Starting & Growing A Side Hustle

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Tell us a bit about Layers and Loops!

Layers and Loops began my freshman year of college when I just happened to fall into the art of jewelry making. My days are spent going to school and growing my business in my spare time. This has given me the opportunity to do so many cool things such as create a website, attend tradeshows, and make custom pieces. What started as a hobby of making simple jewelry for myself has now grown into a business!


 

Have you always had a passion for jewelry? How did it develop over the years?

I haven’t always had a passion for jewelry. When I was younger, I would wear jewelry on occasions but I was never bothered if I forgot it. My passion for jewelry really started my freshman year of college. This was also when I started dressing cuter and less casual on a day to day basis so I think jewelry just came along with that. Somewhere in the midst of this, I started loving jewelry and wearing it every day, which led me to making my own.


 

Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry lines?

I find inspiration for my jewelry lines by creating pieces that I want to wear for myself. I usually dress up for an event and then create something to go with it. These are the pieces that usually go on my website. I always want my lines to be consistent with my own style and have jewelry that I’d want to wear. I also love getting to take inspiration from pieces that have caught my attention and make them fit my own style too.


 

Running your own business is a huge undertaking! What inspired you to start Layers & Loops while still in college

When I began making jewelry for myself, I had friends who would ask me to make some for them too. After doing that for a little bit I decided to make an Etsy shop out of curiosity. I’m not sure what I expected but it definitely wasn’t what it’s come to be. I never would’ve thought it would become this big or take up this much of my time. I just pictured it as more of a little side hustle. Everything that’s come out of it has taken me by total surprise.


 

Do you find it challenging to run your own business and keep up with your school work?

It definitely can be a challenging undertaking, especially during the holiday season. There are times where I’ve had to stay up way into the night just to get pieces done to ship off the next day.


 

What lessons has God taught you along the way?

More than anything, God’s taught me that he’s completely in control of all of it. Any opportunity that’s been given to me or anything that’s been taken away or shut down has been totally out of my control or doing.


 

What strategies do you use to stay on top of it all?

I have had to become very efficient with my time. Being able to make my own schedule in college makes that a little easier. However, there are days that I’ll sit down and write myself a very specific hourly schedule just to make sure I get everything done between work and school that week. I give myself 3 days to get each order shipped out. To make that happen there’s always “no’s” that have to happen in other areas. Learning to say no is one of the biggest things I’ve had to learn in the past couple of years.


 

What advice would you have for someone who is looking to start their own side hustle while in school or at a full time job?

I would say just to go for it! The worst thing that could happen is it never takes off. If it’s something you enjoy and are passionate about it’s totally worth it even if it never escalates past a little side hustle. The balancing act between priorities is hard to learn at first, but once you get used to it, it’s very doable.

Ask people questions. One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting was just doing it on my own and not asking people who had done it before for help. There are plenty of people out there who know what they’re doing and are happy to help.


 

What are your dreams for after you graduate?

My major is marketing so as of right now, my plan is to get a job in that area that allows me to still be creative. I’d love to keep my business going on the side since I do love it! I don’t know what that looks like as of right now, so I’m excited to see! Who knows where my business will be a year from now!


 

What’s your favorite fashion piece for the summer?

Definitely the coin necklaces! They’re simple and dainty!


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Hannah McKayW&W