If you’re familiar with Jasmine Taylor, chances are it’s because you’ve come across her on TikTok. 

 The 31-year-old hailing from Amarillo, Texas, began documenting her journey with “cash-stuffing,” a method where budget-conscious individuals allocate their cash into physical envelopes, in 2021. 

 Her engaging videos quickly made her a sensation on the popular social media platform. 

While going viral is one thing, transforming internet fame into a thriving business is quite another. However, that’s precisely what Jasmine Taylor achieved. 

The story began in the spring of 2021 when Taylor decided to utilize her $1,200 stimulus check to launch “Baddies and Budgets.” She invested in a Shopify account, shipping materials, a Cricut machine, and supplies to create custom cash-stuffing accessories, such as personalized envelopes and cash wallets. 

“I just went into it hoping I would make my money back,” Taylor told CNBC Make It in March.   

But she surpassed her expectations. In 2022, her business, which now not only offers budgeting accessories but also branded apparel, generated revenue of approximately $850,000. As of March, it was well on its way to reaching the $1 million mark in 2023. 

During a recent appearance on CNBC’s Last Call, Taylor provided valuable advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Make sure you have the backbone for it. Entrepreneurship has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I’ve ever undertaken in my life. It has taught me so much. But if you’re not a self-starter, it may not be the right path for you.” 

In our recent interviews, Taylor shared some of the most crucial startup lessons she has learned along her journey. 

Recognize Unmet Demand 

When Taylor initially began sharing her cash-stuffing videos on TikTok, her goal wasn’t to gain fame or launch a business. 

“When I started on TikTok, it was mostly kids dancing,” says Taylor. “I think I was just trying to keep myself accountable. And I put it out there and it went crazy viral, and I was like, ‘Well, well — I’ll be back tomorrow with another one.’”   

Taylor, who found financial content dull, discovered she had tapped into an area where people were hungry for information. “I was like, ‘OK, people are actually interested in this,’” she says. “For some reason, people were engaging, so I opted to start the business.” 

As her business gained momentum, Taylor recognized the importance of meeting potential customers where they already congregated on social media. She expanded her content to various platforms to cater to those seeking budgeting information. 


Learn from Your Failures 

Taylor emphasized that to succeed as an entrepreneur, one must be prepared to make mistakes. 

“I tried a few different businesses and some of them failed. Some of them went OK for a little while, and then they kind of fell off. Toward the end of my 20s, I was really struggling.”    

However, the experience gained from those initial endeavors proved invaluable. Take, for example, Taylor’s clothing boutique, which folded after about a year. “I learned a lot about how to sell things, about shipping, building a website. Even though it ended up being a failing business, it taught me so many things that were foundational and important that I was able to build on with Baddies and Budgets,” she says 

This knowledge base allowed Taylor to hit the ground running. When her TikTok content began gaining traction, she swiftly leveraged her prior experience to build a customer base for her new venture. 

“I instantly went on Shopify, built the website and started collecting emails,” she says. “So when we launched, things went really well. We’ve been profitable every month since we started.” 

Give Yourself Room to Grow 

From the outset, Taylor’s products were priced slightly higher than those of her competitors. She considered this essential for a business looking to take off and expand. 

“I knew I needed to have a price that allowed room to grow and hire more help, because [packing and shipping merchandise] is a tedious task” she says. Plus, she says, “we provide quality, the packaging is beautiful, it’s an experience.”    

She adhered to what she called the “method of three” when pricing her merchandise: “If a product costs you $10, you mark it up three times so that you can replace the product you bought, you can make profit and buy a new product.”       

This expansion strategy has paid off. When Make It interviewed Taylor in March, Baddies and Budgets had brought on three contract employees to handle the growing volume of orders. The business’s growth is expected to continue. 

“It’s skyrocketed,” she told Sullivan on Monday night. “Since our first interview with CNBC Make It, we’ve probably doubled or tripled in sales. It’s running completely different around here. It’s been amazing to watch.”   



SOURCE: cnbc.com

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