Coincidence? I think not.
Faced with the burden of student loan payments, people are flexing their entrepreneurial muscles in a major way.
Jessica Grose is one such side hustler who makes over $1,000 extra per month doing what she loves: baking cookies. This extra income helps ease the burden of her student loan bills, which total $600 per month.
Read on to learn how Jessica was able to harness the power of social media to find sweet success.
Jessica started baking for friends and families
By day, Jessica works as the executive producer on the YouTube channel Valuetainment. But by night, she’s baking up a storm with her growing side business, Clearly Cookies. Before she started her side hustle, Jessica simply enjoyed baking cookies with her mom.
“My side hustle really happened organically over the years,” says Jessica. “My mom taught herself to make cookies (she was horrible at first!), but after she became good I learned how to make them from her. It was always something we did together.”
When she posted pictures of cookies on Facebook and Instagram, her friends and coworkers took notice and started making orders.
As word of mouth spread, Jessica began taking orders for bigger and bigger batches.
Jessica’s fidget spinner cookies went viral
Jessica’s side hustle grew through her social network, but it really took off when she made fidget spinner cookies. Tapping into this fad in a major way, Jessica made cookies that didn’t just taste delicious — you could also spin them on your finger.
“My biggest success to date is my spinning fidget spinner cookies going viral,” says Jessica. Thanks to all the online attention, her cookies will be featured in the October issue of Food Network Magazine.
On top of that, her fidget spinner cookies appeared on ABC’s “FabLife” and a “Bachelor” spinoff show. Plus, Jessica says she’s fulfilled orders for celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Eric Stonestreet, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tony Romo.
After all this media attention, Jessica now takes in about $1,000 per month — and $1,800 in June — with her labor of love.
She continues to balance work with a side gig
The success of Jessica’s side hustle has also come with challenges. Since Clearly Cookies is her side job, she must balance its demands with her full-time career as an executive producer.
“Sometimes I get so excited about getting an order I don’t have the ability to say no,” says Jessica. “I take on orders way too big for just me to handle and wind up recruiting my family and friends to help out.”
Carving out time to bake has also proven to be a struggle. “Sometimes I am up until all hours of the night making cookies,” she adds. “I’ve learned that I must require advance notice for all orders.”
Jessica advises any side hustler to keep things in perspective in order to avoid being overwhelmed. “It’s important for people to realize that a side hustle is simply a side hustle,” she says. “The money at times can be very exciting … but it’s important to remember to only take on what you are able to handle on the side.”
Jessica shares advice for aspiring side hustlers
From baking cookies with her mom to being featured in Food Network Magazine, Jessica has learned a bunch of valuable lessons. These are her top four tips for anyone looking to start a side hustle.
1. Learn to manage your time
First, Jessica has become proactive about her schedule. “In order to run a business … you need to plan ahead and manage time accordingly,” she says.
In the beginning, Jessica accepted any order that came her way. “I always get excited about the idea of a really big order and then come to realize the gravity of making 1,200 cookies,” she shares. After some hectic all-nighters, she’s learned to stick to what she can handle.
This proactive approach to time management is especially important if you’re starting a side hustle. You’ll need to carve out time apart from your day job, as well as make sure your side gig doesn’t interfere with your career.
2. Learn the laws around your business
If you’re starting your own business, you’ll also need to learn the laws surrounding it. “Do your research,” advises Jessica. “Know the laws that are involved with your type of business.” In the food business, for instance, Jessica had to learn about cottage food laws.
As it turned out, the laws in her state prohibited her from selling to local shops. So she moved her transactions online. Fortunately, this restriction was a blessing in disguise, since her social media accounts attracted lots of customers.
3. Make the most of social media
Jessica made the most of social media to advertise Clearly Cookies. “I only have an Instagram account and Facebook page,” Jessica says. “I get so many orders from people simply stumbling across my social accounts.”
Jessica’s strong online presence is helped by her work in the entertainment industry. Since she’s been part of some national TV shows, word of her cookie-baking business spread beyond her friends and family.
If you don’t have a similar reach, you might also start an official website or blog to attract customers, instead of just sticking to social media. That way, you can build an even bigger audience.
4. Always put the customer first
Regardless of how you attract customers, Jessica advises you stick to the age-old saying, “The customer is always right.”
“If someone isn’t satisfied, you have to do the right thing to make things better,” she says. “In the end, the customer will respect you more and will hopefully come back another time because you were the bigger person.”
If you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur, you’ll need to put the customer’s needs first. That way, you can build trust with them and provide a service worth their time and money.
Although these tips might not apply to every business model, they’re useful for most people starting a side hustle. By sticking to these guidelines, Jessica continues to attract loyal fans — and cookie-loving celebs — to Clearly Cookies.
Find a side hustle you love
Side hustles are an ever more popular way to make extra cash. Plus, they give you the chance to explore a skill or hobby you enjoy.
“I love baking,” Jessica says. “So when I’m doing it on the side it doesn’t feel like work to me.” She encourages others to pursue their passions. “If you love it, then do it!” she adds.
Whether you’re blogging about cruises or driving around town for Uber, a side gig puts more money back in your pocket. Plus, you could use your earnings to fund a vacation, pay down debt faster, or build up your savings.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.39%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.59% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
3 Important Disclosures for Navient.
4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates from 2.74% APR to 6.74% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.39% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.