About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Architect's Side Hustle: Woman Turns Passion into $400K Enterprise

Chisom Okwulehie envisions Juntero's growth through strategic partnerships with developers across the United States.
UPDATED FEB 12, 2024
Cover Image Source: Chisom Okwulehie | YouTube | CNBC
Cover Image Source: Chisom Okwulehie | YouTube | CNBC

Chisom Okwulehie, a 35-year-old architect, has defied conventional career trajectories. Her side hustle, Juntero, initially conceived to supplement her income, has blossomed into a thriving consulting firm, generating over $400,000 annually. This story, part of CNBC's Make It's Millennial Money series, explores Chisom's remarkable journey, diving deep into her background, strategic business approach, and the balance she maintains between her side hustle, a demanding career, and family responsibilities.
Image Source: Chisom Okwulehie |

Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chisom's early artistic inclinations led her to the San Francisco High School of the Arts. A high school principal's suggestion propelled her toward architecture, receiving bachelor's degrees in architecture and public policy from the University of Southern California.

A master's degree in advanced architectural design from Columbia University followed in 2014. She then started working at Perkins Eastman, a prominent architectural firm, where her role involved designing significant projects, including a boathouse at the San Francisco Airport.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by CNBC Make It (@cnbcmakeit)


Driven by a quest for better work-life balance, Chisom transitioned to the public sector in 2017, assuming the role of an architect at Port Authority. As her responsibilities grew, she found herself equipped with valuable project management and quality assurance skills, laying the foundation for her future role as an entrepreneur.

Her journey began in early 2021 after giving birth to her daughter, seeking additional income to support her role as an architect at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Despite a six-figure salary, the desire to cover mortgage costs for her duplex in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, prompted her to venture into entrepreneurship. She soon navigated a unique path, deviating from the traditional career choices imposed by her Nigerian household.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Juntero l Design + Technology (@juntero_solutions)


Chisom's side hustle, Juntero, started in 2021 with a modest project designing an ad for However, her clientele expanded, and the company's revenue skyrocketed, reaching $414,000 in 2023. What started as a supplementary income stream evolved into a multifaceted consulting firm specializing in architectural and interior design for residential projects.

To manage the burgeoning workload, Chisom strategically delegated tasks to a team of over 30 contract designers, effectively transforming Juntero into an agency under her adept leadership. The company's niche in creating photorealistic 3D renderings became a game-changer, attracting real estate developers seeking tangible visualizations for marketing unbuilt properties.

Remarkably, Chisom has seamlessly juggled her full-time job at Port Authority with the demands of Juntero and family responsibilities. Despite working on billion-dollar infrastructure projects, she dedicates five to ten hours per week to Juntero. The integration of technology facilitates remote work, with projects assigned and managed through platforms like Slack and WhatsApp.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Juntero l Design + Technology (@juntero_solutions)


Apart from her salary, Juntero's profits, nearly $173,000 in 2023, are judiciously invested in high-yield savings accounts. She allocates funds for housing, child care, debt repayment, savings, and discretionary expenses. Her meticulous financial planning extends to investments, with a substantial sum allocated to building a future home in Upper Nyack, New York, serving as both a residence and investment.

Looking ahead, Chisom envisions Juntero's growth through strategic partnerships with developers across the United States. Despite the company's success, she remains steadfast in her commitment to her full-time role at Port Authority, recognizing the invaluable management lessons learned in the public sector. As a mother of two, the entrepreneur's primary goal is to create generational wealth for her children.