New Data Shows Women Love Their Side Hustles and It’s Not All About the Money

Are you ready to have your minds BLOWN, Side Hustle Moms?

One of my friends from the fabulous Ruby Ribbon just contacted me about some amazing new data regarding three women-led gig economy startups and the results were not only fun, but seriously fascinating:

New Data Shows Women Love Their Side Hustles and It’s Not All About the Money 

“Women in the Gig Economy 2018” Reveals Women Value Flexibility, Income and Entrepreneurship

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 7, 2018 – A new survey of more than 1,000 women with side hustles reveals that the top three reasons women choose independent work are: flexibility (44 percent), income (38 percent) and entrepreneurship (25 percent). Commissioned by BabyQuip (www.babyquip.com), Ruby Ribbon (www.rubyribbon.com) and UrbanSitter (www.urbansitter.com) “Women in the Gig Economy 2018” provides an in-depth look at a cross section of women who make income working side hustles either as their sole source of income or as a complement to full time work. The findings show that the majority (95 percent) of women with side hustles find the work fulfilling and nearly a third (32 percent) say they plan to continue doing independent flexible work forever.

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The gig economy is steadily reshaping the workforce as evidenced by the May 2018 Gig Economy Index, which reported that roughly 40 percent of the U.S. workforce makes 40 percent of its income through gig work. “Women in the Gig Economy 2018” sought to examine the landscape as it pertains specifically to women who have chosen side hustles to earn supplementary or primary income. The resulting data creates a snapshot of how and why women gig in 2018.

Flexibility First

When asked why they choose to side hustle, “flexibility” was the most frequent answer, with 44 percent of women indicating it is one of the primary reasons.

More specifically, when rating how important various aspects of their gig economy work was to them, 65 percent of respondents indicated flexibility is “extremely important,” with another 30 percent saying it is “very important.”  In all, flexibility is important to 95 percent of respondents. What’s more, women with children under age 5 were more likely to select “more time with children” (54 percent), another form of flexibility, as the reason they gig.

“Even in an era of historically high employment, women are choosing a side hustle,” said Anna Zornosa, CEO of Ruby Ribbon. “In spite of the growing demand for full-time workers, these findings indicate that women are going to continue with their gig economy jobs, which offer them fulfillment and flexibility, as well as a satisfactory income.”

Income is Important

While flexibility is the leading reason women report they gig, income is a close second. Overall, 38 percent of women indicated they side hustle to “earn a good income.”  When asked to rate how much importance they place on various aspects of their side hustles, “earning money” was most likely to be rated “extremely important” (66 percent). 

More than half of respondents (54 percent) reported adding over $500 to their monthly household incomes through their side hustles. Most (57 percent) reported that their hourly earnings were below $20, with the balance (43 percent) reporting earning $20 or more per hour. Women were most likely to report they gigged between 5 and 9 hours a week.

Most women reported they are either “somewhat” satisfied (56 percent) or “extremely” satisfied (20 percent) with the money they earn. Only 12 percent of women report being dissatisfied with their earnings.  The survey found that women who have been doing this work for 3 or more years enjoy higher earnings, with 59 percent earning $500 or more and over a third (36 percent) earning over $999 per month.

Women most commonly report that they use their side hustle earnings to cover general household expenses like mortgage and rent, car payments and food costs. When considering only age, women in their 20s are the most likely age group to use earnings to pay off student loans and other debt, while women in their 50s and 60s are the most likely age groups to use side gig income to save for retirement.  The survey also found that most prefer to have an independent contractor relationship with the company that provides their side hustle opportunities (61 percent), rather than being traditional employees (12 percent).

“The gig economy appeals to women of all ages, and we’re not surprised  that the  ways they use their side hustle incomes differs by life stage,” said Fran Maier, Founder and CEO of BabyQuip. “What excites us is that they enjoy this kind of work and we are looking forward to creating great opportunities for them at any age or life stage.”

Entrepreneurship is Evolving 

Entrepreneurship was the third most popular answer (25 percent) to the question asking participants why they gig.  More than half of the women surveyed (58 percent) rated “build my own business” as being “very important” or “extremely important.”  

Additionally, respondents value the skills they are acquiring through their side hustles with 72 percent of women acquiring “customer service” skills and just under half learning various marketing skills, including sales (44 percent), marketing and advertising (43 percent), social media marketing (42 percent) and public relations (41 percent). 

“Side hustles aren’t new to women. Many were gigging before the term was ever coined,” said Lynn Perkins, CEO of UrbanSitter. “But with the availability of more robust gig platforms and marketplaces today, it is easier for women to find and succeed at side hustles that offer the flexibility and money they need, while also allowing them to acquire new professional skills and become entrepreneurs at any stage in life. It’s truly a winning proposition.”

For more detail on the survey and its finding you can see the full white paper entitled “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Her Side Hustle: Women in the Gig Economy 2018” at each of the site’s newsrooms.

Download the white paper at  UrbanSitter, BabyQuip or Ruby Ribbon.

Download the infographic at UrbanSitter, BabyQuip, or Ruby Ribbon.

About BabyQuip

BabyQuip, formerly Babierge, is the leading baby gear rental service and marketplace serving traveling families visiting more than 250 destinations in the US and Canada. The company helps families pack light and travel happy by delivering and setting-up exceptionally clean, quality baby gear. As a branded multi-sided marketplace, the BabyQuip platform enables on-the-ground "Quality Providers" to build a solid business renting gear that they own. BabyQuip is backed by Startup Capital Ventures, Quake Capital, Rostrum Capital, The GWC Innovator Fund, the Stanford-StartX Fund and several angel investors. 

About Ruby Ribbon

Ruby Ribbon is an apparel company, focused on intimates, that sells its products nationwide through a technology-empowered network of Independent Stylists. True to its mission of supporting all women, Ruby Ribbon's award-winning intimate apparel and on-trend fashion are designed for comfort, style and fit. The company supports female entrepreneurship by enabling each Stylist to operate her own business. Ruby Ribbon is backed by investors, including Trinity Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures and DBL Partners.

About UrbanSitter

UrbanSitter is an app and website that’s making it easier than ever for parents to find, book and pay trusted childcare, from date nights to full-time care. Only UrbanSitter taps into a parent’s personal network to connect them with sitters of friends, co-workers, moms groups and parents from their kid’s school—to find a sitter they trust. With more than 1 million registered users in more than 50 cities, UrbanSitter is solving the childcare dilemma for families everywhere. The company is backed by Advance Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, DBL Investors, First Round Capital, Match Group - a division of IAC, Menlo Ventures, Rustic Canyon, Aspect Ventures, A-Grade Investments and several angel investors.

In case you missed it, I had the chance to speak with a few of these amazing mompreneurs, so please check out our interview with Ruby Ribbon’s Anna Zornosa here and BabyQuip’s Trish McDermott here.

The Ruby Ribbon Pieces That Every Mom Needs In Her Wardrobe

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, meaning I either received payment and/or free product in exchange for this post. That being said, I would never give my endorsement/recommendation for something I didn't absolutely love!

When people ask me what the best part of working from home is, I always give the same answers:

1. I get to stay home/raise my boys/work around their schedules.

2. I have more freedom (in both my time and creativity).

3. I can wear whatever the eff I want because my boys are still too young to judge me (I think).

Early on in my work-from-home life, I learned that I actually feel more human when I do wake up, change out of my pajamas, put on a bra, and add some waves to my hair, but I would still hate to sacrifice comfort for style (as I do NOT need to wear jeans and a fitted top to run around at the park when I can be wearing yoga pants... can I get an amen?!).

That's where my friends at Ruby Ribbon come in. 

Ruby Ribbon is a social commerce apparel company that makes the world's cutest and most comfortable clothes that are not only super stylish, but also compliment each and every shape, making them my new everyday go to! 

After interviewing Founder and CEO Anna Zornosa a few months ago, the company was so gracious and sent me a box full of different clothes to try, and I seriously cannot rave about each piece enough! 

Let's have a look:

My official summer 2018 wardrobe: A comfy graphic tee,  Fast Track Capri  s , and my  Lace Demiette  (AKA the world's most comfortable bra... I live/sleep in this thing!).

My official summer 2018 wardrobe: A comfy graphic tee, Fast Track Capris, and my Lace Demiette (AKA the world's most comfortable bra... I live/sleep in this thing!).

When I say I love these  Ruby Ribbon Fast Track Capris , I mean I LOVE these pants! I literally wear them 3-4 times a week and have worn them for travel, hiking, library trips, errands, working, working out, and even just lounging around the house! (Need I mention that I get tons of compliments on them when I wear them out in public?)

When I say I love these Ruby Ribbon Fast Track Capris, I mean I LOVE these pants! I literally wear them 3-4 times a week and have worn them for travel, hiking, library trips, errands, working, working out, and even just lounging around the house! (Need I mention that I get tons of compliments on them when I wear them out in public?)

Gabey and I cheering on his brother (and Coach Daddy) at one of his baseball games! These silky and flattering pants are the  Dual Track Capris , which you need in your life right. this. second. 

Gabey and I cheering on his brother (and Coach Daddy) at one of his baseball games! These silky and flattering pants are the Dual Track Capris, which you need in your life right. this. second. 

Just hustling away in my  Dual Tank . I love how versatile this top is, as I can easily dress it up for church or date night, or pair it with shorts when spending a day at home (drinking coffee and snapping unflattering selfies). 

Just hustling away in my Dual Tank. I love how versatile this top is, as I can easily dress it up for church or date night, or pair it with shorts when spending a day at home (drinking coffee and snapping unflattering selfies). 

This little number is called the  DIY Dress  and it is probably my favorite thing I own! As per their own description, "1 Dress. 6 Ways! The go to wedding, vacay, reunion, girls night, date night dress!" So far, I have only worn this as a maxi skirt to church and to a BBQ (pictured), but I am already planning to wear it to my cousin's wedding next month... stay tuned to Instagram for more pictures! 

This little number is called the DIY Dress and it is probably my favorite thing I own! As per their own description, "1 Dress. 6 Ways! The go to wedding, vacay, reunion, girls night, date night dress!" So far, I have only worn this as a maxi skirt to church and to a BBQ (pictured), but I am already planning to wear it to my cousin's wedding next month... stay tuned to Instagram for more pictures! 

Ladies: You NEED the  Riviera Tank Suit  in your life! I have been wearing it all summer and the only complaint I have about it is that it doesn't make my legs look as good this models :P Despite this, it is super feminine and flattering, and I have gotten several compliments at the pool! (Once I lose my 10 pounds of nearly-2-year-old baby fat, I will share a picture.)

Ladies: You NEED the Riviera Tank Suit in your life! I have been wearing it all summer and the only complaint I have about it is that it doesn't make my legs look as good this models :P Despite this, it is super feminine and flattering, and I have gotten several compliments at the pool! (Once I lose my 10 pounds of nearly-2-year-old baby fat, I will share a picture.)

In addition to all of the above, I also got to try Ruby Ribbon's famous camis, which not only replace your uncomfortable wire bra, but also smooth any bumps you may be trying to hide (which is great when you are like me and wearing something that no longer fits like it did pre-baby).

You guys, I cannot say enough good things about both these clothes and this amazing company! I am extremely picky about what I recommend to friends, but I wholeheartedly endorse anything and everything from Ruby Ribbon for its comfort, value, and style. Be sure to check out their website for the looks I shared and so much more! (Psst... If you love the clothes, you can even sell them! Just ask the oh-so fabulous Livvy Cunningham :)

Mom Boss Interview: Livvy Cunningham from Ruby Ribbon

Ladies and gentlemen: It is Wednesday and it's time for your weekly dose of #momboss inspiration! You know how we love setting big goals here at Side Hustle Mom and and today's interviewee is MAJOR goals! 

Last month, we introduced you to Anna Zornosa, the founder and CEO behind the amazing Ruby Ribbon, which offers women (and men!) the opportunity to own their own boutique without the traditional MLM format. After speaking with Anna, we wanted to keep the conversation going, which is why we reached out to Ruby Ribbon about speaking to one of their talented stylists, which is where the lovely Livvy Cunningham comes in!

Livvy is a super mom to FOUR kids (ages 1, 7, 12, 15), owns a boxing gym/fitness facility with her 2-time world champion boxer husband, and styles women in super comfortable and stylist Ruby Ribbon clothing. 

Here she is!

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Livvy, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

I am a wife to a great husband, coming up our 15th anniversary this Fall and mom to 4 awesome kids ages 15, 12, 7 and 1.  My husband and I own and operate a boxing gym/fitness facility and in short, life is beautifully crazy.  My days are busy, but they are also a lot of fun and very fulfilling.  Being that my life is so busy, I don't have time to hang out with girlfriends in "real life" so I really value the relationships I am able to build online and through social media.  I laugh a lot (mostly at myself) and I'm an entrepreneur to my core. 

What is your professional background? Have you always been in a sales-related field?

I have a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Boston University.  I have held corporate positions in administration, marketing and corporate sponsorship, as well as managed my husband's professional boxing career for the last 10 years.  Before entering the direct sales industry, I had never held an actual sales position. I'm not naturally a pushy person, so I never thought I would be any good at it – I thought you had to be like a car salesman to do well in sales.  But since entering the field—and after a lot of professional development and learning from mistakes along the way—to my surprise, I am good at it and I truly do enjoy it. This industry is so powerful for side-hustling mamas that want to build a business and make money on their own terms, especially when they learn the proper way to sell. 

How were you first introduced to Ruby Ribbon? With all of the different direct sales companies out there, what made this company/opportunity different?

I started as a party host because I saw a post on Facebook talking about a bra-replacing, tummy slimming cami and like every other woman that hates her bra, I was curious.  I ended up setting up a virtual party and it was a major hit. My friends went crazy for the camis, so much so that the entrepreneur in me couldn't resist the opportunity.  I started to research it and really fell in love with the company, its mission, messaging and products.  So I jumped in and haven't looked back.

Ruby Ribbon is very different than other opportunities out there for several reasons. The company offers a $79 solution to a million dollar problem.  We don't have to deal with bras, underwires and back fluff anymore! Ruby Ribbon’s products empower women, helping them look and feel their very best with comfort!!  I just truly believe that when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good... WATCH OUT WORLD!  Beyond that, this opportunity has no competition in the direct sales space, a corporate team with so much heart and lots of room for growth considering that we only have 2,700 Stylists today.  

How do you promote and market your business? 

The amazing thing about this opportunity is that I am able to work it on a super part-time basis and still make full-time income.  I personally promote and work my business online and fit it into the nooks and crannies of my life—15 minutes here, and hour there, while waiting in the car pick-up line for my kids after school, etc.  I primarily use Facebook to chat “cami life” with women that are ready to ditch their bras and I also run a private VIP Facebook group for my business with over 600 members.

What can our readers expect when signing on with Ruby Ribbon? (Ex: Compensation, community, etc.)

Ruby Ribbon Stylists have their very own business to run and build as big as they can dream.  But even more then that, they are joining a very tight knit and close family.  I have never seen a company with so much support and training, nor one that is so generous with incentives, free product credits, and perks!  I've mentioned this already, but this company has such heart that even stylists are offered maternity and bereavement programs!  Our CEO is in the field and truly involved in every level of the business and that is something very special.   

How many hours a week do you spend on your business and what do you typically do during this time? 

I work my Ruby Ribbon business 1-3 hours per day, but usually less on the weekends, unless it’s the end of the month.  I am a wife and mom first. I am very clear about that and in all honesty, our gym takes precedence as well.  When I am working my business, I am "planting seeds" online, connecting with women, posting in groups, interacting in my VIP group, answering questions, conducting virtual fittings and hosting Facebook Lives. I also have a growing team and spend time daily helping them, answering questions, conducting trainings and having fun with women that are building their dreams.

Finally (and most importantly): Do you have a specific Ruby Ribbon memory that stands out as your favorite? Why?

I would say trying on a cami for the first time is my favorite memory.  I had the biggest smile on my face and all I could think was “FREEDOM!!” All of the things I hated about my bra disappeared and I was comfortable and confident.  Our camis initially start with a small ripple of change in our life because we don’t wear a bra anymore.  But, that ripple grows into a major wave that becomes life changing.  When you are on hour 14 of your day and still going strong and you realize, "hey my back isn't hurting like it normally does by now" or you have received compliments all day about how you look (“something is different about you…have you lost weight?”). You have an extra pep in your step and you realize it all comes back to your cami.  For me, even better than that is getting messages from my customers with similar stories and hearing how our products are helping them.  It seriously makes my day.

Traditionally these types of products do not work well for women with larger cups sizes and they feel like they will always need the underwire.  I have a good friend that wears a 36 HH and her breasts weigh 5 pounds each!  She reluctantly tried a cami and the next day she sent me a video practically in tears when she realized that there was a life for her without an underwired bra and she was ecstatic. 

Ready to launch your own Ruby Ribbon boutique? Visit their website now to get started!

 

Mom Boss Interview: Anna Zornosa - Founder & CEO of Ruby Ribbon

Happy Wednesday, Mamas! I woke up this morning at 4:30 excited to get up and get to work (which, if you know me and my night owl ways, is a pretty big deal), as we have a BIG interview in store for today!

Side Hustle Moms: Meet the ultimate boss babe, Anna Zornosa.

As per her bio on Ruby Ribbon, Anna Zornosa's career has included leadership positions at startups, as well as large public companies. She founded Ruby Ribbon in 2011 after being inspired to create a unique everyday shapewear apparel company, whose products are only available through social commerce. She serves as an Advisor to several other startups including: Trulioo.com, Motista, Inc, Glam.com, and Chloe & Isabel. Previously, she served as EVP of the Cobalt Group, Vice President, Yahoo!, Chief Marketing Officer, Knight Ridder Digital, and CEO, Topica, Inc. She has both a Masters and Bachelor's degrees from the University of Wisconsin, and lives in Burlingame, CA with her family.

It isn't every day that I get to chat with the CEO of a Silicon Valley company, so better believe that I took full advantage and thought long and hard about what to ask! Without further ado, here is the fabulous Anna:

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It is such an honor to be speaking with you today, Anna! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Before founding Ruby Ribbon, I spent 20 years working in Internet services companies both big and small. Career highlights include roles as a vice president at Yahoo! and the chief marketing officer for the digital division of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain.

In 2011, the last company I was part of sold to the ADP Corporation.

At that point, I considered many options, including retirement, but was inspired to create a shapewear company that doesn’t force women to choose between comfort or style.

In your own words, just what is Ruby Ribbon?

Ruby Ribbon is a body-shaping and bra-alternative apparel company. Not only does Ruby Ribbon differentiate itself with its wire-free, variable compression product line, the company sells its apparel products directly to consumers using a nationwide network of technology-empowered independent stylists.

Ruby Ribbon offers bras, camisoles, shapers and more that are made by women and for women. Its innovative products reflect the company’s response to the changing needs of American women, addressing both the need for real support while providing comfort and style.

Did you know that over the past 20 years, the average bra size has increased from a 34B to a 34DD? At the same time, in part due to the pain under wires inflict on more endowed women, market share for sports bras has increased – but sports bras have the undesired side effect of compressing and flattening a woman's breasts.

Enter Ruby Ribbon, which has created wire-free products that offer both support and style, as well as variable compression that’s slimming and smoothing. Not only is variable compression more flattering, it is also much more comfortable (uniform compression, which most competitive products feature, is too constricting and just doesn’t work with a woman’s curves).

More specifically, our shapewear technology and construction solve a number of common body challenges, such as: smoothing your core, shaping your legs, leaning out your hips, and lifting your bust.

How did you come up with the idea for Ruby Ribbon? How did you know where to even begin in building a clothing company?

My “aha moment” came when I escaped to the ladies room in the middle of a social event to throw my ugly and uncomfortable shapewear item in the trash and noticed several other women had done the same thing.

Coming from the world of media and Internet, I had no idea how to build a clothing company, but I was motivated when I grasped the market potential and need. Ruby Ribbon started as a crazy idea in my living room in Burlingame, California in 2012 and today we're a nationwide company. It’s been quite a journey!

What did the beginning stages of Ruby Ribbon look like and how did you scale it to the size it is today?

Ruby Ribbon entered the market in Q4 2012 and I seed funded the company myself early on because I so firmly believed in our mission and product.

We began our national expansion in 2014 after fine-tuning product, defining stylist training and compensation, and ensuring scalable operations in markets. This was at the start of the gig economy boom and capitalized on the desire of women to find a side hustle.

We later raised raised more than $11M from investors Trinity Ventures, Mohr Davidow Partners and DBL Partners and our network of stylists who focus on social selling really helped us achieve viral, word of mouth customer growth.

Just what is a Stylist and what made you decide to use this model for selling?

Today, virtually all of Ruby Ribbon’s business is conducted through independent stylists who work their business part-time or full-time and always flexibly as they juggle competing priorities.

We have more than 2,600 stylists nationally, who invest $250 in exchange for product samples and the ability to be paid commission on sales (and can purchase additional samples using a stylist discount).

The company supports the stylists with sophisticated web-based training programs—which it calls Ruby Ribbon Academy— as well technology tools including their own personalized e-commerce sites, templates for CRM-marketing, and training to conduct sales in-person and via online events.

Our stylists sell the garments through at-home parties in order to ensure our customers are in a comfortable and intimate setting where they can speak freely about their bodies and the product fit. 

Stylist sales commissions range from 20% to 40% and the average sales event has sales of $850. Some women make over six figures, and it is their full-time job. Other women sell Ruby Ribbon to supplement part-time jobs or in addition to their roles as stay-at-home moms.

What makes Ruby Ribbon different from other clothing companies like Lu La Roe or Cabi?

One key differentiator is that Ruby Ribbon requires a minimal investment from stylists. Unlike the Lu La roe wholesale model which requires its sales consultants to purchase and manage a very large inventory, a Ruby Ribbon stylists can very successfully sell our line with only a few samples on-hand. We also have a product that women both need and love and require multiples of: our wire free support Cami.

Can you walk us through a day in your shoes?

When you start a company, you take on much more than a new job. It’s truly a lifestyle. I’m very hands-on and love to have a personal relationship with our Stylists and customers. I’m not the type of CEO who is locked in an ivory tower – I’m in it with our Stylists day-in-day-out.

Typically, I start my day answering emails over coffee and breakfast. I’ll usually have a call with East Coast teammates in the morning. When I’m not on the road, I’m at the office, meeting with my team, looking at sales figures, planning and reacting to what is going on with our Stylists. A couple days a week I also do an opportunity call with potential new Stylists. I love to meet them and answer their questions about Ruby Ribbon.

Can you give advice to any moms out there dreaming of launching their own company?

My advice to other aspiring “mompreneurs”—and women in general—is to wake up every day and say, “Today I will have more confidence.”  I really believe that confidence is a woman’s most beautiful accessory because when you have confidence everything else comes easier and looks better! I also suggest surrounding yourself with great people whose expertise and skill sets will augment your own.

What has been your proudest moment since launching Ruby Ribbon?

There are many! We have had 60 months of consistent growth and now have a presence in all 50 states. We’ve sold more than 500,000 camisoles and empowered 2,600 women to earn incomes. These milestones all show me that we’ve had a tangible impact on a lot of women’s lives and that makes me very proud.

So amazing, right?! To learn more about Anna, Ruby Ribbon, or becoming a Stylist, please visit Ruby Ribbon's website, Facebook, and Instagram