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Woman, 35, turns her eBay side hustle into $141 million company

Kit Roberts

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| Last updated 

Woman, 35, turns her eBay side hustle into $141 million company

Featured Image Credit: Pink Lily/CNBC

A woman who quit her sales job to work on her eBay side hustle ended up turning it into a company worth $141 million.

Having a side hustle has become increasingly popular, with many people turning to it as a way of making some extra cash or getting money from doing something they enjoy. It could be selling crafts or artwork, or trying to sell things online.

Tori Gerbig had previously worked in sales and founded Pink Lily as a side hustle in 2011.

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She started up the business as a shop on eBay selling women's fashion, but the brand has since become one of the fastest-growing online retailers in the US, giving Tori the option to quit her job and pursue it full time alongside her husband Chris.

Tori Gerbig started the business as a hobby when she was 24. Credit: Instagram / torigerbig
Tori Gerbig started the business as a hobby when she was 24. Credit: Instagram / torigerbig

Writing for CNBC, she explained that they had needed to be prudent with their business goals as they didn't have any backing. She wrote: "Without funding or assurances of what was ahead, we took the risk and set ambitious goals. I focused on leveraging my sales and social media knowledge to grow our outreach while Chris incorporated his finance expertise to structure operations."

Tori was only 24 when she founded Pink Lily, calling it a 'fun hobby' when she first got started. Ten years on, she and Chris run it full time and turned over $141 million (£113 million) in gross sales, as well as amassing some 3.6 million followers on social media.

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The pair initially invested around $300 in clothes to sell on eBay. Over the first few years, she said that they would typically make between $300 and $1000 per month, which they used to pay off student loans and to invest into the business.

Now the business turns over $141 million. Credit: Instagram / torigerbig
Now the business turns over $141 million. Credit: Instagram / torigerbig

But things grew quickly and in May 2014, they had begun regularly making $100,000 in revenue each month.

By 2019 they had grown further, achieving a mind-boggling $70 million in sales. Now, they sell around 11,000 products on their platform every day and have some 250 employees, making them one of the biggest employers in their home town of Bowling Green in Kentucky.

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Tori puts the success down to a consistent business strategy, including making the company's branding clear and featuring customers who post on social media in their new outfits.

She also advises anyone wanting to do the same to reinvest any profits they make, and to find a gap in the market.

Topics: News, Business, Fashion, US News

Kit Roberts
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