WE all know how hard it is to work a 9-5 job, stuck at a computer all day.

Eight hours grinding a day and barely having any money after paying the bills – life is tough for many.

But one woman, Mandy Helwege is living proof that you don’t have to stop there and spend your days bored stiff for a low income. 

When Mandy’s TikTok video about her side hustle went viral in November, she immediately knew what to do – she instantly quit her job.

Mandy explained to CNBC that she was feeling burned out after working 12 years in sales and so took the plunge to quit her job and pursue her side hustle passion project full-time.

The 35-year-old had run Seeing Double Edits – a business where she photoshops pictures of pets next to their younger selves – as a casual side hustle on Instagram, making only a few thousand dollars per year, for three years prior to her decision.

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But today, Mandy’s TikTok has over 2.4 million views, and her Seeing Double Edits’ Instagram account has more than 40,500 followers.

But it’s not just followers that Mandy has excelled in – after making just £3,445 from Seeing Double Edits last year, the entrepreneur has taken home roughly £86,145 in just six months, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.

Once a month, Mandy opens up 160 to 185 new slots of customer availability for the following month and consistently sells out in 90 seconds.

The interest in Mandy’s business has pushed her workload to roughly 80 hours per week.

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Then in March, she hired an employee to pick up another 30 hours per week.

Mandy told CNBC Make It: “Virtuality is a blessing and a curse. It takes a lot of time and energy to create five new pieces of art every day.

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“I was so overwhelmed when it went viral, because I posted it thinking, ‘OK, if I can get 25 orders from this, that’ll be nice. 

“I ended up with hundreds of direct messages on Instagram, because that’s how I used to take orders.”

By March, demand grew high enough for Mandy to hire her lone employee – and test her business’s bandwidth. 

The next month, she upped Seeing Double Edits’ monthly capacity to 230 reservations and the company made £21,536 in the process.

But that month, Mandy worked 18 hours per day that month, and became scared of potentially growing to hate her passion.

Although her friends and family told her she could raise prices and still sell out, she wanted to keep her art affordable for her audience, and says making £38 to £43 per hour for her work is a perfectly reasonable way to make a living.

She said: “I’m never going to be the artist that wants to charge as much as possible. 

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“I have such a big heart for animal lovers and pet parents, and I realise we’re not always the wealthiest.

“I love the sentiment of being able to provide everyday working Americans who love their pets [with] the ability to have a piece of beautiful artwork on their walls.”

#glowup #transformation #transformationtuesday #digitalartist #dogartist #dogtok #fyp #foryou #dogsofttiktok

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