WE all know how hard it is to work from 9am to 5pm, stuck in front of a computer all day.
Eight hours of grinding a day and barely having any money after paying the bills – life is tough for many.
But one woman, Mandy Helwege, is living proof that you don’t have to stop there and spend your days being bored for a low income.
When Mandy’s TikTok video of her side hustle went viral in November, she immediately knew what to do — she immediately quit her job.
Mandy told CNBC that she felt burnt out after working 12 years in sales and so took the plunge to quit her job and pursue her side passion project full-time.
The 35-year-old had run Seeing Double Edits – a business where she photoshops photos of pets next to their younger selves – as an occasional bustle on Instagram, earning just a few thousand dollars a year, for three years before his decision. .
But today, Mandy’s TikTok has over 2.4 million views and her Seeing Double Edits Instagram account has over 40,500 followers.
But it’s not just followers that Mandy has excelled at – after earning just £3,445 from Seeing Double Edits last year, the entrepreneur took home around £86,145 in just six months, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.
Once a month, Mandy opens 160-185 new slots customer availability for the next month and consistently sells out in 90 seconds.
Mandy’s interest in business pushed her workload to around 80 hours a week.
Then in March, she hired an employee to take over 30 hours of overtime per week.
Mandy told CNBC Make It: “Virtuality is a blessing and a curse. It takes a lot of time and energy to create five new pieces of art every day.
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“I was so overwhelmed when it went viral, because I posted it thinking, ‘OK, if I can get 25 orders, that’ll be good.
“I ended up with hundreds of direct messages on Instagram because that’s how I took orders.”
In March, demand grew enough that Mandy could hire her only employee and test her company’s bandwidth.
The following month, she increased Seeing Double Edits’ monthly capacity to 230 bookings and the company won £21,536 in the process.
But that month, Mandy worked 18 hour days that month and was scared of potentially developing hatred for her passion.
Although friends and family told her she could raise prices while selling, she wanted her art to remain affordable to her audience and says earning £38-43 an hour for her work is a perfectly reasonable to earn a living.
She said, “I will never be the artist who wants to charge as much as possible.
“I have such a big heart for animal lovers and animal parents, and I realize we are not always the richest.
“I love the feeling of being able to provide Americans who work every day and love their pets [with] the possibility of having a beautiful work of art on their walls.