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From Side Hustle to Career Move: My Journey to Financial Empowerment through Fashion

On Tuesday 24th January 2023, I took a bold 'fashionable' step - I resigned from my job as Marketing & Inclusion Director. I had known for some months prior to resigning that it was time to venture out and do my own thing. Was I petrified? Most definitely. But I knew that I had to take the advice of Nike and just do it. And to think that it all started with the rental of a fabulous Rixo dress four years ago. Fast forward to May 2023, I officially launched one of my ventures - my first course 'Rent, Wear & Share - Turn Your Clothes into Cash'.

As I reflect on my journey, it's clear that what began as a modest side hustle - renting out pieces of my wardrobe - is now transforming into a significant career move. This transformation wasn't just about fashion; it was about personal finance, embracing the media spotlight, and penning my first book, Fashionable Steps to Financial Freedom. More recently, I've become something of a Vinted Queen, generating over £300 in sales in just under two weeks. So I thought that I'd take the opportunity with this blog post to delve into how fashion became my vehicle for financial empowerment and personal growth.

Woman in picture looking at a colourful dress she is holding in hands.
My story has been picked up by the major titles.

The Genesis of a Side Hustle

The inception of my venture into the world of fashion rental and resale was driven by a desire to declutter my wardrobe, generate some additional income, and in my own small way, democratise access to high-quality, stylish clothing while promoting sustainability. Platforms like HURR and By Rotation offered the perfect medium. As I began renting out my wardrobe, I realised this was more than just an opportunity to declutter; it was a chance to make fashion accessible and sustainable.

Embracing Financial Literacy

My journey into personal finance began out of necessity but evolved into a passion. As sales began to trickle in from my fashion rentals and more recently from my Vinted listings, I continue to recognise the importance of managing this new income stream effectively. It wasn't merely about counting profits; it was about understanding the financial principles that could turn these profits into long-term gains. This led me to deepen my knowledge in financial planning, investment, and the nuances of generating passive income through fashion. The experience has been enlightening, to say the least, and it underscores the significance of financial literacy in achieving freedom and security.

The Path to Authorship

Black shoe on a pink background which will be the cover for Lisa's first book.
My first book is in the making

Writing Fashionable Steps to Financial Freedom has been a natural progression in my journey. This book is not just a memoir of my adventures in fashion rental and resale; it's a guide that intertwines personal finance with the vibrant world of fashion. Through its pages, I aim to share insights on how I leveraged my passion for fashion into a vehicle for financial independence. The process of writing this book has been transformative, allowing me to crystallise my experiences and insights into actionable advice for others. I cannot wait to share it with you.

Stepping into the Media Spotlight

Three women appeared on television to take part in a fun debate about dating.
Fun Debates on Good Morning Britain

My foray into the media world has been exhilarating and is instrumental in shaping my current career path. Appearing on television and radio, I have the opportunity to discuss a variety of subjects, from the importance of diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry to the potential of fashion as a tool for financial empowerment, as well as more light-hearted topics. These appearances are not only helping to raise my profile but are also allowing me to advocate for the causes I believe in. The media is a powerful tool when it comes to influencing public opinion and sparking conversations on significant issues.

The Rise to Vinted Queen (in the making)

Recently achieving over £300 in sales on Vinted in under two weeks is a milestone that highlighted the potential of resale as a viable income stream. This achievement isn't just about the monetary gain; it is about the validation of my approach to fashion as a sustainable and financially rewarding endeavour. It demonstrates that with the right strategy, dedication, and an eye for fashion, anyone could turn their passion into profit.

Looking Forward

As I look to the future, my aim is not only to expand my own ventures but also to empower others to see the potential in their passions. Whether it's through fashion, writing, or media appearances, the goal remains the same: to make a positive impact on the world while achieving financial freedom.

Lessons Learned

This journey has taught me invaluable lessons about the power of diversification, the importance of financial literacy, and the potential of personal branding. Diversification across different platforms and income streams has been crucial in mitigating risks and maximising opportunities. Financial literacy has enabled me to manage my finances more effectively, turning short-term gains into long-term wealth building. Lastly, building a strong personal brand has opened up numerous doors, from book deals to media appearances, underscoring the importance of authenticity and consistency in messaging. Here are some tips that I wanted to share for anyone who is thinking:

  1. Start with What You Have: Begin your journey by utilising the skills and resources that you already possess. If like me, you have a passion for fashion and sustainability, consider renting out pieces from your wardrobe on platforms like HURR or By Rotation. This not only generates an extra income stream but also promotes sustainability and a circular fashion economy. Remember, your side hustle doesn't have to start big; it just needs to start. Also, it doesn't have to be fashion-related. If clothes are not the avenue for you, ask yourself this question. What skills/experience/interests do I have that I can utilise? Grab yourself a notebook and write down your answers. This will help you to see (and appreciate) what you can do and what can you use from your skills toolbox to take you further.

  2. Educate Yourself Financially: Embrace the journey of financial literacy as a crucial step towards empowerment. Invest time in understanding basic financial principles, such as budgeting, saving, and investing. There are myriad resources available online and in libraries that cater to different learning styles. The knowledge you gain will help you make informed decisions, turning your income from your side-hustle into long-term wealth.

  3. Diversify Your Income: Just as in investing, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Explore various avenues (especially areas where you already have the skills and experience), that can generate income. Diversification not only mitigates risk but also maximises your potential earnings.

  4. Leverage Your Personal Brand: In today's digital age, building a strong personal brand is invaluable. Use social media to share your journey, insights, and successes. Being authentic and consistent in your messaging will attract a like-minded audience. This can open up opportunities beyond your initial venture, such as book deals, media appearances, and speaking engagements.

  5. Stay Committed and Adaptable: The journey from a side hustle to a career move is filled with challenges and learning opportunities. Stay committed to your goals, but be flexible in your approach. Industries are ever-evolving. Keep an eye on trends in order to adapt and thrive. Embrace setbacks as learning opportunities, and celebrate every milestone, no matter how small.

Turning a side hustle into a career move is no small feat. It requires passion, dedication, and a willingness to learn and adapt. My journey from renting out my wardrobe to becoming an author and media contributor underscores the interconnectedness of fashion, finance, and media. It's a testament to the fact that with the right approach, it's possible to turn your passion into a fulfilling and financially rewarding career. As I continue on this path, my hope is to inspire others to embark on their own journeys towards financial empowerment and personal fulfilment.


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