Side Hustle Feature: Meet Beckie Chalmers, Owner of Sugar Mae StudioJun 10, 2022
Q: Introduce yourself and your side hustle/side hustles, and share a little bit about what stage you're at in your side hustle journey.
A: Hi, my name is Beckie Chalmers, I am 34, I have been running my own aesthetic business for 5.5 years. It was COVID that really got me out of my comfort zone - I left my full time job at a local school board and chose to make my business my full time job and I am so glad I did. I had no idea how busy I could be, how many clients I wasn’t serving while only working evenings and Saturdays.
On top of my service based business, I began my side hustle journey in Jan 2021, I began by taking an organic skincare formulation course. I have learnt so much with that course about the skin, ingredients and the rules and regulations. I have chosen not to formulate the products myself and instead work with a lab to create my products.
I am in the soft launch phase of my side hustle in creating skincare products. With having a large client base with the studio I have been able to watch the spending habits of my clients with retail purchases, get feedback and use this information to create what I believe to be a game changer product when it comes to treating and preventing ingrown hairs after hair removal.
Prior to the upcoming launch of this product (July 2022), I was able to have clients test the samples I was given by the lab, so I could get their feedback. This was vital to creating a product that is ideal for different skin types, as well as getting my clients excited for the launch. While I have been going through the process with that product I have been able to bring two other products to market that were smaller initial investments. This to me is important as I continue to establish trust with my clients/customers while getting honest feedback and testimonials before I launch this new product, and look at getting into the wholesale side of retail in the fall of 2022.
Q: Why do you side hustle/or have a portfolio of work?
A: I started my first side hustle (studio) simply because with only my full time job I had a hard time covering my bills during the summer layoff. I did this as a side hustle for 3.5 years, prior to COVID, I knew I wanted 2021 to be my (pivot) year, I planned on only working part time for the school board and would start introducing a few week days to my studio schedule. When COVID hit, I just knew I couldn’t go into different schools everyday and feel confident I wasn’t spreading COVID to my clients. So I made the change.
While I had time off both my jobs, I knew I could take this opportunity of time that was given to me and I could use it to work toward another goal I had. A product line. With having a portfolio of work it allows multiple streams of income, and eventually the freedom to work from anywhere. Entrepreneurship runs deep within both sides of my family. I've been witness to the hardships, the dedication and the success it has brought my family members, and I know I have what it takes to be successful.
Q: Tell us about what side hustling has allowed you to do in your life that you wouldn't have been able to do otherwise?
A: Side hustling has allowed me to feel more confident, meet new people and really be able to go after my dreams. Had I stayed with my full time job, I would still be struggling financially, and I wouldn’t be happy. My goal is to not be relying on the income from my service based business and be able to have most of my income come from the product line, where I am not fully trading my time for money. My goal is to be able to move anywhere and still successfully run my business.
Q: What are you struggling with the most in relation to either getting started or growing your side hustle?
A: I have definitely struggled with sourcing packaging options so far. With the shortage of materials it has been hard to find my ideal packaging, so I have had to go with what is available that suits my needs and is affordable with the goal of changing packaging as more options become available.
A huge goal of mine is to have fully reusable packaging, however in the skincare world, it isn’t as simple as refilling a bottle/jar, they need to be able to be completely sanitized or you risk contaminating the new product. The other struggle with packaging is that many suppliers have very high minimum orders, like 10,000. For a start up business it is not feasible to purchase such a large quantity.
Q: What made you decide to take Side Hustle 101?
A: I have looked at so many of the online courses that come up in our instagram feed, and they all claim the same thing, quick results, just follow these few steps, their course will be 80% off and then actually teach you nothing. I knew this course was going to be different, because it was presented in a completely different way. It was going to walk us through each step in depth, we could do as many 1:1 coaching sessions as we needed, it was going to teach us rituals to help us with time management, efficiency with tasks and we could attend virtual meet-ups and guest speaker sessions with the Level UP community.
This is so unique, it can be hard to ask questions of other small business owners and not feel like your digging for sources and info, but these Q&A sessions allow us to be able to connect with others and ask those questions about getting over hurdles and when to know it's time to outsource, or hire an employee.
Q: If you've started to work through the course (or have gone through it already) and are applying what you've been learning, what has been the biggest takeaway for you, or the most helpful thing you've learned, and why?
A: By far the systems I have put in place to be more efficient with my time. As a busy business owner already, I have learnt to use the small breaks between clients more effectively and how to prioritize tasks and projects. It is important to have things in place that make the day to day operations run more smoothly, and a good work/life balance is important to avoid burnout and to help you keep your passion for your business.
The support from everyone as I work though the course has been amazing, the course has been life changing.
To learn more about how Side Hustle 101 On Demand, in partnership with Canon Creator Lab, can help you to either start or grow a business, hit the button below!
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