One conversation with Heather Hurst, better known as @pigmami across social media, and you’ll see why she’s been a smash hit as a multi-hyphenate content creator. While some upcoming creators struggle to create a strong personality on social media, Heather has mastered her niche and the needs of her fashion-forward, luxury-loving audience.
After graduating from Miami University, Heather worked for four years as a marketing and events manager at a medical institute all while making time for side projects. What began with a few hours after work dedicated to her vintage clothing and home decor business, Heather also started making time for her personal social media accounts. By sticking to the topics she knows best—luxury fashion and interiors—and by using longer form, conversational-style videos, Heather quickly amassed a tight knit, engaged community.
Besides that, Heather also worked as a home stager after her 9-to-5 and took any odd job she could find—from watering plants to walking dogs. Now it’s Heather’s turn to walk you through how she found success in side hustles, grew her TikTok to over 130K followers and her Instagram to 23K followers, and went on to quit her nine to five to transition into full time freelance work.
More from our conversation with Heather on making time for her side projects, where she finds inspiration, and some of the apps she can't live without.
How did you get your side project started? What was the impetus?
I started posting on social media because I have a vintage business called Vintage HQ and I was living with my vintage business partner. We saw a lot of businesses going viral on TikTok and we thought we should make little styling videos with our vintage clothes. We ended up being so bad at that because we were so awkward and we weren’t sure what we were doing.
So those videos did terribly with zero views on almost every single one. At the same time I was also going into my roommate's room a lot and just asking her questions or ranting about style things like, “Why is everybody going to Artizia and spending $120 on polyester pants when they could be going on eBay and getting designer pants for $50 that fit better and look better?”
I would also just go on these long rants and she would say, “Heather, respectfully, I don't care about clothes as much as you do, so you need to go put these thoughts somewhere.” Then, every time I had a thought like this, I just put it in a video and posted it. So that was how my personal social media account, which I named @pigmami after my rescue dog, started.
As a multi-hyphenate you have a lot of interests, what do you think about social media experts saying you have to have a niche?
In the content sphere, if you're looking to start creating content, I think it's helpful just to consider a niche. Not so much as something to narrow yourself in, but just something to focus your content around.
"In the content sphere, if you're looking to start creating content, I think it's helpful just to consider a niche. Not so much as something to narrow yourself in, but just something to focus your content around."
I think if you're super passionate and you have a lot of ideas that are bursting out of you and you're excited about recording those ideas, then it's way easier to get started. I don't think you need a niche, but I understand why people give that advice. Personally, I do a lot of interior and style videos, but I talk a lot about luxury.
Is there any overlap between your side projects?
Doing more content creation greatly helped our vintage business. It's funny because I think that it just hammers home the point that people want to connect with a person and not a business. All of these businesses and giant corporations like Duolingo are having success by making their content really engaging and easy to interact with.
How did you balance your full-time job, side projects and your life outside of work?
The short answer is I balanced it well, but not healthily. I did not sleep really at all and I was seeing friends because I was working on my vintage business with one of my best friends, but I really was not going out on the weekends. I was working my nine to five and then I had my vintage business.
I was also taking on odd jobs like nannying, house sitting, and home staging on weekends and weeknights for a real estate agent. I wasn't really doing many brand deals for TikTok back then just because I was so busy. I didn't want to have to film any paid content or answer to anybody else because I already had so many bosses. If I did get something for social media I'd have to go to the bathroom and make a deck of product selects or whatever I needed to do in the bathroom at work. It was stressful to feel like I didn't want to eat lunch with my coworkers because I had more work to do that wasn't related to my full-time job.
When did you know it was time to rebalance your work life?
I feel like this is so cheesy, but I think the universe kind of directed me into this freelance thing that I'm doing now because I must have applied to over 200 jobs and got rejected from literally every single one or just didn't get a response. That was when I decided that I was making enough of a salary through my vintage business content and the odd jobs that I was doing to feel good about quitting. So I quit in November of 2022.
"I do feel so much more aligned with the work that I do now and I never want to stop “working” because I enjoy it so much and it is a part of who I am."
I do feel so much more aligned with the work that I do now and I never want to stop “working” because I enjoy it so much and it is a part of who I am. I also think that mindset can be dangerous because it can take over your whole life. Sometimes my friends and I will just be hanging out and I'm answering DMs and in a way that's work but it doesn't feel like work to me. So I've tried to set better hours around it. Now, I do have no phone time, especially when I'm hanging out with my boyfriend or my friends, which helps me achieve a better work-life balance.
What filming equipment and tech can you not live without as a multihyphenate?
Truly, I am not a gadget girl. I only am when it comes to clothing. I love to have things that everybody could live without. I love a non-essential. I love a luxury, but honestly for creation and for my job, the only things that I use are a laptop, iPhone, notepads, and pens. Then there is my crappy tripod that was $20 on Amazon and it works great. I do feel like I could use one of those little popup tripod stands where you can fold it up in your wallet and then it pops out and you can rest your phone on it.
What apps do you use the most outside of social media?
I use the Tezza app, which is a photo editing app. I also really love Notion, which is an organizational app, and I use that on my desktop as well. I couldn't live without it. I feel like it's Excel for people that don't like Excel. Overall, Notion is a must for bigger organizational tasks. I use that to manage campaigns, finances, taxes, and big documents you have to return to through the whole year. That's so useful, especially because I'm sort of my own corporation and I’m managing my own backend.
I’m a pen and paper girl too. Papier is a brand that I consider one of my essentials. They make printed notebooks that match my pajamas and that's a very me type of thing to have. I just write all of my to-do lists in there as well as my weekly planner.
What is a habit you have outside of work that helps you stay inspired and come up with new ideas?
Definitely going to museums and reading books and magazines. Everything comes from everywhere. I feel like anytime you see a new fashion collection, it's cool to learn the history behind where it came from. So that's a huge inspiration for me.
I think also an underrated inspiration is the fact that a lot of my friends are not creators and that we share different habits and hobbies. A lot of my friends are not as into fashion and interiors as I am. So I learn a lot from them because I get the perspective of people that don't want to spend a lot of time shopping or don't want to have to learn all the things that I like to learn. I get a lot of inspiration from videos for them too because they'll just ask me a question about interiors or fashion and then that sort of inspires a video.