Name: Lacie Phillips
City: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Main Hustle: Wife and Momma
Side Hustle: Owner of Wisteria Way Designs, LLC
How did you get started?: I started sewing when I was 8 years old but dropped sewing in middle school and high school. I picked sewing back up as a way to pay for groceries in college because my part-time job just wasn’t cutting it. My passion for sewing only grew from there. It wasn’t until two months after I had my third child that it hit me that I needed to stop dreaming about one day being a designer and just go for it. So that’s what I did.
I feel like if you want to be something, you have to convince yourself first. So I told my best friend who had her own photography business that I wanted to start my own business, and she said, “Let’s get you started!” So she helped me make a website, and that’s really when I knew I was going to succeed.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: At my home, in my car, wherever I can.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Honestly—and I feel like other mompreneurs out there can relate—getting phone time. My first job is mom, so there are always kid noises when I am on the phone. And also mom guilt. A lot of my job is staring at my phone connecting with people or sitting behind a sewing machine or pouring over my iPad drawing. I hate having to tell them mom is busy.
Also I am very passionate about my business, but that can sometimes blur into being a workaholic. I will choose working over sleeping until it becomes detrimental. So balance is a challenge. I never steal time from my family, but I do steal time from myself.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: All of it, haha! I had so many goals when I started my business. I wanted to show my girls that you could be more than just mom. When you become a mom, or at least when I did, I lost sight of who I was as an individual. It’s easy to do because everything begins to relate to your child. But with my business, I was able to find my passion as an individual again. Giving that back to myself was such a reward.
I also wanted to show my children that they didn’t have to be whatever was conventional. They could follow their own path and succeed if they put the work in. I wanted to show them that hard work, and I feel like I have started making an impact. My oldest daughter is six. She used to come to me to be a customer at her restaurant where she would play the waitress. Then one day she came to me as the owner. Then, just a few weeks ago, she came to me and asked me to help her write a business plan for her restaurant. She is six! But she sees the process, and she is acting it out.
Another thing I wanted was to support other women. I wanted to create a brand that would build women up and become a community where women felt uplifted and supported.
I can truly say I have a beautiful network of amazing women who I call my tribe. I cheer for and support them, and they cheer for and support me. When you have a safety net that big, it’s easy to jump without fear of falling.
Who is your greatest supporter?: I call them my tribe. My husband is my biggest fan, my biggest supporter, my sounding board, my best friend. But I also couldn’t do it without all of the amazing women who are just a text away to hype me up, support me, love on me, show up for me, and always celebrate my victories.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: Sometimes it is just the fabric itself. I work with reclaimed fabrics mostly. They have stories and personalities all their own. I try to imagine the person who originally made the elements and what they purposed it for.
Sometimes it is people I meet or see. Not so much what they look like but who they are. It really all depends on the situation.
Have you received recognition for your work?: I have been published many times for my styled shoots which show off my gowns.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream…I guess I want Wisteria Way to be more than just a brand or service. I want it to be a verb. I would love for women to get to go the Wisteria Way at least once in their life—to feel beautiful, supported, and look amazing in a custom gown. I, of course, have a list of celebrities I want to dress. I would love to design at least one gown for the MET Gala. I want to be able to sit in a restaurant and overhear a bride squealing about the experience she had at a Wisteria Way Designs store. I guess it all boils down to wanting to make a difference.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Find something that you are passionate about besides just making money that you can tie your business to. Because no matter how passionate you are about your job, it is still a job. But if you can find something that inspires you to tie to your work, you can ride the passion even when the money isn’t worth it.