Monica: Blogger

Name: Monica Dutia

Age: 27

City: Washington, DC

Main Hustle: Marketing at George Washington University

Side Hustle: Founder & Editor of MonicaDutia.com

How did you get started?: I initially created a blog during the summer of 2012 when I was living and interning in DC. It was food-focused: mostly basic recipes and concoctions I was creating in my apartment. During the following year (my senior year of college), I posted maybe 2-3 times and went beyond just food. During this time, I’d started reading more blogs in my free time and right after graduation, I decided to really run with my blog in a more formal way. I purchased a domain, started posting consistently, and very, VERY slowly, started telling people about the site!

When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I work on my side hustle whenever, wherever! I’m much more of a morning person than a night owl, so I tend to wake up early and aim to get 1-2 hours of work done before heading off to my 9-5. We did recently get a puppy, so the routine has been really off lately! I also make sure to have several hours available on the weekends and work on it most weeknights as well. I’ll also utilize the “Notes” app on my iPhone and knock out written content while on the metro–I’ve found myself to be weirdly productive during this time, and it’s nice coming home with content that’s close to ready to go!

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Making the time to do everything! Having a side hustle means so many more boxes to check, but the other responsibilities in your life still need your full attention, too. Time management is key and while I feel like it’s one of my strong suits, there are definitely times when it feels impossible to get it all done.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I’ve gained amazing friends and a wonderful mentor through my side hustle! There are so many rewards, but that’s probably my most valued one.

It’s also really incredible being able to see the outcome of your work…I really just started my blog because I loved sharing things that inspired or resonated with me, and it’s really cool that people from all over care about the same things!

Who is your greatest supporter?: This is a tough one! I feel lucky to be surrounded by a very supportive group of friends and family. My family is very entrepreneurial so there has always been enthusiasm from their side, and even my friends who don’t read blogs at all offer their advice, encouragement, and ideas, which means a lot! My boyfriend has been a massive help, too…he helps photograph content, weighs in on the admin side, gives great advice, deals with me when I’m stressed (a lifesaver!), and picks up the slack in so many other ways.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I don’t know that I have a specific, great source of inspiration because so much of what I see and do on a daily basis inspires me. Travel does play a huge role, though, as do aesthetically-pleasing things and good food. So, everything I guess?!

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I have a few ideas in mind but being able to work for myself full time has always been a goal of mine. I initially wanted to get to that point in my late 20s, but I feel like I still have so much to learn from others that I’d be content waiting a few more years to get some more experience under my belt.

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

It’s worth the hard work and long hours! Keep trekking on even if things don’t fall into place immediately, and make sure you’re doing what you’re doing because YOU love it! Also, don’t compare yourself to others. People will always have more followers, make more money, and have cooler partnerships. Don’t worry about them–do YOUR thing!

To learn more about Monica and her blog, check out her site, follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

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Ashley: Food & Lifestyle Blogger

Name: Ashley Maiberger

Age: 33

City: Austin, TX

Side Hustle: I have a food and lifestyle blog that involves all things pertaining to motherhood, travel, food, fashion, and beauty. I mostly enjoy creating new recipes and identifying family friendly spots.

Do you have a website or store?: https://www.feedthishouse.com

How did you get started?: I’ve always loved trying new restaurants and sharing recipes with friends. My website gives me a platform to create a community.

When/where do you work?: From home.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Work life balance!

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?:

It thrills me when I get emails or social media comments that let me know I have inspired someone to try something new. I think sometimes as parents we get stuck in a rut with restaurants and recipes and knowing what works. I love highlighting new places for families to enjoy and new dishes to create in their house!

Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband!!!!

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: When I was young, my mother made everything from scratch, and I love spoiling my husband and daughter the same.

Have you received recognition for your work?: I am still new to the scene and climbing, but honestly every like I get on Instagram still excites me. I hope that novelty never wears off.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I dream of having a well-known website with recipes plastering Pinterest boards!

Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?: Patience and consistency.

Check out Ashley’s blog, follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

Haley: Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger

Name: Haley Goodman

Age: 28

City: Southaven, MS

Side Hustle: Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger at Art Fashion Fun (with art by my mom, Sally Wilson)

How did you get started?: My husband, Parker, works for a contracting company that mostly builds hospitals. When the hospital is finished being built, we move to the next place where he is assigned to build another hospital. This makes it hard for me to use my elementary and special education degrees because we are typically only in one place for 1-2 years. So when I left my teaching job in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I decided to dive head first into the blogging world. I had been thinking about it for a long time, and I knew it would be something I could do consistently no matter where we live and how long we’re there.

When/where do you work?: From the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep! My posts go live on my blog, Facebook, and Pinterest at 6:30 am Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and I typically post on Instagram around 8 pm every night. I work from my phone and/or laptop, so I can work anywhere that has Wifi. I do typically work from home though.

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Making myself disconnect. There is always something to do or a new idea that pops into my head that I want to act on right then! Whether it’s content to create, emails to answer, pictures to take/edit/link, it’s hard to turn off work mode and put my phone/laptop away.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Connecting with so many other women! Parker and I have to move so often that it’s hard to create a new group of friends every time we move to a new place.

My blog has become a community that has reconnected me with people I grew up with and connected me with women I never would have met, and that brings me so much joy!

Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband, Parker. My family is amazing too, but Parker has been the man behind the camera for almost an entire year now, and it is certainly not always an easy job 🙂 He has been my biggest encourager and constant source of support.

Have you received recognition for your work?: Being invited to join RewardStyle (most people know it as LIKEtoKNOW.it) after 3 months of blogging was extremely exciting! Working with Neutrogena was also an amazing opportunity.

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: To continue growing my blog, working with brands I love, and helping women find affordable, yet stylish outfits that make them feel confident and look good!

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

Go for it and be unashamedly you! I put blogging off for way too long because I was so scared of what people would think. Don’t let this fear hold you back. Go for it and let your personality shine!

Check out Haley’s blog, follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate!

Caroline: YouTube Blogger, Founder of Online Beauty Business

Name: Caroline

Age: 28

City: Cape Town, South Africa

Side Hustle: I currently have 2 side hustles.

Side Hustle 1: YouTuber

My bread and butter job has always been my Fashion/Wardrobe and Props styling. With that said, I have been surrounded by many international photographers, videographers, hair and makeup artists, and more which catapulted me into the behind-the-scenes life of all things beauty and fashion. I have learned so many tricks to the trade of shopping secrets and beauty hacks that I knew I had to share with the general public. My YouTube channel is always evolving but primarily focuses on Luxury, Fashion, Beauty, Travel, and Lifestyle.

Side Hustle 2: Founder of my own online beauty business, Nordik Beauty

Hailing from the United States, I knew that I wanted to bring cutting-edge influences to the South African market as there has been a big gap in the beauty market there. Thru Styling and Trend Forecasting, an industry that defines beauty, I am able to tell what clients are looking for and I am able to develop my own brands and bring them into the market.

How did you get started?: I knew that I could never be content in an office job and needed to work for myself. I also travel a LOT, so I knew whatever I was going to do needed to be web-based. I would have to say that my YouTube career started out by documenting my travels Vlog style and putting them together as home movies; and YouTube was a place that I could share them with my friends and family. It continued from there as I got many questions about general beauty and fashion, like “What to Wear to a Wedding?” or “What’s the Best Drugstore Foundation?”

Nordik Beauty started purely as a source for me to get unattainable items that I wanted living in South Africa, and if I couldn’t find it in store or online, I was going to have to develop and import them myself!

When/where do you work?: EVERYWHERE!

Working my main job (styling) makes it difficult in season to stay consistent with my other side hustles. I work whenever I have a free morning or even into the night. I can easily work on my side hustles for hours on end.

YouTube – The beauty of the platform is that I can create content around anything that fits my channel. I film most of my structured videos at home and my vlogs and travel diaries I can do on the go. I always keep my camera and editing equipment with me. I pre-film a lot of videos, so I’ve always got something to edit on a plane or car ride to the next adventure.

Nordik Beauty- When I’m not on a TV commercial or photoshoot styling, I am either at home or out in the shops researching new brands and products to bring in for Nordik Beauty. There is a lot of backend work that goes into importing and developing products, and a lot of Skype convos with suppliers all over the world, so I try to find a quiet place with strong wifi!

What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: 1. Finding enough time to dedicate to both side hustles. I have an extremely fluctuating calendar with styling jobs popping on and off my chart nonstop within a days and sometimes hours notice! I always have to be ready to jump on a styling job, so I have to prep and be hyper-organized for my side hustles.

2. With number one being said, I have to make special time for relationships that is uninterrupted time. That means knowing when to put the camera down and enjoy the time with friends and family. Not everyone is as comfortable sharing their entire life like I have become.

What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Watching my side hustles grow. They both literally started from nothing! Zero subscribers, zero sales, nobody, nothing. Just me. I have created something that I can call my own, and I am damn proud of it. I get heaps of private messages on Facebook and Instagram about my YouTube channel, as it’s publicly displayed, unlike Nordik Beauty. Women and men approach me about how I’ve helped inspire them with my positive and effervescent attitude, or how they enjoy watching my videos every week and it’s an escape for them.

When people buy my Nordik Beauty products I get such a thrill because I hand selected each and every aspect of it. The product, the packaging, everything. It’s so cool to see it all come together. I often bring my products to set and get makeup artists to test out new products, and I love when they give me feedback. It helps me make a better end product.

Who is your greatest supporter?: My boyfriend, Clive, has been there every step of the way thru Nordik Beauty and YouTube. He loves the analytics of it all, so it’s great to have someone take a second look into the tech side of things. Because I invest so much of myself into both of my brands, I can easily get bummed out when a customer gives a scathing review or a viewer on YouTube leaves a nasty comment about my appearance or video. He’s always there to help me stay positive.

Also, my mom, Laura. Living abroad sometimes makes catering to the USA clientele difficult. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve shipped returned items to her house from customers, and she organizes all the logistics of the parcels. Or I’m sending product to her to shoot for a new video, and she’s sending it down to South Africa for me. She shares almost all of my videos online and loves when I show her new products for Nordik beauty.

Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I draw inspo from literally everywhere. If you could see my phone camera roll, you would faint. I have over 7,000 images on it at the moment. Mostly screenshots or snapshots of things for inspiration.Pinterest, magazines, window displays, Instagram, products on shelves, color palettes, packaging—I categorize them by album. I sleep with a notepad by my bedside, as I often wake in the middle of the night with an idea for a product or a video to shoot. I am a creative and a thinker, so my brain is always switched on and going down rabbit holes!

Have you received recognition for your work?: Social media shares and web shoutouts are the new age trophy in my opinion. With 2 web-based businesses, a share can mean a new branch on the tree, introducing my brands to potential customers and viewers.

Everyone helps each other grow, so by giving a shoutout, you’re saying, “Hey, I really like what’s happening here and I trust you will too.”

What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: With YouTube the possibilities are endless. A million subscribers, collab with a top fashion or beauty brand, you name it. I would have to say tho that I have a 10-year-old niece here in South Africa, and she talks about her love for YouTube to me often, meaning there are a lot of young girls and boys watching my content.

With a following of 1 million subscribers, you hold a pretty rad power and that’s your voice. I always end my videos by telling people to be kind to one another and I think spreading mass positivity and the message to be yourself is huge!

This is a big year for Nordik Beauty. There are a lot of cool things in the pipeline that I cannot mention yet, but I would love to see it grow into a bigger beauty house internationally and potentially have an in-store deal with a company like Ulta or Nordstroms.

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

We are all in this together. Starting your own business or brand is scary, especially if you are financially dependent on it’s success. Just keep putting stuff out there that you are proud of—you can never be ashamed to share something if it is your best work . There are going to be SO many people along the way that question your plans or make comments behind your back about you going off on your own. Take it as a compliment. People are talking about YOUR business that YOU created. You’ve got this!

Check out Caroline’s online beauty business, Nordik Beauty, subscribe to her YouTube channel for tips on all things beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and travel, or reach out to Caroline via email to connect or collaborate!

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Ashlee: Blogger, Attorney for Creatives

Name: Ashlee Hightower

Age: 33

City: Washington, DC

“Real Job”: Attorney

Side Hustle: Life and style blogger and attorney for creative entrepreneures

How long: 2.5 years

When/Where/How: A typical weekday for me starts early. My alarm goes off at 5:00 am. I love my mornings! I’m most productive early in the day. It’s the quietest time of day. No distractions, no incoming emails, no pings on my phone. I like to tackle my inbox with a cup of coffee. I’ll also get my biggest task for the day knocked out in the morning whether that be a blog post for Cobalt Chronicles or a contract for a Contracts for Creatives client. By 8:30, I’m out the door to catch the train to my 9-5 legal publishing job. On my lunch break, I knock out a few easy social media tasks for Cobalt Chronicles or Contracts for Creatives, which usually involves responding to comments on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and drafting posts for all of those platforms. If I don’t have a networking event after work, I try to squeeze in a meditation class or a spin class at SoulCycle. I try to be home before 8:00 pm every day to cook dinner with my boyfriend, Michael. After dinner and a quick show, I pull my computer back out to finish up tasks for both the blog and my contracts business. I aim to get in bed before 11:00 pm, which I’m usually pretty good about!

 The best part is being able to do what I love, help people, and actually make money doing both!

Greatest Supporter: My boyfriend, Michael, and my parents

Side Hustle Dreams: My goal is to take both of my side hustles full time within the next year.

Contact Ashlee here to connect or collaborate, visit her life and style blog here, and check out her legal services for creatives here!

Photography by Michael McHugh