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Mum who started eBay side hustle with £240 now runs £100m business

Jess Hardiman

Published 
| Last updated 

Mum who started eBay side hustle with £240 now runs £100m business

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@torigerbig

A mum who started an eBay side hustle with just £240 now runs an amazing £113 million business, having walked away from her 9-5 job to grow her own venture.

Tori Gerbig, 35, decided to ditch her $35,000-a-year job in insurance sales to concentrate on her ‘side hustle’ - a clothes selling business that flogged garments on sites like eBay and Facebook.

After walking away from her corporate job in 2014, the mother-of-three set up an e-commerce company called Pink Lily, and started selling affordable fashion to women from her home.

By 2021, she was already making ‘over $141 million [£113m] in revenue’.

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Tori Gerbig with husband Chris. Credit: Instagram/@torigerbig
Tori Gerbig with husband Chris. Credit: Instagram/@torigerbig

After graduating from college, Gerbig found that she and her husband were struggling with debt, so decided to start selling things on eBay to ‘help supplement’ their income.

Speaking to CNBC last year, she said: “We sold things from golf clubs to Halloween masks - just about anything we could that we would find going viral on the internet, and we could get for wholesale to sell at retail price on eBay.”

While she was on unpaid maternity leave in 2013, she also set up a Facebook group to sell clothes and accessories, getting products wholesale from vendors across the globe.

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Gerbig, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, explained: “We had been experimenting with selling clothes and accessories on online marketplaces, including eBay and Facebook.

“Our online community of friends and customers quickly grew from a few hundred members to over 10,000 in a very short period.

Gerbig recently moved into her new dream home. Credit: Instagram/@torigerbig
Gerbig recently moved into her new dream home. Credit: Instagram/@torigerbig
Credit: Instagram/@torigerbig
Credit: Instagram/@torigerbig
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“I realized that I could combine my passion for affordable clothing and relationship-building to help women to feel confident in their fashion choices.

“Without funding or assurances of what was ahead, we took the risk and set ambitious goals. I focused on leveraging my sales and social media knowledge to grow our outreach while Chris incorporated his finance expertise to structure operations.”

These days, they run Pink Lily full-time, having made $141 million in sales and sold an average of 11,000 items per day in 2021.

She continued: “Whenever aspiring entrepreneurs ask for my advice, I tell them that the most important step we took early on was creating a business plan.

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“Your business plan doesn’t have to be perfect, and you should expect to make changes along the way.”

Topics: Fashion, US News

Jess Hardiman
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