Side Hustle CEOs

Side Hustle CEOs: Brianna Mills and Visuals by Bri

I always questioned the worthiness of my work.

Is there an artist who can’t relate to that thought?

Not one that we know.

Meet Brianna Mills of Visuals by Bri, a photographer who inspires creatives to travel and make their own money (we like that).

When you look at Bri’s work, you’ll see that her images are nothing short of stunning! Yet, like artists before and after her, she didn’t immediately see the value in her work.

Something we love about Bri’s story is the way she talked herself into accepting money for her work. It’s easy—too easy—to tell yourself a million reasons why you’re not good enough to get paid for what you do.

It’s hard to be your own cheerleader. Bri did it anyway.

We won’t expose the whole story. Instead, we’ll let Bri tell you how she got started, through her…lens.

So, without further ado…

Meet Bri.

Brianna Mills, Founder and photographer of Visuals by Bri.

Visuals by Bri (Brianna Mills) - Side Hustle Business School

What is your side hustle?
I’m the Founder and photographer of Visuals by Bri. While my main service provides travel and portrait sessions for clients, the company serves to inspire creatives to travel, photograph, and run a successful side hustle.

When did you get interested in this particular craft?
Growing up, I always found myself in the back of my mom’s closet digging through her old photo boxes. I’ve always felt documenting special moments in life is so important when thinking about our legacy. As a visual artist, photography gives me the permission to share and document my stories across generations.

Tell us the story of how you made your first dollar?
After doing a senior photoshoot for my friends and posting them on Facebook, a classmate reached out asking how much I’d charge for a similar photoshoot. At that point in time, I was still using my Sony Cybershot digital camera – not like the professional-grade DSLRs out now – but we still came away with some quality shots.

At the time, did you feel “qualified” to start charging for your services?
Not at all, but I’ve always been a firm believer of getting compensated for your work and services. I’ve always been told I have a good eye for photos, so I reminded myself of that even though that was only my second photoshoot ever.

Looking back, do you feel like you were qualified?
When it came to setting and sticking to prices for my services, especially as my clientele has grown, I always questioned the worthiness of my work. How could I charge hundreds of dollars with no formal education and just a couple standard lenses? It required a lot of reflection, dedication, and honesty with myself to silence that doubtfulness to finally see that I was/am qualified to do this work.

What made you take the leap?
I had a growing portfolio and knew my work and skills needed to be shared on a larger scale. Building my website was the first step. Getting to see all of my work in one place in a way that was representative of my brand gave me the momentum to keep dedicating time to the business.

Where would you say you are in your business growth now (Hobby, side hustle, small business, large business)?
I’d say I’m somewhere between a side hustle and small business. After 9-10 hours at my full-time job, I spend the remainder of the day focused on my business. I filed as a sole proprietorship last year, so that makes the company feel even more official.

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You got that glow ✨ Shooters Union NYC

A post shared by Bri • Visuals by Bri 📸 (@visuals.by.bri) on

What stage would you like Visuals by Bri to get to and when?
I envision the company growing to a small business/startup within the next couple of years. My next goal will focus on building out the education pillar of my brand to provide my audience with the necessary resources to become a travel photographer and build confidence when it comes to this side hustle lifestyle.

Would you do anything differently?
I definitely would have taken more photography classes in high school and college. Taking the time to teach myself the technical side of photography, outside of my full-time role, has been a challenge when it comes to time. I think learning in a more formal setting would have solidified my skill set earlier on.

If you could go back in time to the day before you made your first hustle dollar and tell yourself anything, what would it be?
Keep believing in yourself. Keep pushing. Keep learning. All things I still tell myself to this day.

What’s one song that keeps you motivated and why?
Django Jane by Janelle Monae. It’s the Black Girl Magic anthem! Black women are really out here shifting the landscape in so many industries and have been doing so for centuries. Whenever I need a reminder of my accomplishments, this track gives me that boost of confidence and reassurance I need to keep moving forward.


Thanks so much to Bri for sharing her side hustle story with us! Make sure to follow Bri on Instagram and check out her amazing shots!

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Side Hustle CEOs: Terence Latimer and Food Tribe

People who introduce us to our new favorite foods are the real MVPs! You’re about to meet the ultimate food plug who makes it easy to find the restaurants who cook up dishes that make our hearts sing—and our Instagrams bling (seriously, they have a guide called “How to Take Food Photos That Will Make Your Friends Want to Lick the Screen“).

Meet Terence Latimer and Food Tribe. Continue reading →

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Side Hustle CEOs: Jabari Butler and EatWithJB

What’s the recipe for turning a hobby into a hustle—and then into a small business? Chef JB is about to give us the raw story of how he turned an Instagram post into a business that he now runs full-time.

Meet Jabari.

EatWithJB

Jabari is “a budding culinarian with a passion for people and food, Jabari Butler focuses on creating unique memorable food experiences. ‘eat with JB’ is a full-service brand that provides prepared meal services, coordinates private catering, and hosts seasonal food events.”

This is probably a good time to warn you: this Side Hustle CEO feature is about to make you very, very hungry.

Jabari is a young chef who didn’t take the conventional route. He didn’t start his journey in culinary school. He doesn’t come from a long line of fancy chefs. And, no, he didn’t even major in Hospitality in college.

If you’ve ever had his cooking, you wouldn’t know that. Continue reading →

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Side Hustle CEOs: Courtney Holland and The Gallery Dance Collective

Side Hustle CEOs: Courtney Holland and The Gallery Dance Collective

How do you go from not being interested in dance—while growing up in a dance household—to owning and running your own dance studio? Courtney Holland, Founder and Creative Director of The Gallery Dance Collective, is about to spill the whole story for us.

Courtney has danced for the majority of her life. It’s a craft that she’s continued to perfect—and she’s damn good at it. But many of us know that not everyone who can do something well can also teach it well.

Courtney Holland

When you’re thinking about which side hustle to start, one of the best ways to get ideas is to ask the people who know you well or who have worked with you in the past what they think you’d be good at. Think about what people ask you for help with and what they ask you to do for them. Are they always asking you for advice, or to bake a cake for a party, or to help them revamp their resumes? When multiple people ask you for the same thing—especially on a regular basis—there’s a market for what you do and how you do it.

Continue reading →

Posted by Side Hustle Business School Team in Mindset, Side Hustle CEOs, 0 comments

Side Hustle CEOs: Kwaku Osei-Bonsu and TheStrangeRootsBox

Some of the best business ideas come from our own life experiences that we know the rest of the world would benefit from. This is absolutely the case with Kwaku Osei-Bonsu and his idea for TheStrangeRootsBox.

As a college student, Kwaku’s mother would send him care packages that really covered all the bases. These incredible care packages had your usual home-sickness curing snacks and candy, but they also came with books and other real-life necessities. These care packages made being a broke college student a lot easier to handle.

The Strange Roots Box

According to Kwaku, “These care packages were a lifeline.” We totally get it—these care packages sound like they were love in a box.

Kwaku decided that he wanted to make it easy for families to send their loved ones care packages that make them feel loved and cared for the way his mother’s care packages did for him.

We think he hit the nail right on the head when he created TheStrangeRootsBox. Continue reading →

Posted by Side Hustle Business School Team in Getting Started, Mindset, Side Hustle CEOs, 0 comments