Juggling a professional and personal life is already tough, but adding in a side hustle can be overwhelming. Just ask Kim Fomby, a Senior Manager of Digital Projects for an education reform nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area during the day and at night and weekends, she is a wife, mother, doctoral student and owner of Sucré Couture
— a now six-year-old fashion jewelry brand.
Teniesha: How did your career unfold?
Kim: “Back in the early 90s, my mom’s friend introduced me to a nonprofit organization called Plugged In Enterprises in East Palo Alto, CA. Here, I had the opportunity to train for pay as a web production associate and work on websites for companies like Salesforce and America Online. The skills that I acquired during my teens just followed me into my adulthood. Considering how desirable these types of skills are in the Silicon Valley, my career just happened.”
Although a 9-to-5 career was instilled at a very young age, Kim’s desire to try her hand at becoming an entrepreneur spurred from her wanting something of her own that reflected her as an individual. My style has been pretty consistent since middle school. I obviously love wearing black, long red nails, jet black hair, and all of that type of stuff. I’m in love with grunge. Sucré Couture is the result of that. It’s my canvas.
Teniesha: What Advice Do You Have for People Who Want to Pursue a Side Hustle?
“Don’t be afraid to launch that business that you’ve always wanted. I hear and know of so many people who want to spearhead their retail businesses, but they never do it because they think the process is beyond them. Truth be told, it’s not. You don’t always need hundreds of thousands of cash in the bank to start a small business. You don’t always need a business loan. The paperwork required to launch a business entity is not that complicated. You just need the confidence, drive, dedication, and commitment to your dream. Having that attitude is all you need. The rest will fall into place.
Teniesha: You’re wearing a lot of career hats. How does this all work?
Kim: “I’m not going to lie, it gets tough. I’m a wife, mother, doctoral student, technology professional, and business owner. “Each is important to me. With that being said, I’m always trying to use my time efficiently, and if I can’t do something, I just can’t do it. I re-prioritize when necessary. Oh, and I go on vacations to treat myself for all the craziness.”
Teniesha: Has your side hustle helped you in any way?
Kim: Yes, it’s helped me to become more comfortable with herself. It’s also had a crazy effect on other women who desire to be themselves and can relate to the Sucré Couture brand aesthetic. It’s super gratifying to see them fall in love with the brand. Oh yeah, and it brings in some cool side money and has given me the opportunity to build relationships with other amazing fashion influencers.
Teniesha: We wanted to know when is the right time to make your side hustle your full-time hustle?
Kim: I’m still trying to figure that out. I still have a ton of work to do with Sucré Couture. Right now, the primary goal is to establish a stronger audience and perfect converting them into loyal clientele. Only time will tell. And we agree!
We wanted to leave you with some questions to ask yourself before deciding to quit your 9-to-5 for a side hustle:
- Is your side hustle producing money?
- Do you have at least 6 months of money saved up to cover your living expenses
- Do you have a long-term plan for your side hustle?
- What’s a worst case scenario? How do plan to fix it?
What is Your Profession is a weekly series that reveals how successful, talented, creative Black professionals got to where they are now. Check back each Wednesday for the latest interview.