Name: Stephanie Weiss
City: Maple Grove, Minnesota
Main Hustle: Medical Device Project Manager
Side Hustle: SW Originals-Acrylic Artist
How did you get started?: I’ve always had a passion for art and design. I got my undergrad in interior design and started my career there. Unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy it as a job, so I went back to school to get my masters in Project Management and now am working full time loving that as my career. However I missed the creative side of me, so I started painting for my home and friends who loved my work. Soon enough a good friend and my husband just kept pushing me to get myself out there, so I created a website, an IG Page, and an Etsy Page. In just six months, I’ve sold 14 pieces of my art, and it’s just getting busier and busier!
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I work out of my home in a spare bedroom! Nothing fancy, but I hope one day to have a studio built in our basement to accommodate what I need as an artist.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Finding time with my full-time job is challenging. I work from home but I also travel, so coordinating time at the end of the day and on weekends is all I got! I also want to do my art when I feel good about what I can offer, not when I’m tired and needing to just get it done. I find that’s when I make mistakes and create pieces I’m not totally in love with. Also just the PR and finance side is something I’ve had to also make time for and learn as I go. Starting a side hustle is so rewarding, but yet it can also be stressful!
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I’ve had a unique journey the past five years of my life. My husband and I have struggled to conceive for quite some time, and after four years of IVF treatments, we finally went down the path of using a surrogate. It’s been such a bittersweet journey because it’s very hard, yet I’ve met so many amazing women who are the core of my support for my side hustle. I do a lot of heartbeat paintings for women who’ve lost babies and women who’ve fought so hard for that baby they’re expecting. It’s so amazing to be a part of their journey and to honor their sweet miracle through my art. I truly, truly love it!
The other reward is that it’s helped pay for this journey to our baby. Surrogacy and IVF is insanely expensive, and I love that my art is also helping to pay for our future baby. Some clients don’t even know how much they are truly helping me out by purchasing art through me. They are helping us get to our baby, and that’s pretty amazing.
Who is your greatest supporter?: I have a close friend, Brandi, who is the reason I started this. I doubted my skills as an artist, and she pushed me and encouraged me that I was amazing and could do this. She’s a fellow IVF sister, and I am so thankful for her. I truly wouldn’t be doing this without her support.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: My greatest source of inspiration is the spaces I’m creating a piece for. When clients send me a commission request, I always ask for pictures of their space. Seeing their design and taste helps me understand which piece would appeal to them and what would fit perfectly in their space.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream is for it to continue to grow so possibly one day I can do this full time!
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Don’t rush success. Take your time to grow, and don’t be discouraged if it’s not what you expected it to be. If you believe in your business, people will follow.