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Millions of Americans turning hobbies into "side hustles"

OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Nine to five, Jamie Toro is a Customer Service Rep for a paint company in Oak Creek.

On the side, she designs and sells stickers on Etsy and at craft fairs.   

Her husband, Scott, started printing banners in his spare time nearly 15 years ago. 

"I saw a guy cutting stickers at a fair and thought it was cool," said Scott.

So, he bought a cutter with his tax refund, and his hobby was born. 

"I started to make little stickers for my friends here and there," said Jaimie. “Actually it started in my living room.”  

Jaimie's hobby turned into a "side hustle" about a year ago. The couple rents studio space in South Milwaukee where they design, print and fulfill online decal orders.   

"Side hustle is pretty much anything you're doing to earn money outside of a day job," said Nick Loper.

Loper started his own side hustle, a comparison shopping site for footwear, which eventually became his full-time gig. The site has since dissolved, but he's now helping other people pursue their passion through a "side hustle" podcast

"It's easier to get started than ever before with the information we have, the apps and marketplaces we have. All of those have reduced the barriers of entry for entrepreneurship that generations ago, would have been standing in their way," said Loper.

A Bankrate Survey found more than 44 million Americans have a so-called "side hustle." Millenials are the most likely group to have a side hustle, but younger baby boomers, age 53 to 62, are the most likely to pull in at least $1,000 a month from side hustling. 

"It's definitely enough to pay car payments and just play money I guess," said Jaimie. 

The Toros, parents to two children, have to create balance to make sure work isn't consuming all of their free time. 

"If we end up being here one night until 10 or 11 at night, that's most of the stuff, so I can take off the next night." 

For now, stickers don't pay all of the bills, but eventually, they say that's the goal. 

If you want to pick up a side hustle, Loper says blogging, freelance consulting, and selling products online are the most popular ways to get started.

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