Teacher’s Kitchen Table Side Hustle Rakes in $10,400 Monthly And Sales Persist Even When Inactive

Eight years ago, while on maternity leave, Becky Powell, a kindergarten teacher, found herself yearning for something more. A friend suggested she utilize her son’s naptime to generate additional income, directing her to an educational resource platform known as Teachers Pay Teachers.

From her couch or kitchen table, Powell embarked on creating worksheets for fellow educators to purchase and download.

Teachers Pay Teachers functions akin to Etsy, offering a marketplace for educational resources spanning various grade levels and subjects. Powell’s store, named Sight Word Activities, specializes in fostering literacy skills among kindergarteners, first-graders, and other young learners.

Initially, revenue trickled in slowly. However, within a few weeks, Powell began earning enough to cover minor household expenses. After four months, she achieved a milestone: generating sufficient income to settle both her and her husband’s monthly student loan payments.

Throughout the years, what began as a modest 10-hour-per-week endeavor blossomed into a six-figure enterprise, jointly managed by Powell and her husband, Jerome. According to documents scrutinized by CNBC Make It, Powell’s Teachers Pay Teachers store raked in $125,500 last year, translating to just over $10,400 per month.

Teacher's Kitchen Table Side Hustle Rakes in $10,400 Monthly And Sales Persist Even When Inactive
Classroom as a lab: Testing worksheets, observing struggles, refining content for online sale.

Jerome, a full-time computer engineer, oversees another store on the platform dubbed Editable Activities, boasting an annual income of approximately $50,000.

“I have worksheets that I created eight years ago that still yield thousands [of dollars] in passive income every year,” Powell, 41, residing in Beaverton, Oregon, asserts. “Even when I find myself not able to create… the sales still come in.”

Here’s a glimpse into Powell and her husband’s journey of nurturing their side hustle and the opportunities it affords them with the extra cash.

Powell regards her classroom as the ideal testing ground for her entrepreneurial venture. Through observing her students’ struggles, she crafts worksheets as teaching aids and piloted the concepts with her kindergarteners before offering them for sale online.

“I call my students my clients,” Powell quips.

Their side hustle earnings have empowered the Powells to settle their student loans and treat their two sons to trips to Disneyland.

Initially earning $21,000 in her inaugural year on Teachers Pay Teachers, Powell enlisted Jerome’s help to bolster their presence on the platform. Together, they honed Powell’s store to align with her expertise in teaching children to sight-read.

Teacher's Kitchen Table Side Hustle Rakes in $10,400 Monthly and Sales Persist Even When Inactive
Side hustle success: Paying off student loans, treating family to Disneyland, and Aruba vacations.

Jerome introduced Powell to analyzing the platform’s searches, enabling her to discern trending worksheets and incorporate popular keywords into her profile.

Powell recounts Jerome’s humorous advice: “He’d always tell me, ‘Do you know where the best place is to hide a dead body? On the third page of search results.'”

Inspired by Powell’s success, Jerome launched his Teachers Pay Teachers store in 2019, vending customizable PDF worksheets.

Their tax advisor recommended consolidating their businesses into an S-Corp in 2021, allowing their seller profiles to remain distinct while directing earnings to a unified source.

Unlike some platform sellers who retain only 50% of their sales, Powell and her husband, as “premium sellers,” pay an annual subscription fee of $59.95 each, permitting them to retain 80% of their sales as profit.

Powell adjusts her side hustle workload to accommodate the demands of teaching, intensifying efforts during summers to preempt the financial uncertainties of the school year.

The couple allocates their extra income toward mundane expenses like mortgage payments and debt settlement.

However, they also indulge in memorable experiences, treating their sons to Disneyland trips and embarking on a getaway to Aruba. Powell reflects, “That’s something we spent the money on to be frivolous.”

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
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