These savvy women embraced their fall side hustles to rake in much more than just leaves this autumn! Read on to learn how they boost their bank accounts before the holidays.
“I make $2,000 a month selling boozy jam!”
“When my in-laws passed away a few years ago, they left us a farm that was very dear to the family. We turned it into an Airbnb to help pay taxes, but to fund repairs — and give our Airbnb a personality — I started making ‘boozy jam.’ The idea was inspired by the berry bushes my husband had planted with his mother years ago, as well as by my love of cocktails!
“At the beginning, I spent 10 to 15 hours a week, on top of my day job in the fashion industry, developing recipes and learning about food handling, preservation, and canning. I started by selling four jam flavors for $12 each at farmers markets and craft fairs, and eventually at local cafés, gift shops, and on my Etsy shop, Wicked Finch Farm. Now, as I’m furloughed indefinitely due to the pandemic, I’m able to devote more time to the business. So this year, we created a whole line of fall favorites like pumpkin white chocolate granola, spiced apple cider whiskey marshmallows, and fig and whiskey jam — bringing in about $2,000 a month to pay the bills.
“Fall is the best time of all in the Hudson Valley, and working in the country on the weekends has been the perfect profitable escape. Plus, my in-laws would be happy to know we’re helping their beloved farm flourish.” — Mariana Finch, 41, Pawling, NY
”I earn $800 a month with my henna pumpkins!”
“For 34 years, I’ve worked full-time for a dentist, but for the past 10 years, I’ve been doing henna art (a temporary form of tattooing) on people’s skin at fairs, festivals and private parties as a side hustle. Five years ago, during the fall when henna season was over, I decided to keep the creative juices — and cash — flowing by using henna to decorate white pumpkins. Depending on the size, design and intricacy, creating a henna pumpkin can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. I then posted photos of my henna pumpkins on Facebook, and there was an amazing amount of interest, so I began selling them for anywhere between $5 and $30.
“Now, each fall, requests pour in from all over the country (I’m happy to ship the pumpkins anywhere) from those who have heard about it through word of mouth or have seen my work on my Facebook page, Henna by Tuesday. Usually, customers contact me before the pumpkins are picked, and I often receive special requests for custom designs like fall wedding centerpieces. It’s always an adventure to visit my local garden center or farms in New England and New York to purchase the pumpkins. The income I earn varies, but one month I made $800— money I use for vacations with my husband or to pad our emergency fund.” — Tuesday Warley, 52, East Hampton, CT
This story originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.