We spoke with two NYC side-hustlers about how they utilize self storage to make things happen. One is a yoga teacher who flexed her business budget by creating a studio space within her apartment. The other is a private chef who chopped costs by entertaining at her pad.
Rachel, 27, is a yoga teacher based out of the Upper West Side. “A lot of yoga teachers either rent space from established yoga studios or teach private lessons out of a gym,” she explained.
Both have their pros and cons – yoga studios can take 40-60% of the revenue earned from the lesson, but provide a peaceful environment. Gyms can be less expensive, but teachers have to contend with a less than zen environment; powerlifters grunting and throwing around heavy equipment, droning new-age music playing over the speakers, yoga mats ingrained with a permanent, vague foot smell. We’ve all been there.
“I live in what NYC brokers call a ‘Junior One Bedroom,’ but we all know that means studio apartment.” Despite her spacial limitations, Rachel got creative and carved out a studio from a corner of her home.
Her living room, separated by French doors from her bed-sized-bedroom, usually has a dining table for two and a small sleeper sofa, which the self-proclaimed “busy body” only uses when her mom comes to visit, or occasionally as a temporary laundry hamper.
Rachel put the sleeper sofa in storage and, using a room divider, separated her living space from her studio area. She now has enough space for a few mats, some yoga props, and an altar with a Bluetooth speaker and incense burner.
“When my mom comes to town, I schedule the free storage shuttle and make the swap from yoga studio back to living room,” Rachel says. “It gives me the freedom to schedule private lessons on my own terms and keep 100% of my profits.”
Faith, a 32-year-old private chef, spends most of her time fine-tuning recipes in her kitchen. Once a month, she transforms her apartment into a dinner party space for expertly-curated chef’s meals.
“When I first got the idea of doing a dinner series, I looked into renting spaces,” Faith explains. “The most inexpensive spaces were $40 an hour, and that was without the cost of renting large tables, linens, dishware, not to mention a cleaning crew – the costs added up quick.”
After some consideration, hosting the dinners at her own apartment was clearly the best option. “I could charge between $85 and $105 head. The only problem was space,” Faith says, “I couldn’t charge that amount for a four-course dinner, then expect someone to eat it on the couch. It just wouldn’t work.”
Eventually, she came to storage as the practical solution. Once a month, Faith stows her living room furniture in her unit, and hosts 20-person dinners in her apartment. “It was the same amount of work as curating a dinner at a rental location, but a third of the cost,” Faith says.
She purchased two large folding tables, linens, and chairs, so she didn’t have to endure rental costs every single month. Plus, because her storage unit is close to her apartment and accessible 24-hours a day, she can immediately revert her apartment back to normal when the dinners are over.
After her initial investment, and the cost of food, Faith is able to keep the bulk of dinner profits. Her guests leave with full bellies and Faith is left with full pockets. It’s only a matter of time until she’s as rich as her famous triple layer chocolate cake.
New Yorkers hustle. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t. We’ll help you make all your hustles come to life, big or small, side or main event. You just need to clear the space so we can get your stuff out of the way of your dreams.