This 29-Year-Old Spent $15,000 on a Side Business Selling Classic Handbags – Now Her Business Makes $55,000 a Week

Sometimes Nica Yusay’s antique online wallet store, FashioNica, sells out so fast that she thinks there’s a glitch with her website.

A lifelong saving enthusiast, Yusay developed a knack for finding high-end wallets at a fraction of retail value from a young age. She’s amassed her own collection over the years, but never thought she could make money off of her skill – until her fiancé suggested she do a business with her.

In January 2021, Yusay jumped, spending $15,000 on luxury wallets that it intended to resell on sites like Poshmark and Depop. She also posted a video on TikTok about negotiating prices with clients, which went viral: Yusay says she gained 10,000 followers almost instantly. The video has now garnered nearly three million views.

After six months of increased interest, Yusay Shopify has created a website for FashioNica. By the end of the year, she had made $300,000 in side hustle — enough to convince her to quit her $82,000 annual salary as brand manager for digital marketing for Pieology Pizzeria in February, and follow FashioNica full-time from her California home.

Influencer Fenti – who has 137,000 followers on Instagram and 115,000 on TikTok – says the jump has been “quite scary,” especially considering the amount she’s spent on initial stock. “I think it comes from [growing up in] Single parent household. I felt financially insecure,” Yosai told CNBC Make It. This is not a stable job in any way. If you don’t sell even one bag, you earn zero dollars this week.”

FashioNica has generated nearly $1 million in profit since the start of 2022, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It. The business earns up to $55,000 in every drop.

Here’s how Yusay manages its six-figure business, and where it plans to do it next:

strict routine

The secret to Yusay’s continued sales is a strict schedule. It typically runs six days a week, all leading to the “drops” when it launches a new collection of 20 to 30 designer bags, on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. PT. The bags sell for anywhere from $170 to nearly $19,000 each.

Yosai says the drops can be sold out within two minutes — and getting to that point takes nearly a week of preparation.

“You’d think it would be easier once you started working full-time, instead of getting two jobs. But no, I’m too strict on myself,” says Yosai. “If I hadn’t been so dedicated, this business wouldn’t be what it is today.”

On a typical Monday, Yusay decides which bags will be included in the upcoming show. She spends hours photographing it for her Shopify website and social media accounts. On Tuesdays, she posts photos and writes product descriptions.

Wednesdays are spent preparing to drop bags and marketing them on Instagram Live. Yosai spends Thursdays at thrift stores and with their vendors sourcing one-of-a-kind bags. Fridays are for shipping stickers and managing their Instagram inbox.

Nica Yusay’s company, FashioNica, makes $55,000 a week selling luxury handbags.

CNBC Make It

On Saturdays, Yusay packs and ships orders. She usually takes a Sunday holiday.

In March, Yusay hired her mother and sister to help her with the shipping — helping her get time off on Saturdays. But she says she does not plan to use the extra time to rest.

“I was thinking, ‘If I’m going to hire my mom and sister, for example, and have them ship my orders, I’ll get a full day,'” Yosai says. “

Selling its way into a harsh industry

The second-hand luxury goods market was valued at $33 billion in 2021, according to management consulting firm Bain & Company. RealReal, a popular luxury reseller, reported nearly $1.5 billion in sales for 2021.

Yusay’s plan to stay relevant in such a large, sinister industry: keep clamoring and use her well-trained eye to find wallets that stand out from the crowd. She says she looks for bag styles that have stood the test of time: Some of the items in her stock are up to 30 years old.

Yosai employs her mother, sister and part-time photographer. Her seller also gets a portion of her earnings, depending on the number of bags she sourced.

CNBC Make It

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