Name: Marjory Oliva
City: Evanston, Illinois
Main Hustle: Mom of two and Property Insurance Underwriter
Side Hustle: Artist
How did you get started?: I have loved creating as long as I can remember. When I was five years old, I loved collecting wallpaper samples and would dream of finishing a dollhouse. At age 9 I drew wedding dresses and imagined I’d be a fashion designer one day. When I was twelve, I taught myself how to use a sewing machine and made curtains from repurposed fabric. When I was in college, I tackled my first quilt over spring break when others were in the tropics.
Creating is in my DNA. I was HGTV before it existed. I was DIY before it was cool.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I have a home studio that I can pop into on nights and weekends. Occasionally you will find me there in the wee hours of the morning. I took over the spare bedroom and turned the walls into my easel so I can work on more than one canvas at a time. It’s unusual to have more than thirty uninterrupted minutes to work. I have to be ok with that! Quite often one or both of my kids will also end up joining me. I installed the track lighting myself, something I’m very proud of
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: What isn’t? My full-time job, my desire to be a present mom to two littles, the self doubt and fear that creep in and say you are wasting your time.
It’s a daily struggle, but one that is so worth it.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?:
Art is my therapy. I love movement and color and making things with my hands. It says I was here. My children see me following my passion for no other reason than because it brings me joy!
My art also connects me to people I wouldn’t have otherwise met.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband has supported me in every crazy idea I’ve had. He treats art like it is my job!
My partner knows creating is in my DNA. He doesn’t try to understand it; he sees my eyes light up and my energy when I talk about my work, and that’s all he needs to know.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I am inspired by the whole world around me. Texture, color, and movement especially. Color is my jam; I love how powerful it is. Creating spaces that make you want to sit and stay a while is what I love.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream is that my side hustle become my main hustle.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Don’t stop moving forward, even if it’s one little step each week. It’s important. You are important.
Also find a group of people pursuing a side hustle as well and support each other.