August 17, 2020 by Lydia Lagard (BA ’20)
In this life, sometimes you need a “side hustle.” To Virginia Kinnier (BA 2011), that catch phrase has come to mean a lot more than a supplemental income. As she talks about a Side Hustle, the name she gave to the women’s networking website she founded in 2018, she means the gig that adds joy and purpose to your life.
Kinnier describes Side Hustle as “a positive online platform for women to promote their passions and encourage others in their pursuit of purpose.” At Side Hustle, women share their side hustles in an interview format (in some cases, addressing their “main hustles” as well.) Many of the profiles also feature advice on how to pursue your passion.
Since its inception, Side Hustle has grown every month, today showcasing hundreds of side hustles, ranging from painting to gardening to freelance writing to cooking and commerce. The members of the Side Hustle community share a common commitment: investing in the meaningful pursuits that make them happy. Although many of the community members find additional income while pursuing their side hustles, some of them becoming entrepreneurs as their side hustles evolve into new businesses, the growing website welcomes all women who have an interest or professional passion they’d like to publicize. Kinnier explains, “If you’ve found something that lights you up, go after it, pursue it, it’s always worth your time.”
Kinnier was inspired to pursue her passions at a young age, particularly by her father, who consistently pushed her to pursue a degree in English. The advice paid off, according to her, as her English degree prepared her for a variety of writing and marketing positions, ultimately becoming a freelance writer, a career that has enabled her to network widely and that inspired her to create Side Hustle.
Now that the first two years of Side Hustle have been a success, Kinnier is exploring ways to expand the functionality and networking capabilities of the website. Her plan is to create a membership version of the site, where Side Hustle can operate more like a social-media platform, enabling women to promote their businesses, expand their skills and networks, and support and collaborate with other women. If you’re interested in joining the Side Hustle community or seeing the side hustles of the women already in the community, visit keepyosidehustle.com.