Once upon a time, I was a high school and middle school English teacher. During my year of student teaching, I was also planning a wedding for a marriage that would eventually fall apart. About five years into my teaching career, I was divorced and a single mom to a one-and-a-half-year-old precious baby boy. I hadn’t even turned thirty yet. There was so much to do and so many pieces to put back together. So, I just did them one by one. As a teacher, I worked incredibly hard. I earned the maximum credits to move across all the steps and I took on every leadership role I could for additional stipends (and because I love leadership). With all this extra work, I scraped together money to buy a car that fit my son’s car seat. The next year, I bought my home. And, I was pretty sure I would find a partner to share it all with, which is to say, I couldn’t actually afford my mortgage myself. So, it wasn’t long before providing became one of those seemingly insurmountable challenges. I was broke.
At first, this led me to learn simple solutions to survive on very little money. When those solutions still weren’t enough, I became the queen of side-hustling!
To supplement, I rented out my spare bedroom, but that proved challenging with a young son. My first official side-hustle was converting my garage into a studio and becoming an Airbnb host. That worked well, but amazingly, I still found myself hopscotching bills. For those of you unfamiliar with this practice, it’s when you pay certain bills one month and others the next month. I was mortified one day when my mom and three-year-old son called me in my classroom to tell me my power was off. I made up some white fib, called the power company, and put the power bill on a nearly maxed-out credit card. I have never been a frivolous spender. Truly, all my money went to bills, groceries, student loans, and my mortgage. At the heart of this struggle, I was truly in a concerted effort to keep a sacred promise to my son. At about three years old, he was hanging from our lemon tree in the back yard and he asked me, “Mama, do we ever have to leave this house?” By his age I had lived in about ten different homes, my parents were also already divorced, and in that moment in our backyard, I so connected to the longing he had for certainty. I replied, “Baby, we will only ever leave if we decide to.”
I am proud to stay we are still here in our home and it has almost been ten years! How did I pull it off? I learned what most wealthy folks already know: you need multiple income streams. That sounds great, but it is much harder to achieve than it sounds, especially for educators. I believe this to be true for two primary reasons. First, educators work incredibly hard for reasons that are not financially motivated; we work so hard because we care about the impact our work has on children (big and small). If we self-select a conference or professional learning workshop, we do so because we want to get better in our practice. This makes us amazing humans, but it does not help us pay the bills. Second, our professional training and development do not include business sense. We are not provided explicit strategies to capitalize on our incredible expertise. I really believe it is time for that to change!
As a teacher whose heart is with teachers, I have created a few simple solutions to this problem. One thing I know educators do not have is more time. So, the goal is to show you the simple steps to turn your hard-earned expertise into monetizable resources, solutions, and products. I have broken this down into four, simple steps. I will detail those below, but first I want to add why I started another multi-vendor site when Etsy and Teachers Pay Teachers already exist.
First, I want to make clear that I have dear friends who are incredibly smart and sell sound resources on both sites. And, they make a great living! So, I must make it clear that you can find great resources on both sites. The problem is, you can just as easily find terrible resources that have no place in your classroom. Instructional minutes are precious and too few. Also, as teachers, we shouldn’t have to pay for a resource only to find it doesn’t have a high impact on student learning. This is a problem that needs solving! We need a place we can all trust! Now, I have worked in professional development, literacy coaching, and school improvement for nearly ten years. It took some time, but I created a verification process to ensure The Joyer Marketplace upholds the core values of great instruction, parenting, and more. This is something I am so passionate about that I wrote a book about it called Lessons in Joy(you can click here to purchase). It’s a short and healing read if you are ever interested.
I am a businesswoman, but I am a teacher and single mother at heart. And, I am also the side-hustle queen. So, I read the fine print and study fees and commission rates. I’m not impressed with what I find out there. My vendors get what they deserve. Therefore, with Joyful Classrooms, you get 85% commission on all sales. Period. Another important difference is that I feel every vendor should have full access to their customer details, reports, and analytics. You should know exactly who your true fans are! I made sure my vendors get all of that as well.
The Joyers Marketplace is a place where expert teachers, coaches, administrators, TOSA’s, parents, and anyone connected to schools in any form can sell vetted, verified, high-quality resources that align with current research, learning and reading sciences, culturally responsive practices, mindfulness practices, trauma-informed resources, and so much more. Also, I made sure to include a place called, “Made by Teachers,” where teachers can sell amazing non-educational products to anyone who believes, as I do, that teachers deserve more!
My first cohort of vendors is setting up storefronts as we speak. We will launch in mid-August. Now is a perfect time to jump on board as I am offering the lowest rates, a ton of discounts, and free coaching (both content and design).
Get started on your path to financial freedom and passive income today!!
Here here is how:
- Choose a vendor membership: (**Quick hack: Become a Mentee Member for free first and then you get 25% discounts on membership!)
- Verified Vendor:
- A Free Canva Pro Account
- Access to the Exclusive Joyer Collaboration Hub
- Access to the Mindfulness with Max Meditation Series
- Free Access to the Side Hustle Course
- A Free, Signed Copy of Lessons in Joy
- Elite Vendor:
- All of the Above Plus:
- Three free Coaching Sessions with me (Brittany Cufaude, founder, coach, equity advocate, and literacy specialist) (Value = $175)
- 1 Brand and Content Design Consultation with Our Social Media and Design Team (Value = $150)
- We Handle Your Brand/Content Promotion (so your income is truly passive!)
- You Receive a Professional Email Account, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
- All of the Above Plus:
- Verified Vendor:
- Get Verified (You Pick ONE of the following three options:
- Options One: Book a Vendor Verification Coaching Series with me (Brittany Cufaude, founder, coach, equity advocate, and literacy specialist). (This is included in the Elite Vendor Membership)
- Option Two: Complete Our Google Form Application (click this link)
- Option Three: Complete the Free Side Hustle Course (click this link)
- Choose a Store Name & Email:
- Verified Vendors can create a store email via Gmail, yahoo, or any email platform.
- Elite Vendors, please email your store name to email@example.com and you will receive a unique email account, i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Setup Your Store Front!
- When you have completed one of the three verification processes, please email email@example.com and we will send you a link to set up your storefront.
You are safe with me! Also, make sure to join the community! Check out our active and supportive community and social media channels.
- Join the Facebook group: The Joyer Facebook Support Group
- Make sure you are on the list for updates, events, and freebies!
- Follow us on IG, Facebook, Twitter, & TikTok (@joyfulclassrooms)
- Become a member and get access to our exclusive collaboration hub!
There is a way to channel all the reasons you dreamed of becoming a teacher into lucrative and passive income. You have worked so hard, I am here to help you get paid what you truly deserve. I make Teacher CEOs!
How amazing would it be to earn passive income all year? Join me if you know you have a gift and that you deserve more!
All my love and inspiration,
Founder of Joyful Classrooms