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A College Student Makes $10k A Month Selling Clay Figurines On the Internet

How Tammy Dinh, A College Student Makes $10k A Month Selling Clay Figurines On the Internet

From uncertainty, fear, and shyness to 10k dollars a month. Here’s her incredible story

Tammy Dinh had an interest in clay figurines ever since she was little. 

She grew up watching youtube videos of people making things with polymer clay and fell in love with it. She started making her clay figurines when she was just nine years old. 

In October 2020, Tammy started uncomfy, her art shop with her best friend. 

They sold clay key chains and stickers on Esty because it was the easiest place to sell. And December 2020, she decided to run the business herself.

She made her key clay figurines by hand, the physical work lasted for hours. Which was so much work and time-consuming. 

She sold key chains at $12 a piece, which in total she got $150 a month for the first 2 months.

In January 2021, she decided to increase the key chain to $15.

“I don’t think artists should be broke,” says Tammy Dinh. 

She decided to increase prices to $20 for key chains and $25 for desk friends.

Just like every business owner, she had her fears. She was scared not to make a lot of items that won’t end up selling. To minimize her loss, she ensured to sell all products at hand before making more. And conserve the remaining materials so as not to waste them.

Tammy Dinh created her Instagram account and Esty shop on the same day. She unfailingly posted her work every day on each.

She ensured to follow a lot of accounts on Instagram that made handmade items, she interacted with their post and became friends with artists. She made sure to use the #polymerclay hashtag while posting.

She had up to 500 followers in December. And 5,000 in March 2021.

 

She started making Instagram reels and TikTok videos


“But it’s a lot of work,” said Tammy Dinh. 

When she started posting photos on Instagram, the thought of using her face or voice wasn’t appealing to her. But she realized using social media without videos won’t work, so she had to adapt.

She started posting reels twice a day. Each 20 seconds video took her an hour or more to make. 

Most of her popular videos were about how she started the business.

She had to recycle the videos on TikTok, but it was hard for her to predict what will go viral. 

Even though she had 90,000 followers on TikTok, she had more community on Instagram.

 

She switched to Spotify when Esty increased its seller’s fee.


Tammy Dinh had to switch from Esty to Spotify because Esty was taking so much from what she earned, and from her analysis, she got more sales from her social media post than from Esty’s marketing. 

She was worried that her customers won’t migrate from her Esty shop but all it took her was to change the link from her link tree. Which she used to link to her shop on social media.

 

Vlogging about her creation process resonated with her audience.


She uploaded her first YouTube video in August 2021. 

People were more interested in the process of making the figurines and how she build her business. “one of my videos has 930,000 views” recalled Tammy Dinh.

Having multiple revenue streams helped her financial security.

She was able to make $8,800 in a month. Eventually, she charged between $45 to $75 per item. In January, she made $9,561 and she only spent $200 to get materials she needed for her items in a month. She made a high profit.

She’s currently in her fourth year in college, it was hard balancing business and studies while schooling abroad in Italy. Her source of income from the shop abruptly stopped.

Her YouTube account videos which she uploaded three months ago made her money. She got monetized on YouTube in September because she had up to 1,000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours in the past year. 

She was able to make $1,000 from YouTube AdScene a month. One of her videos blew out and she was able to get $9,934 from AdSense in February.

Each video took her about 15 and 18 hours to make.

 

Tammy Dinh’s appreciation 


“I’m about to graduate from college and I’m so glad I’ve built my own business,” said Tammy Dinh. 

It took her a lot of hard work, but she is grateful to her younger self who left her comfort zone and had the time to build Uncomfy.