Visit Us

Business Inspiration, Starting A Business

5 Side Hustlers Share How & Why They Hustle ✊

5 Side Hustlers Share How & Why They Hustle

Happy Small Business Week to all of the awesome entrepreneurs out there! This week, we wanted to hear from small business owners like you about running a small business. We spoke with five entrepreneurs who work full-time while also running a side hustle. They offer their inspiration and insights to getting started.

Name: Lyle Christensen

Company: Nav Inc.

Side Hustle: Bar Diamond J. Ranch

Side Hustle Age: 5 generations

Kabbage: What kind of business do you own, and how did you come up with it?

Lyle: It’s the family farm. The land has been passed down the family for generations. My dad also purchased land, which we still farm. None of my siblings farm, and out of the total descendants of five generations, I’m the last one left (along with my dad). Because of the housing market in Utah, all farms are turning into subdivisions. This gives the term “dying breed” a lot more meaning to me.

Kabbage: What advice would you give to others that might be thinking about starting a side business? 

Lyle: It takes a lot of time and you have to love what you do.

Name: Krissie Holifield

Company: Nav Inc.

Side Hustle: I am Salt Lake

Side Hustle Age: 2 years

Kabbage: What kind of business do you own, and how did you come up with it?

Krissie: Podcast highlighting small business owners, local talent and people making Salt Lake City what it is today.

Kabbage: What advice would you give to others that might be thinking about starting a side business? 

Krissie: Just start. The longer you wait, the more time is slipping by. All you can do is learn faster

Full Force Ads

Name: Daniel

Company: —

Side Hustle: Full Force Ads

Side Hustle Age: 1 year

Kabbage: What kind of business do you own, and how did you come up with it?

Daniel: It is a self-serve ad platform based on Simpli.fi. Too many businesses can benefit from their technology, but they cannot afford the high minimums. Or they go to agencies where they get far less value if they are a small or medium business.

Kabbage: What advice would you give to others that might be thinking about starting a side business? 

Daniel: Understand the financial side of what is happening. For example, all the development has been paid for, but the provider is requiring an inventory prepay of $10K.

Name: John-Michael Holahan

Company: Lendio, Inc.

Side Hustle: Something Borrowed Bride Rentals

Side Hustle Age: 9 months

Kabbage: What kind of business do you own, and how did you come up with it?

John-Michael: Something Borrowed Bridal Rentals is a wedding dress consignment rental business. So the basic model is: We take dresses from past brides, and when their dress is rented out, they receive a portion of the profits. Plus they can have their dress back whenever they want.

It’s great for us because we don’t pay anything for the actual dress inventory, so we don’t incur any variable costs until we actually make a sale. It’s great for women who own dresses because they likely spent thousands of dollars on their dress, and now they can make some money on it rather than have it just sit in their closet collecting dust.

And of course, the most important thing is: It’s great for brides who want to get a really beautiful wedding gown without spending thousands of dollars themselves. Our rental prices range from $200 to $550, and we are talking some really, really nice gowns by big designers (Maggie Sottero, Alta Moda, Vera Wang, etc.)

My wife originally wanted to do a formal dress rental shop. I really didn’t want to do it. But she persisted, and finally, I agreed on two conditions.

One, we would be in a specific, focused market instead of just all “formal dresses”, so we decided on wedding gowns.

Two, I absolutely didn’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an inventory. At first, I wanted to be the “Uber of wedding dresses” – connecting women trying to sell their dresses with women trying to buy them. But that didn’t seem easy to do (or very profitable). Finally, we decided on having a storefront (we used our living room for a while) and taking dresses on consignment to rent out. It’s really quite a novel idea, and nobody else does it. But looking back, it seems like an obvious concept. I’m glad we stumbled upon it.

Kabbage: What advice would you give to others that might be thinking about starting a side business? 

John-Michael: I would say it feels better than you think it will. It’s just so cool to have an idea and then make it a reality. So do it. You are capable; your idea is doable; anything is possible. Some problems will seem too tough to figure out. Those are the ones that are the most satisfying when you solve them. The world needs your idea, so get going!

Name: Krista Fabregas

Company: Fit Small Business

Side Hustle: Texas Taste Roundup

Side Hustle Age: 3 months

Kabbage: What kind of business do you own, and how did you come up with it?

Krista: TexasTasteRoundup is a subscription box brand featuring an ever-changing array of made-in-Texas specialty foods, treats and artisan creations. My seven-to-eight item Roundup Box and smaller two-to-three item TexasTasteTwoStep Box ships to subscribers once per month. Each month, I use social media posts to chronicle my journey to discover Texas’ top tastes and to highlight the unique places and people I meet along the way. Plus, I share each featured brand’s story in box inserts and ongoing social media posts.

I’m a born-and-bred Texan who’s lived all over the state, so coming up with a roundup of Texas flavors is second-nature to me. I’m also a die-hard, open-minded foodie who happens to be a former retail buyer and $1M+/year ecommerce business owner. I already had contacts throughout the local specialty foods market plus a thorough knowledge of ecommerce site building, marketing and fulfillment. Coming up with a Texas-inspired food-focused concept and content, plus a website, marketing plan and supplier base was a pretty natural fit for a side-gig.

Why this business model? This business model actually is a perfect side-gig for both experienced online sellers, like me or newbies for several reasons:

  • Purchasing is based on a known amount of orders, not on forecast guestimates
  • Funding for monthly boxes is predictable so it’s easy to start and operate on a shoestring
  • Low-cost marketing is readily available via social media
  • Marketing is easy since it’s tied to your personal faves and the journey of crafting a selection each month
  • Purchasing, fulfillment and shipping is a once-monthly task, not a daily task like standard ecommerce
  • Subscription websites are extremely easy to launch with subscription commerce platforms (I use Cratejoy)

Kabbage: What advice would you give to others that might be thinking about starting a side business? 

Krista: Look for the low-barrier-to-entry models to preserve your pocketbook! If you want to make money online, you can test the waters with nothing more than a time investment. Set up a blog and social channels and create content around something you have a passion for. Try out some zero-startup-cost income opportunities like affiliate marketing, print-on-demand goods and maybe some dropshipping. If your audience is responsive to your content site, try moving into a direct-sales model like subscription boxes. Done right, you can combine several strategies to create multiple income streams, and it’s all manageable in your spare time.

Want to learn more about the Kabbage process? Check out these helpful links:

Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.