A schoolgirl from South Australia is staying up until midnight most days as she juggles school, study and a budding new business that is raking in the cash.
Jess Tresidder, 16, stumbled upon a lucrative idea when she was trying to impress her friends, and is now making on average $850 a week.
The teen, from Mt Gambier in the state’s south, bought a second-hand etching machine for $200 to make personalised key chains.
After discovering the key rings were popular with her school peers, she created an Etsy account in late February to see if she could sell the product more widely.
“I’m not sure what happened, it blew up overnight,” Miss Tresidder told news.com.au.
With her business jumping to the Etsy bestseller list, the young entrepreneur has been busy ever since – and she is even looking to hire a part-time employee to keep up with demand.
Ms Tresidder has filled 308 orders in the four months since the business launched, including “bulk” purchases from companies buying sometimes 20 key rings at a time on Etsy.
She also credits word of mouth for her customer base, with school kids and parents coming to her directly for the personalised product.
Each key chain sells for $13, which after the $4 costs of production leaves her with a $9 profit margin.
On her busiest day, she received 70 orders in a single night.
“Most of the time I try to go to bed before 11, however there’s some nights where that’s not possible,” she said.
Ms Tresidder has made about $10,000 from the side hustle since late February.
Youngest boss ever
The teen initially enlisted friends and family members to help her reply to emails, etch the key chains and box them up.
“I just (make the key chains) in the lounge room, it’s an absolute mess,” she said.
But with no sign of the business slowing down – her product has been viewed 30,000 times on Etsy since February – she thinks it’s time to employ someone more permanently, especially as she has exams coming up.
She’s looking to employ a stay-at-home mum or someone hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and is in the process of planning casual job interviews.
‘Work on work on work’
The key ring business isn’t Ms Tresidder’s only job.
She’s a babysitter and works three shifts at her local Red Roosters, bringing her a further $250 every week.
Considering she makes nearly $600 a week from the key chains, that means she rakes in around $850 per week, despite being a full-time high-schooler.
“I’ll wake up earlier, around 6am, go to school the whole day, get home, jump on the computer, do some orders, do some homework and then go to work,” she said.
“(It’s) work on work on work.”
At Red Rooster, Miss Tresidder makes $13 an hour. The irony isn’t lost on her.
“I’m definitely making more from my business,” she said. “I’ve learnt the power of owning your own business or working from home. I’ve never really liked working for someone else.”
She’s noticed that her most common customer is a parent buying a car for their children and wanting a personalised key chain to attach to the car key.
Corporate entities also buy her product in bulk, asking for their logo to be embossed onto the key ring.
For bulk orders, ever the business woman, she offers a 10 per cent discount.
She suspects that most of her customers don’t realise she is just 16 years old.
Recognising that key chains are a “saturated market”, Ms Tresidder put a lot of effort into the advertising campaign, posting on social media and taking high quality photos.
“I’ve learned a lot of skills I can take to the real world,” she said.
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