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Meet murderino Maker, Holly, of Side Hustle Vinyl.  Holly decided to start her custom vinyl business after discovering her love of bright colors and straight lines in design.  Already a fan of true crime, her two interests of vinyl and podcasts slogans go hand-in-hand. We spoke with Holly about her inspiration to start her business, as well as how she got into true crime.  

What inspired you to start your company? 

When my family moved to Houston, finding a job that made sense for our situation was a challenge. After stints as a stay-at-home mom, volunteering for all the things, and various small jobs, I was done. Finally, a friend of mine who is a Realtor asked me to work for her. I have a degree in marketing, and was beyond ready to get back at it while having a flexible enough schedule to be there for my kids. At the same time, and on a completely different note, the elementary school my boys went to has a field day at the end of each school year (when we are not in a pandemic). One of the fun traditions is that parents decorate their kids team shirts with their name, team name, fun characters. Sounds so sweet, right? I could not do it! I’m crafty and have ideas, but could not give in to free hand decorating their shirts. To give you an idea of how much this stressed me out, I only write with pencils so that I can erase until it’s just right (even on post-it notes to myself) and even then I often give up and take notes on my phone instead because I end up erasing and rewriting over and over, so you can only imagine how much paint in the wrong place would have gotten to me. I decided to give vinyl a try. My marketing background gave me experience with Adobe products, so I knew I could play with Illustrator and make something fun. I loved it! Getting to make my ideas happen with perfectly straight lines and just the right colors was awesome! People loved the shirts and started asking me to make other stuff. Additionally, my Realtor friend started asking me to make custom client gifts for her. It all just went from there! I am a solid believer in a side hustle! Always, always have a Plan B. Out of all of this, Hustle Vinyl was born! I do work truck decals, client gifts, custom shirts and doodles to decals, which is when someone sends a drawing to me that I trace and create a vinyl cut out of. I recently reopened my Etsy shop where my top sellers are my SSDGM and Greek Letter Decal grab bags. I love making them! Additionally, I am a “Murderino Maker” so each month a portion of my sales go to an awesome cause!

What got you interested in true crime? Was there a murder in your hometown? A story that has always haunted you? 

My dad has always been into history. As a kid he would tell me to pay attention to history. “You need to know where someone has been to know where they are going.” And, “We should learn from the mistakes of history to avoid making them again.” I love history and am “slightly” paranoid so true crime is a natural fit. I want to know what happened, and learn from what happened. I dove into true crime. The more I learned, the more I realized it’s usually not “mistakes,” a.k.a. “victim blaming,” but just shit happens. Bad things happen, even in “good” places. Out of respect to the victim, we should know their story. If it’s hard to listen to, it’s unfathomable that it happened. I grew up in Westwego, Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans. We lived in “the burbs.” My sisters and I went to a small private school and lived in the most amazing neighborhood that has set the standard of what a great childhood and awesome neighbors look like to me. In early elementary, a classmate, Raquel, was found dead near a dumpster by the apartment complex she lived in. I remember seeing it on the news and being asked about the last time I saw her. I cannot imagine the horror of it all. Raquel deserves to be remembered and the monster that hurt her deserves to be punished. A sweet little girl, gone. It makes no sense. A couple of years after that, when riding home in the car one day, we saw a man on the side of the road. That man had not moved since my last bike ride. We called the police because we were pretty sure he had died. Not long after that, we moved. To a wonderful, “safe,” neighborhood in Mississippi. I had a great high school experience there. However, in recent years, I have seen two former high school friends, from good, happy upper middle class families, in the news for horrible crimes. How does that happen? What brought their lives from then to now?

What true crime podcasts are you listening to right now? If podcasts aren’t your thing, we would also love to hear about a spooky book you’re reading or your favorite murder-related tv show! 

I listen to a lot of podcasts! My top favorites are My Favorite Murder, Last Podcast on the Left, Ghosts in the Burbs, Thirteen, and The Confessionals.

How can our readers find and support you? 

Use promo code WHYNOT for $1 off of your order. I love custom orders! That’s the beauty of what I do! Your ideas and my skills! Check out my Instagram @sidehustlevinyl to view some of my custom work.

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