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10 Side Hustles Perfect for Interior Designers and How to Get Started

blog for interior designers business tips for interior designers career advice career growth emerging professionals how to grow an interior design career how to start a business interior design students online advice Jun 30, 2023
How to start a creative side gig for interior designers at behind the design by jacqueline green

Every week, I read headlines screaming how so and so made thousands of dollars from their side gig, enough to make their side gig their full-time job. This got me thinking of the interior design students who ask me how much they will make in their first job. It happens every semester. Unfortunately, emerging professionals are paid a fairly low wage. This can be stressful, especially as many may live alone for the first time and pay those nasty student loans.  

The good news is that you have skills beyond interior design. Therefore, you can pick up a side hustle to help you meet your financial needs. In this article, we explore 10 different side hustles to consider if you are an emerging interior designer.

  1. E-design Services: Offer virtual interior design services where you remotely provide clients with design concepts, mood boards, and recommendations. This allows you to work with clients from different locations without needing in-person consultations.
  2. Home Staging: Collaborate with real estate agents or homeowners to stage properties for sale. This involves arranging furniture, decor, and accessories to make the space more appealing to potential buyers.
  3. Design Blogging or Vlogging: Start a blog or YouTube channel to share your interior design knowledge, expertise, and tips with a wider audience. You can monetize your content through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or advertising.
  4. Home Organization Services: Offer home organization and decluttering services to clients in your area or online. Help clients optimize their living spaces by providing storage solutions, organizing systems, and space planning. This typically doesn’t compete with the interior design services your employer offers.
  5. Event Styling: Apply your design skills to styling events, such as weddings, parties, or corporate functions. Collaborate with event planners or directly with clients to create visually stunning and cohesive event spaces.
  6. Apparel Designer or Fashion Influencer: If you love fashion, you may enjoy designing clothing and selling it through sites like Redbubble or Zazzle. If designing clothes isn’t possible, try being an influencer on sites like In the Know.
  7. Start an Etsy Shop: Use your creative side to create art, jewelry, home goods, or clothing and sell these items on websites like Etsy. This is also scalable depending on your availability to craft new products.
  8. Tutor: If you excel in a subject matter, why not tutor others who need help. We hire tutors at the design college I worked to help with SketchUp and Revit. Many parents seek affordable tutors for their middle or high school students. Luckily, this often happens after school and after your work day. It can be done in person or online.
  9. Multi-Level Marketing: If you are good with making connections and selling, you may want to try a multi-level marketing program such as Juice Plus or Arbonne. Many professionals enjoy this work as it gives them flexibility and can be worked in the evenings. Just be sure you pick a product that you love to use.
  10. Social Media Guru: Social media is challenging for those who didn’t grow up with it. If you are a wiz at creating posts, writing engaging content, and scrolling for engagement, you may be perfect for helping a small business. With tools like Later.com, you can create content for the week and schedule your posts throughout the week.

How to Determine the Best Side Hustle for You

If you aren’t sure where to start, here are six steps to help you get started.

  1. Start by assessing your skills and what you enjoy doing. At this point, do not overthink it. Just spend a few minutes thinking and writing down your strengths.
  2. Using your strength list, brainstorm side hustles you feel you could do easily. Think about what you are already doing or enjoy doing. For instance, if you are good at social media, helping a small business with their social media might be perfect.
  3. Determine how much time you have to commit to a side hustle. Be realistic. A side hustle is not intended to overtake every night and weekend. It is best if you have downtime from work to enjoy life and give your mind and body rest. It is also not something that should add a lot more stress to your plate.
  4. Identify resources and necessary financial commitments required for starting. For instance, if you want to start a blog, you will purchase a URL and a website hosting service, such as Kajabi. Luckily, many of these side hustles can be started with minimal dollars.
  5. Research other people doing what you want to start, maybe in another city or state. Contact them and ask for a 30-minute meeting to discuss their business. I have found as long as you aren’t directly competing with them, most people are willing to share their thoughts.
  6. Next, you want to create a brief business plan – and I mean brief. This should be one page. It should include your goals, a description of your business idea, and tasks to help you get started. Remember, even though this is a side hustle, you are starting a business that needs certain legal requirements depending on your state.

Now, it is time to get to work. You will want to register your business with the state you live in. Yes, you must pay taxes from any income you generate in your side hustle. Remember to consider any legal requirements, licensing, or permits necessary for starting a side hustle in your area.

Also, be mindful that you are not competing with your employer. Be honest with your manager and let them know you have a side hustle. Reassure your manager that your side hustle will not interfere with your job, and then be sure it doesn’t.

Starting a side hustle may seem intimidating, but don’t let it stop you. I promise you will make mistakes, but most are easy to overcome. Keep moving forward, and you will be making some needed cash quickly.

If you found this article helpful, please share us with your peers and friends. Don’t forget to sign up to join our community of interior designers, where you will have access to:

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