Hi there! I’m Melissa, the whale-obsessed maker behind Woods and Wool. Today, I want to share my love of the side hustle. The word “hustle” gets a bad rap, but a side hustle? That’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Everyone should have a side hustle. There, I said it. What’s a side hustle, you ask? A side hustle is a way to pursue your passion in a way that can be monetized, or create a beneficial impact for others. In my little corner of the internet, I meet a lot of makers who have monetized their love for knitting and crocheting by starting their own maker business. The best part a maker business, or any side hustle is that it’s on the side. That means it can be in addition to your regular job or family duties, and if you’re lucky - it might even become a full-time gig.
You might be wondering why I’m so obsessed with side hustles, and the answer is that I can’t really imagine my life without them. For as long as I can remember, before I ever even knew what it was, I’ve had a side hustle.
My first side hustle was crocheting. I learned to crochet from my grandma as a kid, and I remember hopping onto my parents’ computer to design a flyer for crochet dishcloths. If I remember right, I’m pretty sure I was charging something like 7 cents per inch. That didn’t last long.
My next attempt at a side hustle came in high school. I played the flute in my high school band, so naturally, my best friend and I threw around the idea of playing flute duets at weddings. That was about as far as we made it.
My third attempt (or at least the third documented attempt) was in college and as they say, the third time’s the charm. I saved up my money from a summer of working two part-time jobs and bought a DSLR camera. I bought my camera with no intention other than having fun and picking up a new hobby, but it didn’t take long for others to see how much I loved it… and so began the side hustle. I started a photography blog, which I was obsessed with just as much as I was with the actual photography. I took on clients, from high school seniors to photographing weddings. It was both terrifying and amazing all at the same time. I was constantly learning, stepping outside of my comfort zone, and growing as a person.
Fast forward to my college graduation and I got my first “real job” in corporate America and slowly, my side hustle began to disappear. I poured myself into my new job, met new friends, and took part in a lot of community activities. I felt like I didn’t have the time/energy/motivation to keep that side hustle going… and that was okay.
It didn’t take long for that itch to come back. After I got married and moved back to my home state of Michigan, I needed a creative outlet. I had a friend who started an Etsy shop and Instagram for their knitting, and was inspired to start my own maker business - and so Woods and Wool came to be.
Woods and Wool started as a little Instagram account and an Etsy shop, but I was hungry for more. About six months in, I started to design patterns. Six months after that and I started my blog. My maker business brought together all the things I love: photography, blogging, and making.
Having a side hustle as a creative entrepreneur fits me the way that Cinderella’s glass slipper fit her. I can’t imagine my life without it. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and looking back I can see how beautifully all my endeavors came together in Woods and Wool. Your side hustle might be different, but finding a way to combine all the things you love is magical thing, and making money at the same time is even better. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s real and it does exist. Whether you’re a maker, personal trainer, or fashionista - you can bring your passions together to form your perfect side hustle.
At the very least, your side hustle can be a creative outlet, self-development, and even job security. You can develop skills like how to run a business, customer service, and general personal growth. The monetary aspect of a side hustle provides a source of income that provides security for you and your family.
The first dollar you make in your maker business is potentially the most proud, fulfilling dollar you will ever earn. You went out on your own and created something that you were able to profit from. But there’s even more to it than that.
At the end of the day, I’ve found my perfect side hustle in the maker world. And you want to know what the best part is? Being able to inspire and positively impact others every single day. Whether it’s through a crochet design, a blog post, or an Instagram Live video, I want to inspire others. Whether it’s a hundred or thousands of social media followers, your friends, or even your dog - don’t shy away from your passion. Embrace it and show the world what it is you love to do. If you are able to monetize it, that’s amazing but even if you never make a dollar, you have the ability to inspire and share your passion with others.
So go out there, find your passion and start a side hustle of your own. Don’t be afraid to dream big, because you never know where it will take you.