Side Job Week: Launching your own business

Side Job Week: Swell succulents

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's Friday -- our fifth and final day of side jobs week here on the WZZM 13 Morning News.

It's been a blast learning about the different ways to make extra money, and maybe we've inspired you to pursue an idea or two.

WZZM 13's Meredith TerHaar shares the story of a woman who launched a business after her friends asked her for help.

Succulents are all the rage right now, from home decor to wedding arrangements, but have you ever tried to keep them alive yourself? It's actually pretty tricky. That's where Molly Maday comes in.

Molly launched Swell Succulents two years ago and has been teaching groups how to plant and grow succulents ever since. It was at the insistence of her friends who saw she had a knack for it while they were struggling. "Friends encouraged me to get it started and pursue may passion and hobby and it's going really really well," said Molly.

She teaches these classes at shops and home parties on the weekend since she is a recreation therapist at Benjamin's Hope in Holland during the day. She works with adults with autism and developmental disabilities. 

Her love for gardening came from her mom, who also had her own side business with garden design. "So it's just really cool to be able to continue on in the same path as her, and she would be so proud," said Molly.

She has over 20,000 followers on Instagram and credits social media for helping her grow her business.

"Social media has been awesome, I haven't even really had to advertise at all. People will email me and say Hey will you do this? I do a lot of hashtags on Instagram and Facebook and word just spreads," she said. "I think people come to the classes, they will tell other people and people who come to a workshop will want to have a private party at their house. Word has traveled which has been great."

In just two years, her ticket sales topped $10,000, and demand is growing. "It's a joke with my family about how many plants I have in my basement. With a grow light, yep, yep, I've told my neighbors it's succulents!"

Molly's next event is another workshop at Everlasting Blooms in Grand Rapids, where this story was shot. It's happening on May 13.

Molly will also be selling her arrangements at the Peddlers Market in Zeeland on May 27.

Click here for more information about those events and others.

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