I have always known that I wanted a life that includes dance. I have been a dancer my whole life and have never known of a time that I didn’t love it.
I’ve danced since the age of 3. I’ve taken all styles of dance available at my studio. I’ve also found other places to experience new styles of dance at other local businesses, such as Indian dance, clogging, aerial dancing, community dance events, and various conventions.
I attend all dance functions that I can find because I always want a new dance challenge to keep me evolving, engaged, and excited. Continuing dance education is very expensive in this day and age. To keep up with the rising costs, I had to get creative to help fund my classes.
Creating Hair Accessories For Girls
I have had many side “jobs” in my high school career. My first venture was making hair accessories for girls. I started an Instagram page and advertised in my middle school by word of mouth. I offered handmade hair bows and made custom hair bows on demand. I was able to charge $3-$5 each depending on the size of the bow being created.
This was a great way to learn about product quality and customer satisfaction while having a lot of fun, being creative, and earning money for dance. My biggest customers were outside of my school.
I sold a set of reversible cheerleading bows to a Pop Warner cheerleading team for 15 girls one season. These bows were used in local and national competitions. My mother and I also made hair pieces for costumes at a local dance studio. These funds were enough to pay for a month of dance tuition.
Selling Snacks At The Dance Studio
The second thing I did to raise money was to sell snacks at a dance studio I used to attend. My studio owner gave me permission to sell candy and snacks for $1 each.
I bought supplies at BJ's warehouse and decorated a box and cash bin at the studio for dancers and visitors to purchase. It was a big hit considering our dance studio was not near other snack stores.
The closest place with food was the gas station but at that time no one had a car except our teacher. So, if we ever wanted food we would had to walk in the middle of the dark to the gas station in our dance clothes. This was a great experience to get feedback about what the customers liked and adjust to make more sales while earning money for dance. These sales covered part of my monthly dance tuition payments.
Selling on eBay
Also, during this time, I started selling items on eBay through my mother’s account to help pay for competition fees. I had several boxes of clothes and accessories for boys and girls that I sold in groups online. I would package and ship them and had a great rating for speed and quality of my items.
I also sold locally on a yard sale page in Raleigh and made money that way as well. I took great care in making sure the clothes were clean and in great shape as well as packaging them in a pleasing way, so the customers were excited about their purchases.
I was able to raise enough money to cover two conventions with my sales my freshman year of high school (roughly $700 - $900). I still do additional eBay sales from time to time when I have an item that someone would love to purchase and use those funds towards my monthly dance payments.
Still Side Hustling
In my sophomore year of high school, I had to change dance studios because my family moved. When I switched studios, I focused on my dancing for a year but still maintained a side job at my family’s business. I worked as a data entry clerk at my father’s diesel mechanic shop.
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Check out the other finalists here: 2019 Side Hustlin’ Student Scholarship Results Page.