Name: Anna LeDonne
City: Covington, LA
Main Hustle: I work as a communications strategist for a female-owned, boutique PR Firm in New Orleans called Gambel Communications. I handle media relations, community relations, social media, and special events for a variety of clients including The Historic New Orleans Collection, Gardner Realtors, and Canal Place, as well as some exciting events like New Orleans Bike to Work Day and Tall Ships New Orleans. I also head up Gambel’s graphic design needs including branding, logo creation, content creation, and ad design. I have a background in writing, editing, marketing, and advertising, so public relations is a natural fit. I love my coworkers, and I especially love my job’s creative nature, flexibility, and the incredible people I get to work with on a daily basis.
Side Hustle: My side hustle is continuously evolving. I am a creative person, and my outlets come in many different forms, which consequently can make my side hustle sound a little sporadic. Currently it looks like a lifestyle blog focused on all good vibes: wellness, mind+body, travel, and food, plus my designs of original artwork and handmade crystal jewelry, which is where it all started. I’m also passionate about branding, graphic design, hand-lettering, calligraphy, and all things spiritual.
How did you get started?: When I graduated college, before I got a “big girl job,” I started working in my aunt’s jewelry supply store. I loved the crystals and beads and then started making some designs for myself as a way to save money on expensive jewelry. Not long after that, family and friends wanted me to make pieces for them, so I began selling customized pieces, tailoring each design for my clients. I realized that this was something I could do to make some extra money, and it was the perfect activity I could do in my spare time. This led to selling at markets and at home jewelry shows for “Anna Liv Design” back in 2012.
Designing jewelry for clients evolved into calligraphy and hand-lettering for clients, and as my skills evolved with graphic design, I started offering branding and logos for clients. AnnaLivDesign.com developed as a place to sell jewelry and all of the other goodies, but I also wanted it to be a space where I could share my passions for interior design, DIY projects, food, health, wellness, travel, and spirituality.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: At my house in Covington, Louisiana, in the evenings and on weekends. I have an “office” in my house but usually work on the couch at my coffee table or in my kitchen.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: I actually wrote a blog post on the “Side Hustle Struggle” here. I define the side hustle struggle as this:
While many people are trying to achieve the elusive work-life balance with their 9-5 jobs, people with side hustles are trying to achieve work-life-hustle balance. The “life” part of the scale gets divided up into tiny quadrants of side-hustle time, time with your partner, family time, and time with friends. It’s basically a fight against time, and you really have to decide what is the most important and where you want to spend your energy.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?:
The biggest reward for following my passions is just being able to follow my passions.
The fact that I get to do these things at all are the biggest rewards for me. Hopefully others like my designs, and I can inspire some people along the way.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband, Vinnie, for sure. Like I said before, my side hustles are varied and can sometimes seem sporadic. No matter what passion I decide that I am chasing on that particular day, Vinnie is always my cheerleader. And on days when I feel overwhelmed, he is there to give me a solid pep talk and help me divide my tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. He is a wonderful coach and entrepreneur, and he even helps my non-linear mind with spreadsheets and business advice.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: Life is my greatest source of inspiration. I get so many hits of inspiration when I am out for a walk or driving through the city. Any time I can create space and clear my mind, ideas for new designs, business ideas, and writing prompts will pop into my head. For creative inspiration I love Pinterest and Instagram. And for business expanders, I love podcasts and other blogs. I am constantly educating myself and on the lookout for things that light me up!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream for my side hustle is for it to keep evolving into something that I never could have imagined. I want to one day be able to support myself from things that I am passionate about. I hope to inspire others along the way, helping them learn from my journey and spreading good vibes.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?: Focus on what lights you up and take actions to make those things happen! Don’t compare yourself to what you think you should be doing or what the industry standard is. Just be yourself and keep going.
It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel like you are so far behind where others are in their journey, but you shouldn’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
I struggle with this all the time, but don’t stop when it gets hard. Keep it up, you got this 🙂