With so many businesses still closed and many employees getting furloughed, people are finding creative ways to earn additional income to support themselves and their families.
This is what Priscilla Esparza, a resident of Dallas, decided to do after she was let go from her job. Esparza said she was not considered an essential employee by her company during the pandemic.
Throughout the years, Esparza gained knowledge about and experience with the design and furniture industry through her past employers. She worked for furniture companies as well as Lowe’s, specializing in computer aided design drawings for kitchens and bathrooms.
While working for these companies, she also had a hobby of buying and reselling furniture pieces. Esparza turned her hobby of flipping furniture into a full-fledged job during trying times.
According to personal finance website Money Under 30, many millennials and Generation Z’ers today have become all too familiar with the art of learning how to make a profit off of their smartphones.
Esparza started with an app called Thumbtack that helps people find local professionals for anything. Esparza said she gets most of her clients through the app. Her clients are mostly people who need a professional to help them with designing or staging their homes for resale.
Being able to find pieces of furniture that work well together is not everybody’s forte. Often people turn to interior designers for help with their personal projects. This is where Esparza found her new calling.
“Due to self-quarantining at home the demand for two things has gone up, interior designers and furniture,” Esparza said. “The pandemic generated more people having to stay at home, looking at their spaces and wanting to decorate them but it also helped with being able to sell what I had available versus buying from furniture stores.”
SOURCING UNIQUE PIECES
Now Esparza uses websites such as OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace to find pieces of furniture that are available and cost effective. Over time, Esparza began to turn a profit. She said she finds furniture that is in great condition and purchases them with the approval of her client. Her profit comes from the markup she places on the items, she said. Even with her markups, Esparza said, she is typically still under budget, keeping her clients happy.
“Priscilla is very good at finding exactly what I am looking for; she always delivers on time and the pieces always look fantastic,” Esparza’s client Edwin Desangles said. “She’s great to work with. She finds pieces that are unique and specific to my taste. We’ve worked on many projects together going room by room.”
After becoming confident in buying and reselling to her clients, Esparza started to sell the pieces she handpicks direct to the public. “Most of my current sales are now just to the public,” Esparza said. “If I had to put it in percentage, about 30% of my sales are to actual clients and the other 70% are to the public.”
Since February, Esparza has made reselling furniture a full-time job.
She loves the benefits of working for herself with the help of her boyfriend, Talal Dibbeh. “It’s really great being able to see how happy people are when we pull up with their new living room or dining room set,” Dibbeh said. “Actually being able to see pictures after we drop off a new dining room table of a family circled around it is what really brings Priscilla happiness.”
Esparza said she would love to have her own showroom one day with unique pieces and her own stamp and style. Esparza said: “I also don’t just buy things that are not my style. But I have thought about it, and hopefully that will happen one day.”