Name: Veronica Hermes
City: San Antonio, Texas
Main Hustle: BA and Master’s Student, and Mom to 5!
Side Hustle: Nuggets4Breakfast, a clothing company
How did you get started?: I want to preface this by saying my life should be a show on Lifetime (or maybe a binge-worthy drama on Netflix, because let’s be real: Netflix is where it’s at). My husband, Kyle, and I started dating in 2014, and we “got serious” in 2015 when we moved in together. I had a child from a previous relationship, Carson, who we had full time, and he had two children, Ellison and Haygen, from a previous relationship who we got every other week.
How I got started is not a simple, one-sentence answer. It’s one major event that started a huge butterfly effect and landed me where I am now.
On June 30, 2015 at around 10pm, my husband received a phone call from a random number. He answered. It was a CPS case worker telling him that his ex had been arrested, and he needed to come get his children. I will spare y’all the sad details, but drugs were involved and the environment the kids were living in was not safe. We were granted custody.
During this time, I was a bartender who was lucky to have a Monday-Friday morning schedule (Thanks, Brittany!). When we got custody of Ellison and Haygen, things got difficult as far as us working. Kyle would have to skip work, I would have to call into work, or we would have to find a babysitter who was willing to babysit for less than an arm and a leg (because that’s pretty much how much daycare costs nowadays). Although it was difficult, we managed to figure it out!
Ellison was only two years old at the time, and she honestly wasn’t phased by the situation. Haygen, on the other hand, was four and could understand that something had changed, seeing as he went from seeing his biological mom every other week to not at all. After a few weeks, I realized that Haygen was going through the stages of grief and grieving over his biological mother. He was sad and confused. I was sad for him and definitely confused as to what to do and what our family’s future would hold. That’s when Kyle and I decided I would quit my job, take Carson out of daycare, and be there for all the kids.
During the next five months, his biological mom would call here and there (two times in six months to be exact, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, me). The kids and I developed a special bond, and Haygen and Ellison started to call me “Mommy Veronica.” (How cute is that?!) Ellison and Haygen’s biological mom was granted two phone calls a week and two supervised visits a month. She missed phone calls and she missed visits, and I was the one who had to put that sweet smile of Haygen’s back on his face. This made my bond with the kids a million times stronger, and Haygen decided he wanted to drop the “Veronica” in “Mommy Veronica,” and I soon became just “Mommy.”
Fast forward: Kyle and I got married and had a daughter, Chandler. I love being a mom, but I felt like a failure because I wasn’t financially contributing to our family. I was tired, but I felt I wasn’t allowed to be tired because I didn’t go to work. When I had a bad day and I was in a bad mood, I felt guilty because how could I have a bad day when I didn’t have a job to answer to? Basically I needed a hobby, and that’s where my shirts come in. At first I did not plan on selling my shirts. I just wanted to make cute clothes for my kids and myself to wear. But people wanted what my kids were wearing, so I decided to make a “VIP” group on Facebook. I became (what I think is) successful quickly, and most importantly, I finally felt worthy again,
PS- We had a fifth kid five months ago! (I know, insert wide eyed/crying laughing emoji here).
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?:My husband and I converted our formal dining room (because who uses a formal dining room when you have five kids, am I right?) into my work area. I work on and off because I have to stop and take care of one of the kids here and there. I try not to work on Saturday and Sunday, but sometimes I get super excited about a design or idea and I can’t help myself.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: I think it’s obvious…KIDS!
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?:
The biggest reward about my side hustle is feeling worthy again.
I was constantly being told that taking care of the kids, cleaning, doing laundry (so much laundry), and cooking should make me feel worthy enough, but it didn’t.
Who is your greatest supporter?:My greatest supporter is my husband, Kyle. My favorite thing about his support is his excitement for my company and its success (he thinks I can conquer the world). He comes up with ideas for designs, models my shirts when I need to advertise them, and is constantly recommending me to anyone and everyone he can talk to (yes, even strangers). He has his own company (reviewthepew.com), and I make shirts, shot glasses, mugs, beer steins, you name it, for him. This is special to me because I believe there is no one more your “worst critic” than your own husband, and it proves he loves my products and thinks they are good enough to sell to his own customers.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: Once again, another obvious one. My husband and my kids are my biggest inspirations.
Have you received recognition for your work? A few of my Facebook posts from my company page have been “shared” by Facebook bloggers, and I have been asked to participate in a few events at the end of the year. It’s not much, but it’s definitely a start!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I am attending the University of Texas at San Antonio and working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and my Master’s Degree in Social Work.
When I am done with school, my goal is to become a Social Worker. I’d like to help troubled children and teenagers. I feel like there are a lot of improvements to be made in the system, and I want to be the one to make those changes happen.
As cliché as it sounds, I’m already living the dream for my “side hustle.” This job is 100% a hobby, and I want to keep it that way. My dream is to become a Social Worker, but my “side hustle” will always be in the background.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
If you don’t love your side hustle, find something else. Your side hustle should be something you enjoy doing.
If you are interested in learning more about Veronica and her Side Hustle, check out her website, shop on Etsy, follow along on Facebook and Instagram, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate.