In Praise of the Side Hustle


When I was planning the launch of Casa Verde last year in the back of my mind I hoped that after a year or so it would become my full-time job. After a few months of the shop being open I realized that was not going to be the case. A few weeks ago I was reading Grace Bonney’s book In the Company of Women and I started feeling unsure of myself. I really enjoyed the book and I admire all of the women that were featured, but it made me question myself. While they seemed to struggle with a number of issues, none of them really seemed to question that they were good enough to follow their dreams. Reading that book made me think that if I truly believed in myself and my vision I would quit my day job which helped provide a nice life for my husband and our two boys and charge ahead with my dream.

The problem is, I just can’t do that. I can’t stomach the idea of risking their future, their stability, their childhood on my dream that may never be a reality. That is a personal decision and I am in such awe of people that are so determined and focused that they forge ahead despite potential roadblocks.

Art print by  Chris Olson

Art print by Chris Olson

As I started to think about this more and more, though, I began to realize that by keeping Casa Verde as my side hustle for awhile longer, I was able to keep it at a place where it was still my passion, my joy. It was the thing worked on whenever I had a spare moment, the daydream I had when riding the train home at night. I have had to try and accept that progress will be slower than if I could focus 100% on the store and that is definitely a challenge. I want to put all of my energy toward helping it grow and reaching more people so I can go on more trips and meet more artists, but that is my price. I also have less free time for myself - I work a day job, take care of two small boys, am a wife, sister, daughter and friend, and I work on the store, but for the most part I like that. I like being busy on things that bring me joy.

Hustle pennant from  Oxford Pennant

Hustle pennant from Oxford Pennant

On the flip side, though, I so appreciate not having to worry about every penny and fluctuating spending patterns of consumers. I get such a thrill out of planning our next trip and getting to share my passion with my boys as we travel to places off the beaten path. My hope is that one day they will recognize that not everyone gets to go where we go and experience what we experience and that feeds a lifelong sense of curiosity and wonder. Then it will have all been worth it.