Nicole Tocci’s lucrative jewelry side-hustle makes a mint, earning her $39,000 a month while only working 20 hours per week.
To get her business up and running, she spent about $40,000 purchasing designer items but eventually made it back and then some. In her first full year of business, her side business brought in $90,000, according to CNBC, and this year alone she’s made $351,900.
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“Sometimes, your intuition is dead-on right,” Tocci told CNBC Make It last week. “I started testing the necklaces at my boutique and gathering feedback from high-end clientele. I knew immediately that they were a winner.”
This isn’t the first business Tocci has founded. After graduating from Montclair State University, she worked various retail gigs before opening her own closet-organizing business until she lost clientele in the 2008 recession. Scrounging up enough cash from her savings, she launched her tanning salon, Nikki Tans.
Now, she hopes being a jewelry maker can make her financially stable enough, along with running the tanning salon.
“Sometimes you just have that physical vision of what your business is going to be,” she said. “I’m sure most entrepreneurs would agree: That moment where you can visualize the product — what it looks like, who’s buying it — you know you have something special.”
She meticulously removes buttons from her Chanel apparel, polishes them and attaches them as pendants to gold or silver chains, spending six hours a month finding the perfect items to use.
The apparel can range between $400 to $1500 depending on the item and Tocci says she needs 40 to 50 buttons every few months. But her expenses expand beyond designer clothing — she claims to spend $1,100 on Instagram to expand her reach and audience.
“We’re in an affluent area, so my clients tend to be fashionable, well-educated,” she said. “I think most of my clients look to me for fashion advice and feel that I’m a trend-setter.”