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Featured Side Hustler: Megan Nuttall
Full-Time Job: I’m a copywriter at an advertising agency called kbs+
Tell us about your hustle:
The Invisible Kitten specializes in nontraditional greeting cards and has been featured on sites including Vogue affiliate Style.de and Apartment Therapy affiliate, Kitch.com. Based in Brooklyn, NY, The Invisible Kitten was founded by Megan Nuttall out of a love for old-fashion snail mail. I create cards for both holidays and “just because” moments. I believe any day can be a day to send a smile.
What motivated you to start it?
When I first moved to New York I started sending postcards from New York to my friends back in Oregon. In doing so I realize that it was way more fun to receive cards in the mail when you aren’t expecting them (aka Christmas and your birthday.) This inspired me to make cards that could be sent at almost any time of year and for any occasion – cheering up someone who’s been dumped, celebrating a new birth or just letting your friends know that you miss them.
While building your side hustle, who has helped or supported you the most?
When I first started The Invisible Kitten I was scared to show my friends my work. I was worried they wouldn’t like it. Over time, I’ve gotten over than and found that friends have all been overwhelmingly supportive.
Who is your biggest side hustle role model?
My biggest role model is Amanda Wright at With & Whistle. I love her cards. I love her attitude. I want to follow in her footsteps.
How much time on average do you spend on your side hustle per week?
In a perfect world, I’d spend 40 hours a week working on The Invisible Kitten, sketching new designs, filling orders, updating my website. Realistically, I spend 1-3 hours a week on my shop in slow seasons and 5-10 hours a week during busy seasons. I have to continuously remind myself to say no to other outside activities so that I can carve out time to focus on my shop.
What was the biggest element holding you back from starting and how did you overcome it?
The biggest thing that held me back from getting started was fear of failure. I was scared that no one would buy anything, that no one would like anything and that I would be embarrassed. One day I just decided to let go and start sharing the things I’ve made with the world. I always felt like my designs weren’t ready, that I wasn’t ready but I had to push myself to be ok sharing “works in progress.” I put a handful of postcard designs up on Etsy and waited. And waited. And waited. After a couple of months my store started gaining traction, which mentally helped me push forward. I like to consider all of my designs works in progress as I am constantly updating, retiring and designing new cards.
What is an example of a time you hit a rough patch? How did you handle the situation?
I’ve hit a few snags along the way dealing with inventory miscalculations and lost orders in the mail. When something goes wrong with an order I’ve found the best and only thing I can do is be honest with my customers. Surprisingly, people are understanding when you tell them the truth.
What has been the biggest benefit of having a side project?
My side project keeps me happy. My day job is great, but it’s very corporate. With The Invisible Kitten, I get to make things that make me happy.
What are your favorite apps/books/productivity hacks?
My favorite book is “20 Ways to Draw a Cat.” Whenever I’m stuck with ideas, it floods me with inspiration. Also, you really can’t beat Pinterest.
For someone starting out, what is your biggest piece of advice?
1. Let go of your fears. They will only hold you back.
2. Share everything.
3. Keep it fun. That’s the whole point of a side project.
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