I Turned My Failed Esty Side Hustle Into a Million-Dollar Business

Keida Dervishi, the 21-year-old founder of Soulmate Customs, sat down for an interview with us to discuss how she got her start and her journey to achieving over $1 million in sales in less than a year. Keida’s parents were in the fashion industry, and she grew up attending trade shows all over Europe. Despite this, her passion was in singing and acting. However, when the pandemic hit, Keida decided to try something new. At 17, she purchased an embroidery machine and started her business as a side hobby, never expecting it to take off the way it did. She faced challenges along the way, such as a drastic decline in orders, but Keida and her family persevered and turned her hobby into a thriving business.

Keida’s first major success came when she posted a design inspired by Olivia Rodrigo’s song Driver’s License on TikTok, which garnered 4 million views and over 300 orders. The temporary spike in sales from this viral moment taught Keida the importance of consistent social media promotion. This realization led to the launch of Soulmate Customs in July 2021, a business that specializes in soulmate-themed custom embroidery clothing. With the help of her family, Keida expanded the operation and increased production to meet the demand. Her social media strategy, which includes posting five to eight times per day, has been key in sustaining the business’s momentum. Despite her success, Keida admits to making mistakes, such as over-hiring, and is now focused on finding more stable ways to grow the business.

As a young founder, Keida’s focus on the business has taken precedence over attending college. She is fully dedicated to the success of Soulmate Customs and has found support and guidance through social media connections. Keida’s story serves as an inspiring example of entrepreneurial success and determination.

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