Raking in extra cash is easier than you might expect especially this time of the year. From selling tree ornaments and hot cocoa bombs to offering personalized gift wrapping, these women found fun ways to earn money during the festive season. Read on to learn how you can too!
“I bring in $1,000 selling personalized ornaments during the holidays!”
“I had surgery years ago, and my doctor said I couldn’t do anything for a few weeks, so I took up scrapbooking. I used the leftover paper to make cards for family and friends — they loved them so much, I decided to start a business, Handmade Papercrafts by Laura (HandmadePapercraftsByLaura.com). About five years ago, I added personalized ornaments to my offerings.
“I did a lot of research to make sure I was making ornaments people wanted and that would stand the test of time. Then I sourced materials in bulk online to make sure I could make a profit. I decided to sell personalized traditional plastic ball ornaments as well as flat ones made with ceramic tile or wood. All of my designs are original (like my ‘2020’ ornament with a toilet paper roll design for the zeros), but sometimes I buy a commercial license for additional designs.
“I post photos of the ornaments on my Facebook page and on Facebook tag sale groups, as well as Instagram, and I also sell them at craft fairs during the holiday season. The ornaments sell for between $10 and $15, and this year I expect to make $1,000 during the holidays alone — money that pays the bills and goes back into the business to buy new equipment and supplies!” — Laura Pizzirusso, 50, Brookfield, CT
“I make $150,000 a year wrapping gifts!”
“After moving from Washington, DC, to Atlanta, I was looking for ways to make extra money. At the time, the local mall was looking for a gift-wrapping vendor. I didn’t know how to gift-wrap, but I’m creative, so I figured why not try it! I purchased something at Macy’s and had it wrapped so I could deconstruct it and fig ure out how they made the package look so beautiful. I also watched gift-wrapping videos on YouTube and eventually taught myself.
“To get the business off the ground, I purchased a business license and insurance and rented a 10 ‘by 10’ station in the mall. I partnered with schools, sports teams, and organizations that were fundraising to find my first clients and to get them to come into the mall. That first year I worked on a small table with a five-ring wrapping paper dispenser and charged customers to wrap their gifts from Black Friday until December 24. The next year, I added two more malls. I hired people to help me, but I still made my rounds to each mall every day. By year four, I had eight locations and was making $15,000 per location!
“Eventually, I launched That’s a Wrap Atlanta (ThatsAWrapAtl.com), shifting away from the mall and focusing on luxury personalized gift-wrapping and corporate gift-wrapping services. I even provide mobile gift-wrapping services on-site for businesses and provide ‘gift’ props to decorate the outside of buildings and film sets.
“I use social media and email marketing to spread the word, and I make $150,000 a year —money that pays the bills and allows for fun extras like vacations with my daughter!” — Mia Canada, 49, Atlanta
“I earn up to $1,000 a week selling hot cocoa bombs!”
“Last November, I was on Facebook and saw posts about people selling hot cocoa bombs, chocolate balls filled with marshmallows, hot cocoa mix, and other surprises that, once dropped into a cup of hot milk, pop open to reveal what’s inside. I’ve always loved to bake, so I decided to try making hot cocoa bombs myself. I ordered chocolate molds, bulk chocolate, hot cocoa powder, and extras like candy canes and chocolate kisses. The bombs were easy and fun to make and so delicious — I realized I could sell them around the holidays too.
“I posted photos of my creations on Instagram (@CakeCoutureNJ), and within an hour I sold out. I offer different flavors like peppermint, salted caramel, peanut butter, white chocolate snickerdoodle and white chocolate cookies and cream — and add different designs such as chocolate drizzle and dreidels for Hanukkah. I box them up, add a bow and customers pick them up from my house.
“I love selling hot cocoa bombs — they’re quick to make, they’re a fun, affordable treat and they make families so happy! I sell a box of four for $32, and between November and February, I make up to $1,000 a week — money that pays for things like my kids’ extracurricular activities!” — Jessica Yunger, 37, Englewood, NJ
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.