Name: Megan Hebert
City: New Orleans, LA
Main Hustle: Account Executive for BBC Destination Management
Side Hustle: New Orleans-inspired Artist, Pure Barre Instructor
How did you get started?: After completing my degree in Psychology, I knew I wanted a career that would allow me to engage with people. I also worked in the service industry throughout college, and hospitality seemed to be a great fit to fuel my passion to connect with people near and far. I began my profession with Marriott properties in New Orleans, and I worked in various positions (Front Desk, Sales, Business Development). Each opportunity allowed me to learn the ins and outs of the extensive industry from multiple angles.
After five years with hotels, I joined the team at BBC Destination Management. BBC provides offerings in full-service event, meeting, conference, and incentive travel management. In a city with such rich culture, this position has allowed me to express and share my creative talents with groups from around the world who want to experience our unique city.
While building my hospitality career, I have always had side hustles to allow for extra income and mental balance. Pure Barre provides a supportive community of mentally and physically strong women. I am very passionate about guiding health and fitness into the lives of others. I’ve been teaching for over six years, and I also just obtained my 200-hour Yoga Certification. I plan to continue my education in the health and fitness industry and look forward to seeing where that takes me in the years to come.
On top of my two jobs, my main hobby has always been painting. I grew up exploring ways to apply paint to a canvas with my Grandpa, who was an extremely talented, beautiful artist. The ability to make a vision come to life through paint is such a unique talent I have been fortunate enough to inherit.
Over the years, I painted purely for myself and have just recently built the courage to put my work out in the world via social media. It is scary to be so vulnerable, but I am thankful I took the leap! Painting has now evolved into my main–and favorite–side hustle.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I’m most productive in the early mornings before work and on weekends.
I love to wake up with the sunrise, enjoy my balcony, and witness the city begin her day. New Orleans has a way of swaying to her own beat. Her movement is inspiring and what I love to capture through paint.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: TIME! Between my 9:00 – 5:00 job, teaching Pure Barre, and making time for myself socially and restoratively, finding time to paint is a challenge I face often.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: To have people interested in a piece I have created with my bare hands is unbelievably rewarding. To see my work hung on someone’s wall, making some sort of impact on them, big or small, is most precious to me. I paint custom homes. I have painted New Orleans homes for people who have moved away and want a piece of NOLA to take with them. I have painted first homes for couples wanting to capture the momentous life event. And I’ve painted homes for individuals who just wanted to hold onto a memory. To be able to be a part of such significant and positive memories is incredibly gratifying.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My family and friends. I would not have had the confidence in my art work if it weren’t for them. When I first started selling paintings last year (2017) for Christmas, of course my first buyers were family and friends. Family and friends have been, and will always be, my greatest cheerleaders!
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: My grandpa opened my eyes to the world of creativity and has always inspired me. I also find inspiration in oak trees. Oak trees are some of the oldest creatures we have in New Orleans. Just as my grandpa did, oak trees tell an amazing story if you sit and listen.
Have you received recognition for your work? I just completed my first art showcase with RAW: Natural Born Artist. I was approached by them and figured I’d give it a shot!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: To work for myself. I want to have my own fitness and art studio incorporated into one space.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Make time for you and what you are passionate about. Manage your time wisely because time is the most precious thing we have on earth. Whether you start big or small, just do it—a little each day. We are products of our own ambition, and if you want something bad enough, it’ll happen. Completing tasks and achieving goals requires discipline and focus. In order to achieve something different, you have to do something different. And to me, most importantly, don’t be afraid to be weird. Don’t hold back. Express yourself to the fullest because that is where you will shine and discover what you are truly made of.