25-Year-Old Breaks Down How Her Side Hustle Went From Pre-Pandemic Idea To $7K-a-Month Business

microblading side hustle
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The opportunity to make money is everywhere you look. Emily Jump, a 25-year-old marketing coordinator, looked right into people’s eyes and realized there was money to be made with a fascinating side hustle idea.

In the weeks before the pandemic hit, Emily started her first full-time job as a marketing coordinator at a dental office in Columbus, Ohio. Her annual salary was $34,500.

She noticed that even with the pandemic approaching and the world suddenly living life under masks, people still wanted to get their teeth whitened and cosmetic work done.

People still wanted to look good, even with half of their faces hidden under masks or never even leaving the house.

Here’s where Emily noticed the business opportunity and explained what happened next in this article for CNBC’s “Make It.”

“It became clear how significant of an impact the upper part of our faces have on our expressions. I found myself fixated on reading people’s emotions, particularly through their eyes and brows.

So I began researching microblading, a semi-permanent brow-enhancement procedure where small strokes — in the shape of individual hairs — are tattooed in the eyebrow areas.”

When she wasn’t working with the dentist’s office, she attended microblading classes. She practiced for several hours a day for months. Emily eventually got good enough that her “hobby” turned into a lucrative side hustle that pulled in $7,200 per month with just a handful of clients.

“After three months of juggling both jobs, I decided to quit my day job and turn my microblading side hustle into a full-time business. I named it Columbus Cosmetic Ink.

Today, I bring in about $8,750 per month in sales, including tips — triple what I earned at the dental office job.”

Emily shared so of the lessons she’s learned along the way to help other people interested in turning their side hustle into a full-time business venture.

These lessons include creating a business plan, being open to working for free until you’ve honed your skills, continuing to master the craft and loving what you do, and preparing to work hard and make sacrifices.

Her idea of “working for free” is especially fascinating because while she was technically giving her services away, she was building a brand and client base at the same time.

“I used Nextdoor, an app for neighborhoods where you can share local tips, to start marketing my services. I posted ‘Models Wanted: Free Microblading,’ and ended up getting a lot of attention and interest.

I helped people achieve the eyebrows of their dreams in exchange for getting the word out, and gave each person a $100 gift certificate to give to a friend.

Temporarily working for free was something I had anticipated, so I also saved as much money as I could prior to quitting my job. If you can’t afford to work for free, consider charging a small fee to cover part of the supply costs.

Once I had enough clients to post pictures of on my website and social media, more customer bookings poured in. That’s when I began charging the full prices, which vary depending on specific procedures.”

“For me, the silver lining of the pandemic was that it made me realize that life is too short to not do something just because it ‘sounds like a lot of work,’ she explains. “Sometimes, you can’t just wait for an opportunity to arise — you have to create it.”

For more ideas on creating your own side hustle, check out these four easy steps to get your business off the ground.

Chris Illuminati

Chris Illuminati is the author of five books and has written about personal finance, wealth, debt management, and entrepreneurship for numerous outlets including Wise Bread, Grow or Die, and Bankrate.