I made £300K from my side hustle last year, it only took a month to launch and I’ve got tips to help anyone do it | The Sun

A BUDDING businesswoman has opened up on how she decided to ditch her day job and launch a new company – and majorly transform her finances in the process. 

Maya Portorreal, from New Jersey in America, previously worked as a retail assistant, where she took home roughly £34,000 in a year. Now, as CEO of her own company, she earns almost £300,000.

However, just weeks into landing her job at luxury fashion brand Pierre Hardy, Maya, 27, got the idea to start a sensitive skin friendly jewellery brand – and her business Kitten Co. was born.

At the time, she had just $2000 dollars to her name, but she was determined to prove that the risk would pay off. 

Speaking in early 2022, Maya introduced herself in a YouTube video for CNBC Make It as part of their franchise, On The Side.

She said: “My name is Maya Portorreal, I’m 27 years old and I made $350,000 last year from my side hustle.

“I was only a month and a half in [to my job] and I was sitting in the office with my two associates and I said, ‘I’m going to start a jewellery brand’ – and they thought I was insane.

She went on to quip: “They probably still think I’m insane because I pulled it off.”

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Detailing her journey to success, Maya – who suffers from sensitive skin and saw a gap in the market to make fashionable but skin-friendly pieces – said that it took her around six weeks to “develop the idea and get the process going.”

At the time, Kitten Co. only sold one style of ring and she worked with social media influencers to help give her business the boost it needed. 

Soon, the brand’s statement piece was featured by numerous other social media stars and Maya saw a huge influx in sales.

Then, once she worked on getting her pricing and strategy right, she saw a further spike in revenue, which resulted in her raking in thousands a month. 

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Maya continued: “Once I started to get a consistent $10,000 (£8000) a month, I knew this business could actually change my life in a real way.”

She decided to reinvest what she had made so far, and take classes in things like Facebook advertisements. And, as business boomed, her yearly salary hit six figures. 

“That class alone scaled my company to a point that’s unimaginable. That $3000 class probably made me $700,000.

“From there, that ten grand [a month] became thirty grand [a month].”

I knew this business could actually change my life in a real way

Now, Kitten Co. – which boasts countless lines, styles and ranges priced from $30 to $250 – also has three employees, including her mum, who is a key part of the business.  

Her annual turnover in 2019 was $250,000 (£210,000), while 2020 almost doubled to $472,000 (£396,000). Last year, Maya’s business brought in $350,000 (£294,000). 

Maya also maintains that everyone else also has what it takes to become an entrepreneur if they dream big and work hard. 

Asked what her best advice for those thinking of following in her footsteps is, Maya, who quit her day job in 2020, answered: “A day job gives you cash flow to risk it all.

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“A day job gives you the time to step out of your comfort zone. Now I’m in the process of automating my business.

She added: “I did the side hustle, I did the grind, now I want it to work for me.” 

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