She Started a Furniture-Flipping Side Hustle to Pay Off a $10,000 Dental Bill. It Surpassed Her Full-Time Job’s Income Within a Year — Earning Up to $37,000 a Month.

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This Side Hustle Spotlight Q&A features Lilly Skjoldahl, founder of furniture-flipping business The Furniture Dr.

Image Credit: Courtesy of The Furniture Dr. Lilly Skjoldahl.

What were you doing before you started your side hustle, and why were you interested in entrepreneurship?

I was working full-time in public health as a program manager. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but due to my medical background and career path, I never thought I’d actually act on my ideas.

When did you start your side hustle, and where did you find the inspiration for it?

I started my side hustle of flipping furniture in February 2022 when I received a dentist bill of over $10,000. I needed to pay it off quickly, and I was scrolling through Facebook Marketplace when I thought of the idea.

I worked at my office job 8-5 Monday through Friday, then hopped into my garage every day after work until around 8 p.m., sacrificing every weekend to work on my side hustle. I did this until January 2023 when I was sitting at my desk job and realized how much money I was losing by working there versus going full-time with my side hustle.

Related: I Spent the Last 3 Years Building My Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Business. Here’s What I Learned.

What were some of the first steps you took to get your side hustle off the ground?

I bought a $50-ish nightstand and an orbital sander. I sanded it down, put some stain on it and added legs to make it a nice liquor cabinet. I believe I sold it a week later for about $195. I really enjoyed the process and loved the cash, plus I had leftover supplies, so I decided to keep going. I then began filming my process and story on my Instagram, @thefurnituredr, which opened up a whole other world of income possibilities.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while building your side hustle, and how did you navigate them?

I had/have a big issue with trusting others to help me with tasks, so I did everything myself for a while. I finally found a great manager to help with brand collaborations (shoutout Melissa from Happy Place Management!) and hired some of my fiancé’s cousins to help me manage social media comments. I also hired bookkeepers, CPAs and financial advisors to help me get my finances in order so I could focus on the fun part of my job…the creative aspect!

Related: Are You Ready for a Side Hustle? Here’s How to Know.

How long did it take you to begin seeing consistent monthly revenue, and at what point did the side hustle’s income surpass that of your full-time job?

Within about six to seven months, I saw consistent monthly revenue. I started this in February 2022 and surpassed my full-time job’s income in December 2022. I was making about $45,000 a year at my full-time job.

You’ve turned your side hustle into a full-time business. How much average monthly or annual revenue does it bring in now?

I’m projected to bring in around $250,000 for 2023, with monthly revenue ranging from $15,000 to $37,000.

Related: This Ballet Dancer Needed a Side Hustle When the Pandemic Stopped Performances. So She Spun Her Unique Skill Set Into a 6-Figure Business.

What’s your advice for other side hustlers who hope to turn their ventures into successful businesses?

Be consistent and authentic. Network with everyone you can — especially those outside your “niche” or business industry. I’ve learned the most from others who are not in my industry and found unique ways to apply their advice to my own business and niche. I’ve also found that scrolling social media feeds does nothing but limit my creativity and inspiration. The less I scroll, the more creative I become and the better my content and business perform. Never rely on one stream of income. Find many ways to profit from whatever you are hustling, and repurpose everything.

And most importantly, work smarter, not harder.

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