Architecture student’s entrepreneurial spirit helps to fund her education

When she is not busy studying, interning or working a part-time job, fourth-year architecture student Mila Hirsch decorates and sells a quaint novelty ­– college-themed bottles.

The “side hustle,” as Hirsch calls it, started during her senior year of high school in Melville, New York, when it became popular for friends and family to decorate a high school senior’s bed with gear from their future college.

One commonly used decoration is a bottle bedazzled with glitter and gems surrounding the college’s logo. Because all of the decorations get pricey – including the decorated bottles, which can end up costing almost $60 – Hirsch started making them for her friends at a cheaper price.

“I was like, ‘I don’t get why some of these things are so expensive,’ so I started making them for some of my friends,” Hirsch said.

Hirsch charges between $30 and $35 per bottle and typically uses Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. She began selling the bottles on Etsy a year ago and she also advertises them on Instagram.

April and May are Hirsch’s peak months. However, she said making them can get a little crazy because it is also the end of the semester and finals.

“It has really taken off in a way I didn’t expect it to, but now I have it pretty much down,” Hirsch said.

As a self-supporting student, Hirsch said she puts the profits towards architecture materials and rent. Last year she made about $3,000.

Although balancing her “side hustle” with school, an internship and a job can be challenging, Hirsch said it has all been a learning experience.

“No matter what career you are going into, learning customer service and learning to interact with people is crucial,” Hirsch said. “I heard once, ‘if you’re selling something, make it an experience.’”

Written by: Mackenzie Daly