How WJ teachers side hustle

Bonnie Lechner stands behind her pop up shop at Liberty High School. She wanted an outlet where she could show her creative side. “I kind of decided to take the leap and start an Etsy shop…if anyone is thinking of potentially starting their own business or selling something, try it out for a couple months on Etsy and see how it does because it is a really forgiving platform,” Lechner said.

Alexis Phares (Gym sales associate):

Along with teaching AP Language and Composition and Honors English 10, Alexis Phares side hustles at Orangetheory Fitness. Her schedule looks different than most teachers after school. Three days a week, following the 2:30 p.m. bell ring, she heads over to the gym and starts working on the leadership team as a sales associate until 9:00 p.m. Phares has been balancing both jobs for two years.

“It definitely takes a lot of prioritizing. I have so many to-do lists all the time so I can keep myself on track. I have also set boundaries so like with teaching and with working there, I won’t respond to Orangetheory texts or questions or messages at school and same thing I won’t respond to school while I’m there. I kind of try to keep it separate so that I can keep my peace of mind and still have time for myself in between,” Phares said.

Bonnie Lechner (Etsy shop):

Started over quarantine in 2020, Bonnie Lechner, outside of teaching Honors English 9, 10 and yearbook, runs an Etsy shop.

Since I was at home, I was interested in originally making hoodies with my own original designs and so I started with that. I would design them on the computer and then print them, cut them with my Cricut and then iron them onto the hoodies.

— Lechner

She hand draws all of her prints on an app downloaded to her iPad called Procreate. Some of her products include stickers, mugs and shirts. Every week Lechner sets aside one day for packing all of the orders that have come in. Her Etsy shop demands got higher so she shifted to sending her prints in.

“Eventually it got to the point where I wasn’t able to keep up with demand so now there’s a print shop that does it for me,” Lechner said.

Keira Campbell (ASL interpreting):

Outside of being WJ’s American Sign Language (ASL) teacher, Kiara Campbell works as an interpreter, helping the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

“Some of the jobs entail me. For example, if a deaf person works for a company and they are maybe doing a training, or they are having a meeting or an interview I would go to sign,” Campbell said.

She has worked with staff from well-known companies such as Target and Amazon. Depending on the job she has been assigned to hours may vary.

“I might work sometimes like two jobs a month and then sometimes I work every weekend. The hours could range from a 30-minute job to a 10 ½ hour job,” Campbell said.