Name: Nikki Vidal
City: Birmingham, AL
Main Hustle: Formerly a substance abuse counselor and now working as the Intake Coordinator and Lead Assessor at The Recovery Resource Center in Birmingham, AL, working to connect those suffering with substance abuse to the services to help them beat addiction.
Side Hustle: I make handmade jewelry, as well as repurposed vintage pieces. My shop name is Moss and Fern Treasures. All of my pieces are packaged with mental health facts to help break the stigma against mental illness. I am working on getting into some markets for next year, but as of now I am only on Etsy.
How did you get started?: I have always been creative and love to make things, but I got started around two years ago when I found out that my godson was diagnosed with autism. I started creating bracelets to spread awareness of autism and to raise money for the cause. While doing this I realized that I enjoyed making jewelry as a hobby and that many pieces that I found in the store I could make on my own.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I currently make jewelry out of our home. Our dining room table makes an excellent work bench!
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: I found out very quickly that it is very difficult to successfully sell jewelry on Etsy. There are so many competitors, and traffic on my page has been slow. Another challenge is time. I love making jewelry, but working an 8-5 job doesn’t provide much free time in the afternoon after I’ve taken care of errands in the evenings. I make pieces whenever I find time, and it provides me with an outlet for my stress.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Making jewelry is both stressful and stress relieving at the same time. I’m such a perfectionist in that I won’t say that I am finished with a piece until I absolutely love it. It is such an amazing creative outlet though, and it helps take my mind off of any other stressors going on at the time.
Who is your greatest supporter?: I would have to say that while my husband is a great support for me, my mom is really my biggest supporter for my jewelry making. She has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and has always told me that I am capable of anything that I put my mind to. Plus she’s the one that I run all of my finished pieces by—if Mom approves I know it’s good!
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: Well, as my name implies, I love nature. I love all aspects of nature, and I try to incorporate that into my pieces. I love using gemstone beads, animal pendants and beads, and my new found love: crystals! Many of my pieces are colors that would be found in nature; I use a lot of blues, greens, and grays.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: Honestly I would love to take this thing full time! Even though I started it out as a hobby and just to raise awareness for mental illness, I would love to see it really take off and be able to do this full time and still be able to support my family. I would love to eventually get my mom involved and have the two of us making pieces all day!
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Never give up. If you have a passion for something, then don’t quit it and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish what you are after. Also don’t get discouraged because it doesn’t pick up as quickly as you would like for it to. Lastly surround yourself with supporters. We all need that hype person in our lives pushing us to go for our dreams!