Case Study: How FormPay helped two friends exceed sales expectations on their first holiday side hustle

Updated: May 14, 2024

Published: May 14, 2024

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Most of us have thought about starting our own business before, whether for some side income or just as a fun challenge. But it can feel daunting to begin, especially when it feels like it’s just you and your family and friends. For Miriam, the inspiration and effort came easily enough for two friends, Pat and Jay, who wanted to experiment with a popcorn seasoning side hustle for the holiday season—it was the technical aspect that they needed help with, and that’s where FormPay was able to help. Hear their story of how they took an idea to sales within days with the help of formPay.

The founding story of Miriam’s

We were thinking of experimenting with a very small business for a bit while we were looking for full-time work. But we mostly just wanted to try and put together a fun project together and see how far we got. Eventually, we settled on selling popcorn seasoning for the holiday season! It was something that was both shelf-stable and evergreen, and could be part of someone’s daily routine. And besides, who doesn’t love popcorn? 

We mostly promoted our business, Miriam’s, through word or mouth, since we kind of wanted it to be a “beta test” for family and friends only. Even so, we still needed an organized way for our customers to pay, and that’s when it got more complicated before we found FormPay

Miriam's Popcorn Seasoning

Challenges before using FormPay

We tried a lot of methods before finding FormPay, starting with the more popular options, such as Google Forms, Shopify, etc. But despite how well-known they were, or maybe because of how well-known they were, they took a lot of hassle to set up, and solutions like Google Forms didn’t have payment options attached to them either. We didn’t want to go through a ton of tedious technical work just for our first trial run of 50 gift boxes of popcorn seasoning. 

Thankfully, we discovered FormPay, which was everything we were looking for – it had the ability to take orders and accept payments all in one go. The interface was simple and easy, both for us to set up and for customers to use. What’s more, the payment options are already integrated into the service, meaning that we didn’t have to waste time figuring that out on our own.

Thankfully, we discovered FormPay, which was everything we were looking for – it had the ability to take orders and accept payments all in one go. The interface was simple and easy, both for us to set up and for customers to use.

Miriam's FormPay

Selling out on the first try

We launched three unique vegan and gluten free popcorn seasoning flavors under the brand Miriam’s – Dill Inferno, Sweet Churro, Tangy Furikake – and positioned it as a gift set for the holiday season with order cut-offs by Thanksgiving. Gift wrapping and shipping was included in the price to keep it simple for everyone. In the end, we sold out of all our stock! People who bought from us thought that the whole experience using FormPay felt slick and professional, and it was easy to manage on our end, too. From this pilot sales run, we proved ourselves that we worked well together as a team and ready for something bigger next time.

People who bought from us thought that the whole experience using FormPay felt slick and professional, and it was easy to manage on our end, too.

Advice for starting your own side hustle with the help of FormPay

It’s easy to come up with ideas and use that initial energy to get started, but it’s also easy to lose motivation when you start having to do tedious things like figuring out how to set up an ordering and payment process. Especially when you’re working with other people, it may be a good idea to have a trial first to test your working compatibility before going all out. With services like FormPay, it becomes a lot easier to manage the hard stuff while keeping yourself free to work on the important things like making the product for happy customers!

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