Damn Good Idea

Just keep going. You know what you’re doing, and this is a damn good idea.Meredith: Athleisure Boutique Owner


Corrie: Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach & Musician

Name: Corrie Marie

Age: 26

City: Baltimore, Maryland

Main Hustle: New wife! I’m all about that side hustlin’.

Side Hustle: Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach by day: Focused on teaching individuals to take ownership of their health and empowering them to do it consistently and effectively. No need for dieting—just form good habits.

Musician by night (or really whenever): I work in several local churches and around the nation traveling for retreats, conferences, and seminars. Beyond that there is a side of music which we like to call “human music.” It’s a singer/songwriter atmosphere that takes us into people’s homes to create those intimate connections that everyone longs for. It’s the raw and real kind of music that tells a story and takes you on a journey. It may even sound a little bit like your own story as you listen, and that’s what we’re after.

How did you get started?: A few years ago. I left the gym I was working at to pursue my music career full time. Once I got the hang of it, I thought, “Why not do it all?” That’s kind of why I say they’re both my side hustles. I’ve always felt a deep connection between my physical and emotional strength, so pursuing both of these arenas at the same time only felt natural to me. The association between them helped me become a better trainer because I could relate with people on a more personal level. In writing and singing, knowing more about their everyday health journey made my music even richer.

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I train down at Under Armour Performance Center powered by FX Studios, in addition to coaching nutritional habits online. Most recently I’m starting a habit-based coaching curriculum which has me really excited. This can be done anywhere for me, as well as for my clients.

Singing takes me all over, but I spend most weekends at a couple of different parishes in Baltimore.

Every day looks different. Some days I’m in the gym for half the day and then whisked away to an event for music. Other days it’s all day strumming away and stretching these vocal cords.

When I go to write for an album, I usually have to find some uninterrupted time to be still and listen. Creativity requires me to shut out a lot of the everyday noise.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Having multiple side hustles makes organization my biggest challenge. I have a manager who (siting next to me right now) is helping me stay on top of my music career. In order to be the best trainer I can be, I need an environment that pushes me. That’s why I train at the gym and not in people’s homes to make sure that the time we have is efficiently and intentionally used. There’s a tendency to waste a lot of time when you’re not organized, so these things are so important for success. The online training is the latest way I’ve combated this challenge. I recently got a certification to teach a year-long curriculum, and I can do it from anywhere. This allows me to help more people when the gym has its off hours or I’m not booked for a music gig.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?:

It’s all about helping other people. I get to help people get healthy through testing their physical boundaries. With regards to music, I get to be a means to reflection and growth in a person’s mind and heart. Both of these side hustles to me are about FREEDOM and helping others break free from their own limitations.

Who is your greatest supporter?: There are many, but I cannot forget my husband, David, my parents (dad cries tears of joy a lot), my home church, and my manager, Melinda. These are the ones who day in and day out are praying for me, pushing me, challenging me to be better, and encouraging me through all the good and the hard. My mentors especially, who are basically my life coaches, help me navigate the many obstacles that pop up through life and entrepreneurship. Each person offers a different perspective and has different gifts to lend!

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?:

The depth of the human person really inspires me to always be thinking, searching, and bringing out hope in people. It really inspires everything I do because I believe that our life experiences impact the way we think and act, and we sometimes don’t even know why we do something.

I’m inspired by FREEDOM that comes from hope. Hope that someone will be able to physically achieve a milestone. Hope that through a song, they’ll see a part of themselves that has been hidden for a long time, and in uncovering that piece of themselves, they come to life in a whole new way.

Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below: I wrote a song that won a contest, earned an opening spot at a big fall festival, recorded a single, filmed a music video, and got me mentorship for music for a whole year. Oh, and they gave me and my church a bunch of instruments to upgrade the ministry and give the youth I teach the tools they need.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream is that everything I do can be integrated into a seamless brand of who I am and what I do. That when people see Corrie Marie, they know they will be fed by the music, they can turn to me for questions about health, and they can know that I am a coach who will walk with them step by step to create necessary habits for a better lifestyle. I want my clients and my friends to know their strength: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Dream Big: there are dreams in every heart that we know as a kid and our parents tell us we can achieve. Yet somehow the world at large has a way of shutting us down and giving us a “dose of reality”. The only reality about it is that the world at large is wrong.

There are few that take what they know is true and run after it with their whole self. But those are the ones that truly live life to the fullest and will say they gave it all they had.

It’s not easy to start out on your own, and you may be the only one carrying your vision, but if you can tell people WHY you do what you do, they will come along side of you.People aren’t as interested in the WHAT or the HOW of your business: they want to know why you’d give everything up for it.

Learn more about Corrie and her Side Hustles by checking out her music on her websiteInstagram, or Facebook, her fitness on Instagram, or reaching out via email for more information on her music, as well as her online coaching.

Feature Photo and First Two Images Below: Meaghan Clare Photography


Meredith: Food & Lifestyle Blogger

Name: Meredith Tolleson

Age: 26

City: Birmingham, Alabama

Main Hustle: Senior SEO Coordinator for automotive advertising agency

Side Hustle: Food and lifestyle blog that provides the modern Southern woman with easy recipes, entertaining hacks to impress your guests, and other lifestyle tips to achieve  a fun and hospitable life.

How did you get started?: I’ve always had a passion for sharing recipes and entertaining. It’s how I show my love! I tried to start blogging when I graduated from college and actually landed my first job because my employer thought it was very admirable. My first blog (under a different name) fizzled out due to the fact that I really didn’t know what I was doing, and I put all of my energy into my first job.

After I left the start-up world, I began working on the digital team at an advertising agency. I was brought on to manage and edit on-site content for the SEO team. I soaked up everything within the first few months on how to work on the backend of websites, optimize for Google Search, and how to effectively set up a blog.

Personally I felt really uninspired because I had no creative reign within my current role. I also wanted to see if I could start something from scratch and get it ranking organically on Google. So I built my own blog and began driving traffic almost immediately!

I started the Instagram page as a way to push extra traffic to my site, while the organic traffic slowly built… this takes time!

The blog has grown into a true passion project and has opened so many doors for me that I could never have imagined. I have full creative control and am able to share the things I love, test marketing strategies, and help promote local businesses (which is something I am also passionate about).

Getting involved in my community has always been something I had longed for, but I didn’t know how or where I would be needed, and starting this blog has been the answer. I wake up everyday excited to grow The Southern Source as a brand and continue to connect with my local and online community!

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I work on it during my lunch break, at night, and sometimes on the weekends.

In the beginning (the first 6 months), I was working nonstop on it. Now I’m happy that is running more on auto-pilot, and my workflow has become more efficient.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?:

Balancing my full-time job and family has been the biggest challenge. I had to be selfish for the first few months and made sure my husband knew all the sacrifices we would have to make. I was HUSTLING in all of its meaning. Getting something off the ground is hard work and stressful. Not just for the entrepreneur, but for everyone involved.

I work in a high-stress environment at my full-time job, so sometimes I became overwhelmed with all the things I had going on and would forget things outside of work that were important to me and to other people. It’s imperative to know when you need to take a step back.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Networking and getting involved in the community! I love meeting people and helping small businesses. I have loved the chance to connect with like-minded women on my social platforms and also be able to meet local business owners to help with their marketing!

Who is your greatest supporter?: My mother is my greatest supporter. She has helped me in so many ways with my side hustle. Running errands, helping with photoshoots, and just making me laugh.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I get a ton of inspiration from traveling. Even if it’s traveling to new places within Birmingham. There is so much going on here, and it’s so exciting for those of us who grew up here calling it “Boring-ham.”

I also get inspiration from other bloggers and friends who have amazing taste!

Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below: Yes, I was featured in our newsletter once, and our owner says he reads the blog.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I would love to go part-time doing my blog and part-time doing marketing consulting

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

Surround yourself with positive people who truly support you and have your best interest.

To learn more about Meredith and her Side Hustle, visit her blog, follow along on Instagram, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

Feature Image by Lindsey Ann Photography

Images below by Lindsey Ann Photography

Kitchen Headshot by  Iron City Photo

Christina: Social Media Consultant

Name: Christina Oyler

Age: 29

City: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Main Hustle: Digital Media Manager- I started my career in Advertising at Red Square Agency in Mobile, Alabama. While there I realized my attention to detail and interest in understanding people’s behaviors made media planning a good fit for me. After that I moved to New York City for three years and strategized and executed ad campaigns up to $5M for brands like Pfizer, Under Armour, Chloe, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, etc. Now I work for an agency in Chattanooga, Tennessee where I’m enjoying the Southern lifestyle again!

Side Hustle: Social Media Consultant- Chattanooga is a hub for entrepreneurs and startups who don’t have huge budgets for advertising. I’ve seen how social media can impact businesses’ bottom lines through free content (blogs, photography, videos). I work with small businesses on how to leverage social media to spread their mission and drive business!

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: After work and on the weekends, I work on social media. I’m a fan of 7:15 am meetings at the local juice or coffee shop for discussing client strategies.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Finding freelance teammates whose work ethic and style align with mine. Since I’m on the business side of things, I often have to rely on graphic designers, photographers, and website designers to implement my strategy!

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I’ve been able to connect with so many small business owners in Chattanooga, particularly in the health & wellness industry, and I know I’m helping them reach new customers.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My boyfriend, Raffe (@raffephoto). He’s a photographer/videographer, and he encouraged me that I could take my passion of networking and helping others and make it a profitable side hustle.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I’m a big fan of podcasts and gain a lot of inspiration listening to them throughout my day. I love learning that everyone started their business with a small idea, and you don’t have to be the smartest, richest, or most popular person in a room to make your business grow.

A few of my favorites are:
-Super Soul Conversations
-the goop podcast
-The GaryVee Audio Experience
-How I Built This
-Being Boss

Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below: Protege Member 2017-2018- Young Professionals of Chattanooga/ Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce: I was chosen as a member of a small, professional cohort in Chattanooga. We met with industry leaders and were able to get a glimpse into their career growth, challenges, and work/life balance.

iProspect Quarterly Value Award- Agile: The definition of hustle! I got an award at my agency in New York for being able to gracefully handle multiple clients and shift from team to team semi-effortlessly.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I’d love to create my own clean beauty/lifestyle brand and use my experience marketing these brands to grow my audience.

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:

If you have a passion for something, see how you feel trying to make money off of it!


To learn more about Christina and her Side Hustle, follow her on Instagram or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

Make Time For The Things That Make You Happy

People often ask how I find the time to paint on top of the other demands of my life, but you learn to make time for the things that make you happy.Samantha: Artist


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