned marketing manager moonlights as an artist, selling original papercut designs on Etsy with very little marketing
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