What It's About
One mom crafts a heavenly side hustle with a little help from above.
Words of Wisdom
To get started in jewelry making develop a line of at least 5 pieces, get feedback from friends and family. Then create an Etsy store, trademark your name (or use your personal name), have consistent branding, and sell, sell, SELL!
A traditional set of rosary beads contains five sets of ten beads separated by larger beads in between each set. Most rosary beads are created from glass, plastic, or wood.
Notes from Chris
Episode 807When Maria Laurin had her first child she knew she couldn’t go back to her day job in a bank. Hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet was much more alluring than counting other people’s deposits all day. But how would she make her dream a reality? She started by selling items on eBay shortly after her son was born. It was good for a while and lucrative enough to generate a nice side income. But it was also exhausting. Listing products, shipping them out every day, and dealing with customer questions was a lot of work. More importantly, Maria just didn’t enjoy it. Around this time, she also began volunteering at her kids' school. They had a charity gala coming up and needed some help making rosary beads—and Maria jumped in. The school provided her with the necessary beads and equipment. It turned out that Maria had a real knack for it, and in no time at all, she’d crafted some beautiful pieces that caught the eye of a lot of people at the school charity gala. It was at this gala that an unsuspecting Maria found a customer, for a business she hadn’t even conceived of yet. A friend saw the rosary beads and asked if she could create a custom set for her daughter as a gift. This friend was very specific about what she wanted in the coloring and sizing. Since Maria had enjoyed the process so much, she lept at the chance. That custom order led to another, and another, and another. Before she knew it, Maria had created a handful of custom pieces and, almost as if guided by something greater than herself, had become a jewelry maker. But transitioning it to a business? She wasn’t so sure about that. Then, one night she had a vision. A north star was leading her to Etsy.com. … Or actually, her mom said, “Why don’t you open up an Etsy store?” So she did, and she named that store Willow and Bee. There have been a few trials and tribulations along the way. One of the issues is not trademarking her name. In hindsight, she thinks she should have done this from the very beginning as there are now a few other, non-related companies that are using the same name. She also admits that she doesn’t always enjoy keeping up with records and receipts. But in the end, those are small problems. Maria’s faith in the path helped her create a great little side hustle that has changed her life for the better. In the last year, her Etsy store has generated over $20,000 profit, and that doesn’t include sales from the Von Maur department stores, which significantly increases that. Although she makes more margin on her Etsy store, the volume that comes through Von Maur makes up for the difference. All those sales have improved her family’s life. She’s been able to save up and buy a car, go on vacations, and do a lot of things that would not be possible had she gone back to work. It also allowed her to eventually move to homeschooling her children, bringing them even more time together. A little faith, a little hustle, and she’s exactly where she needs to be.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Willow and Bee: From starting out with rosaries on Etsy, Maria now has her own full e-commerce site. Check out her entire, beautiful collection
- Shopify (special offer): Maria's current site is built on Shopify. Start your own e-commerce site with an exclusive offer just for Side Hustle School listeners — 10% off your new site for one year!
- Etsy: Maria first started her side hustle by selling her rosaries on Etsy
- Firefighter Uses Chainsaw for Jumbo-Sized Woodworking: Taking advantage of some downtime, this Alberta firefighter picks up a chainsaw and begins carving out life-sized wooden bears. He sells his creations to universities, restaurants, and anyone who wants a unique (and large!) handcrafted item
- Crafter’s Shop for Dreadlock Wearers Unlocks $3,500/Month: A product manager uses skills as a crafter to design accessories for people who wear dreadlocks, generating $3,500-4,000/month in product sales
- Hand-Stamped Feminist Jewelry Earns $25,000 Side Income: She’s loud, she’s proud, and she’s wielding a hammer to smash the patriarchy with her hand-stamped feminist jewelry line
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