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How a Teacher Turned Her Maternity Leave Side Hustle Into a Six-Figure Venture

Explore how a kindergarten teacher's side hustle on Teachers Pay Teachers brings in $10,400 monthly, turning naptime creations into financial freedom.
UPDATED JAN 22, 2024
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Yan Krukau
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Yan Krukau

In the quiet moments of her son's naptime, Becky Powell, a 41-year-old kindergarten teacher from Beaverton, Oregon, found herself embarking on a journey that would transform her life. Little did she know that what started as a side hustle for extra cash during maternity leave would blossom into a venture, generating a monthly income of $10,400. Let's delve into the remarkable tale of Powell's 'kitchen table' side hustle on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Pexels | Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko
Pexels | Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Eight years ago, while on maternity leave, Powell found herself yearning for more than just the routine of diapers and naptime. A friend's suggestion led her to Teachers Pay Teachers, an educational resource platform. Powell, armed with creativity and a passion for teaching literacy, started her store, Sight Word Activities, specializing in materials for young learners.

The initial days were slow, but Powell's dedication turned a 10-hour-per-week gig into a lucrative venture. She highlights the beauty of passive income that her worksheets generate, as the income keeps coming even when she doesn't create anything.

Pexels | Photo by Yan Krukau
Pexels | Photo by Yan Krukau

Powell's classroom became the testing ground for her entrepreneurial venture. Identifying the struggles of students, creating teaching aids, and refining ideas with kindergarteners paved the way for success. "I call my students my clients," Powell says with a laugh, emphasizing the link between her teaching career and online business.

The Powells, a dynamic duo comprising Becky and her computer engineer husband Jerome used the extra cash to pay off student loans and indulge in family trips, including enchanting visits to Disneyland. Powell's success prompted her husband to join the platform in 2019, and to create his own store, Editable Activities.

Pexels | Photo by Leeloo Thefirst
Pexels | Photo by Leeloo Thefirst

Success on Teachers Pay Teachers involves more than just creating quality content. Powell and Jerome adopted strategic approaches to enhance their visibility on the platform. Studying search trends and integrating popular keywords became a crucial part of their business strategy.

Choosing to become "premium sellers" by paying an annual subscription fee, the Powells retained 80% of their sales as profit. Powell adjusts the intensity of her side hustle based on the demands of her teaching job, scaling it back during busy times and revving it up during summers to financially prepare for the upcoming school year.

Beyond the mundane, the Powells used their extra income for significant financial goals. The couple also made room for a bit of indulgence, treating their sons to Disneyland and enjoying a getaway to Aruba. It's a blend of financial responsibility and occasional splurges that reflect the balance they've achieved through their thriving side hustle. Becky Powell's journey from a kindergarten teacher to a successful online entrepreneur showcases the power of passion, dedication, and a keen understanding of online market dynamics. As her worksheets continue to generate passive income, Powell's story stands as an inspiration for educators and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.