Small Towns and Side Hustles
Updated: Apr 5
'Small Towns and Side Hustles' can be read in various ways, but what is really meant by it?
Small towns are just that: small! What do I know about small towns? For the most part, I was raised in one. Not necessarily the same small town.
I was born on a military base 28 years ago to two military veterans. The military base was Fort Campbell. One might even be surprised if I mentioned I was not born in Kentucky. Clarksville, Tennessee is not the smallest of towns having a bigger population than the small town I call home. We, my parents and I, moved to the middle of nowhere. The address that went on any envelope had Buckhorn as the town. In terms of small towns that was the littlest. 76 people made up the town in 1993.
We then moved to Lexington in 1994. That by no means was a small town. And was a world difference compared to the hills in Perry County. Lexington, back then, easily surpassed 100,000 people. But it didn't take long to move to a small town 15 to 20 miles east in another county. Before moving to Winchester, we moved west to Nicholasville before landing outside city limits in Clark County, Kentucky, in 1999. Moving around a lot when we were little, it's a breathe of fresh air knowing we stayed in one spot for move than two or three years.
I was seven when we ended up two minutes outside Winchester city limits. And I wouldn't move again until I was 27. I now live in Berea, Kentucky at 28 with my husband who supports me and is never afraid to tell me what he thinks. And I love every second of it. IF I hadn't landed in Winchester I never would've been introduced to side hustles.
Side hustles are something different. From jewelry to clothes to health drinks and beyond. There are so many to pick and choose from. Living in a small town, it can be difficult to find stuff to do. Even with our phones in front of us, it seems difficult, but looking at the term side hustle, so many things run through my mind. I've tried three side hustles over the past two or three years and so far two have stuck around.
The first side hustle was the dreaded health drink. I didn't put any effort into trying to grow that business. Working in small towns there's plenty of jobs but not that many at all. There's plenty of jobs in regard to restaurant work or factories. Factory work is what I have stuck with for a steady job and third shift life doesn't allow for much time to do anything. So needless to say, it could be considered a flop.
The second I've stuck with for a year in February, and I love it. Plunder Design is a faith-based jewelry company that was started five or six years ago in Utah. It competes with companies like Paparazzi. Even as I sit here and write this post, I'm wearing one of my favorite necklaces, the Traveler Necklace.
Those that know me on a personal level will look back and remember that I didn't wear much jewelry growing up. Even though people change over the years with taste and style and fashion, it could have come as a surprise when I decided to join Plunder. But in the past year, I have met some of the most remarkable group of women. EVER! Some looking in from the outside might argue with me about that statement. But one thing they can never take away is what I know about the group I'm apart of.
I've seen some who've joined after me grow their businesses with Plunder better and faster than I have. I've learned what it means to empower others. I've learned not to be jealous of those who hustle their hearts out and meet the goals they made. I know what it looks like to work hard for what you want.
The last side hustle is Pura Vida Bracelets. Pura Vida became popular for its string bracelets. There's other jewelry they sell but the hand made bracelets are what drew me in. Upon reading this, one might think 'wow, she's really into this jewelry stuff.' With Pura Vida, it's different than Plunder. Plunder is fun to pair with other bits of jewelry and figure out what to wear with outfits. Pura Vida helps people worldwide.
How does Pura Vida help people? The string bracelets are every bit handmade from around the world. Two guys, best friends, were on a trip to Costa Rica. Finding the string bracelets, they bought 400 bracelets. They brought them back to their hometown of San Diego, the bracelets sold out. Thus was the start of Pura Vida Bracelets. The San Diego founded company helps more than 650 artisans around the world, not just Costa Rica, with full-time jobs.
Selling these bracelets as a brand ambassador makes me feel bigger than my small towns. Even selling Plunder, helps this small town girl feel apart of a community. A community of women who know how to hustle, who learn to grow every day, who see a sisterhood grow bigger and bigger every day, and the support of every woman apart of Pura Vida and Plunder.
Small towns and side hustles are something to be treasured. Support, friends, and fun times can make all the difference in the world if one simply knows where to find them.