WITH the cost of living rising and many of us finding that our wallets are slightly lighter than before, more and more people are looking for alternative ways to earn a living.
While many of us work hard in our offices from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., a 35-year-old mother proved that the eight-hour day isn’t the only path to success.
In 2011, Tori Gerbig was earning just £21,000 a year in her insurance job.
But when she wasn’t working or spending time with her family, you could find her shopping online.
She was only 24 and loved browsing the internet for fashionable yet affordable clothes, but found that there weren’t too many options to choose from.
This gave her the idea to start a side business selling women’s clothing on eBay.
At first it was just a fun hobby and little did Tori know that 10 years later she and her husband Chris would be running Pink Lily full time.
Last year, their online clothing business generated a gross turnover of £121million and their social media following reached 3.6million subscribers.
To start her eBay store, Tori and Chris made an initial investment of just £250 to buy clothes and accessories from a wholesale website.
Tori revealed that she was unfamiliar with pricing strategies, so priced items at what she would pay as a customer.
She told CNBC: “We worked from our living room, so we didn’t have to worry about a lot of overhead except for shipping.
“Earnings varied in the first few years, but we generally made between $300 and [£256] at $1,000 [£856] per month.
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“We used that money to pay off student loans and reinvest in the business.
“Two years later, in 2013, I created a personal Facebook group to market my clothes.
“We had loyal customers who were showing growing demand for our products, especially in our local community in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
“By the end of the year, we had saved about $20,000 [£17,124] from our profits, which we used to launch the official Pink Lily website. That’s when business really started to pick up.
In May 2014, the couple topped £85,000 in monthly earnings and after three years running Pink Lily as a side business, Tori quit her insurance job to work full-time in the business.
Chris joined her a few months later to oversee the finance and operations of the business and they ended the year with over £3million in revenue.
In 2019, after making over £60million in total sales, the couple received a minority stake to support the rapid growth of the business, which helped them expand their product offering and build a team. unbelievable.
Tori continued, “Currently we sell over 11,000 products on our site every day, have a physical store and, with 250 full-time employees, we are one of Bowling Green’s largest employers.”
If you’re thinking of starting your own stampede, Tori has some tips for you.
Tori explained, “It’s so important to find a gap in the existing market.
“When I started my side hustle, I saw an unmet need for fashion-inclined women who wanted to be able to find a dress for $50. [£42]or less. I knew I could help fill that need in my own little way.
“If you want growth to happen quickly, you need to reinvest all or most of your early profits back into the business.
“Being active on social media has been a key part of our success.
“I always encourage entrepreneurs to think carefully about how they can design a brand ambassador program that resonates with their customers.
“At Pink Lily, our program offers paid positions – with a 10% commission offered on every sale – to an exclusive group of long-time customers who can authentically vouch for the products.
“This is an important and enduring part of our marketing strategy, which generated approximately $7.5 million in sales last year.”