06 August 2010

Sideline to Success

These are only a few women who have created billion-dollar businesses from a side hustle, as we love to call it from time to time. Women who didn’t set out to create the success they achieved, only to make a little extra money for them and their families. Yet their hard work and dedication lead them to financial freedom from a side hustle.
In the 1930's, Mary Kay a young housewife and mother of three began selling books in order to make extra money for the household. Her husband worked, but yet there was not enough money for the family of five to live on. This woman was successful in her sales effort, and she was able to sell more than twenty-five thousand dollars worth of books within her first six months at the job. In the year of 1938, this woman found herself divorced. She then changed her career to selling Stanley Home Products by conducting home parties.

Undaunted by her negative experience in business, the same year, this woman began to write a book for women who were part of the working world. So, on September 13, 1963, through much labor, Mary Kay Cosmetics was born. With her life savings of only a few thousand dollars, and the help of one of her children, a now-grown son named Richard Rogers, Mary Kay started the long process of making her dreams become a reality for her and the millions of women across America.

She parlayed $5,000 into a billion-dollar company.
Paula Deen was a homemaker and bank teller before entering professional cooking. She divorced her first husband in 1989 shortly after moving to Savannah. She was left with only $200 and her two teenage sons.

Paula was considered a good Southern cook, so she started a small catering company called The Bag Lady. She would make sandwiches and other meals, then her sons would deliver the food. The Bag Lady was very successful and soon outgrew her kitchen.

In 1997, Paula self-published her first cookbook, The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cooking and has written several others cookbooks as well. She began her relationship with the Food Network in 1999. Deen’s success in publishing, where she has sold over eight million books, then translated into the magazine world, and Cooking with Paula Deen, her bi-monthly title, launched shortly thereafter, growing to a circulation of over one million.

With continued expansion, and more planned on a global level in 2010, Paula Deen has remained true to her fans, viewers and readers that look to her name for style, taste and inspiration in the kitchen and the home with her line of cookware, cutlery, seasoning, collectables and lines. The list goes on.

Born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867 on a Louisiana plantation and daughter of former slaves. It was during the 1890s she began to suffer from a scalp ailment that caused her to lose most of her hair. She began to experiment with many homemade remedies.

In 1905 Sarah moved to Denver and married her third husband, Charles Joseph Walker, a St. Louis newspaperman, and began to use the name "Madam" C.J. Walker. She founded her business and began selling Madam Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower, a scalp conditioning and healing formula, which she claimed had been revealed to her in a dream.

To promote her products, the new "Madam C.J. Walker" traveled for a year and a half on a dizzying crusade throughout the heavily black South and Southeast, selling her products door to door, demonstrating her scalp treatments in churches and lodges, and devising sales and marketing strategies.

Madam C.J. Walker died in 1919 from complications of hypertension. She was 51. At her death she was considered to be the wealthiest African-American woman in America and known to be the first Africa-American millionaire.

Please tell me what your side hustle is.

Make a new friend,this weekend.Visit a new blog, and visit some of my new blog friends.



  1. This is a great inspriational post...I need to see these types of things to keep me going... and to answer our question...I have a FEW projects I am working on ;)

  2. Tonia this is a great post! As these are great women! My side hustle...I don't have one as of yet, but the post has got me to thinking;-)

    Have a great weekend!

  3. What a great reminder that hard work pays off!!

    I'm working on new artwork to enter into juried shows this fall! Besides the chance of winning prize money, I'm hoping that it will push me toward exhibiting in galleries! :)

  4. Thanks for this much needed inspirational post! Eyes on the prize and keep going! Have a lovely weekend!

  5. My side hustle is assisting my husband with IT projects for his company. I've had been an engineer for 10 years before I started my bridal beauty business, so I dabble once and a while when he needs assistance.

    Thanks for this "women doing it for themselves" post!

  6. Thanks so much for including Madam C. J. Walker with Mary Kay and Paula Deen. As her great-great-granddaughter and biographer, I'm always grateful when others are inspired by her story. If your readers would like to learn more, I hope they'll read my book, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker.
    A'Lelia Bundles

  7. Thank you for the inspiration...makes me want to up my own ante. I need to kick this jewelry thing into overdrive. =D

  8. I like this post! I'm a financial manager by day, but my side hustle is showing women how to look more beautiful and slowing down the aging process! Plus, I'm a blogger!

  9. A perfect and inspiring post for Friday! What talented, creative and intuitive women. Hmmm. My side hustle...will have to get back to you on that.
    Love your blog! Have a great weekend.

  10. i have such admiration and respect for strong, positive, independent and driven individuals. these women are so inspiring!!! for me i come up with so many random ideas, but really need to focus on something that incorporates my passions and strengths. a work in progress...


  11. I want to thank everyone that has stopped by today, especially the Great-Great Granddaughter of Madame CJ Walker A'Lelia.

    Have a fabulous Weekend!

  12. Great profiles of great women...and loving the term side hustle! new one for me!

  13. what a great post! such inspirational women!
    My side hustle is making handbags which only started after I made one for myself and enjoyed the process. My husband's job overseas left me with having to give up my full time job and so in an effort to fill my time, the handbag gig was born! now if I can only turn it into big profitable venture I'll be all set! : )

  14. This post is very timely for me. I call myself a hustler everyday! Being a small business owner I am doing everything in my company to make it work in this tough economy.
    Yesterday was a bad day. It started out great. A former client had complimented me on how far I had come and grown since she had hired me four years ago. Then I came across a blog of a competitor that just moved to town and found out that she had been published in a very large shelter mag, and made the cover. Phew, I thought. Fresh out of school, no overhead and on the cover of an amazing magazine! Thank you for this post, it inspired me to continue forging on no matter what!

  15. Love reading these inspirational stories. I am an entrepreneur, designer and work extremely hard at my business but am no near as successful as any of the women you mention.These stories of struggling women, raising families and yet having the willpower and imagination to succeed to such incredible level are remarkable. thank you for bringing them to us

  16. Such an inspirational post! It is so heart warming to know that hard work and dedication can pay off!

    Thank you for leaving your suggestions for morning motivations on my post yesterday, I really appreciate your help!

    :) Hazel

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  18. this is a fabulous post. i'm trying to decide on a side hustle to inspire me in ways my main hustle can't. this definitely has my gears grinding!

  19. @Ms Hershey Thanks so much and get to getting those gears grinding! I'm glad it was an inspiration for you.


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