When Luciana Daly of Boston lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic, her side hustle became her moneymaker.
"It was truly opportunistic timing," said Daly. "We were in the house, people wanted to decorate, and I was available with the product."
Her home decor and design business — Ankhara by Luciana — started to take off.
"Business just exploded," said Daly.
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Affectionately known as The Pillow Lady by loyal fans, the single mom works out of her Mission Hill home and creates everything from pillows to blankets to rugs.
"Not only do I get to be my own boss, but I get to create generational wealth for my next generation," said Daly.
To reach as many clients as possible, she turns to Instagram to promote, sell and funnel customers to popups, where she'll often set up shop.
"It allows you to reach people who you probably wouldn't necessarily be able to interact with," said Daly.
Black History Month
Pertreena Cherrie is also reaching shoppers through Instagram rather than traditional publicity.
"If I make a new piece, I'll put it up on Instagram," said Cherrie. "I'll let people know where they can find me."
Social media is a money saver.
"I don't have to worry about cost," said Cherrie. "Having a cost where you're advertising is very detrimental to me as an entrepreneur, because a lot of my money goes into my materials."
Her small business — Unique Jewelry Designs by PC — is based in her Roxbury home.
She makes all sorts of pieces, including earrings and bracelets. And it all started with a single post.
"Kind of, like, took off from there, and I started making more things, and I started posting," said Cherrie. "People were liking it, asking me how much it was."
For both women, every customer means more than just the sale.
"It's great as a maker, because it lets me know that somebody besides my son and my mom likes my stuff," said Daly.
"It's a really good feeling when somebody appreciates the hard work that you put into what you're doing," added Cherrie.
And they'd like to send a message that they're always present — not just during Black History Month.
"We're not just here in February," said Cherrie. "We're here all the time, 365 days, we're here."