How Samara Walker Bootstrapped Her Business While Working 9-to-5 at Amazon

August 4, 2021
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Side hustles are on the rise. 

According to a recent survey, as many as one in four Americans are planning on starting a side hustle in 2021. On top of the 34% of people who have already started a side hustle venture this year. 

But starting a side-hustle while working a 9-to-5 isn’t easy. It takes determination, drive, and passion. Which is something that today’s WorkParty guest, Samara Walker, knows a thing or two about.

Samara started the luxury nail polish brand Àuda.B while working full-time as a senior financial analyst at Amazon after noticing that women of color aren’t often represented within luxury beauty.

And, thankfully, major retailers have taken notice, too. Earlier this year, Àuda.B launched at Nordstrom, becoming the first Black-owned polish brand to be sold by the retailer. (Which is incredible!)

On this episode of WorkParty, host Jaclyn Johnson chats with Samara all about how she went from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur, and how she’s pushing the beauty industry forward in the process.

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On self-funding Àuda.B through her Amazon paycheck…

“I created a direct deposit that went to my business bank account, so every time I got paid that was the money that I automatically put aside for Àuda.B.”

On building a network…

“Build your network. Ask questions. No question is a stupid question.”

“Always have some type of intimate circle and never be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and ask things that you don’t know about.”

On the pros and cons of bootstrapping a business…

“The pros are your hundred percent hands-on and you have the ability to learn from the ground up.”

“It allows you to see your business at full scale because you have your hands in the pot on everything.”

“One of the cons is you’re not able to scale as quickly as possible, and the lack of resources. Not only are investors money, but they also come with tons of knowledge and resources.”

On being the best version of yourself as a founder…

“Be the best person that you can be right now.”

“You’re going to grow and develop over time, but don’t try to go from one to 10 because you’re going to miss all those phases of your life and all those phases of growth that your company that you could have learned from.”

“Failures are successes.”

On the best career advice she’s ever received…

“Dreams are real, but the hustle sold separately.”

On the money advice she always gives to entrepreneurs…

“Save aggressively. Save as if your life depended on it.”

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