The Side Hustle: Dental hygienist spreads smiles with her natural artistic abilities and southern hospitality

The Side Hustle: Dental hygienist spreads smiles with her natural artistic abilities

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When she’s not making smiles brighter at work, a dental hygienist from Maple Hill uses her natural artistic abilities and southern hospitality for painting parties.

Susanne Sanders’ side hustle started with parties she threw for her family members. Soon, the word spread about her talents and she had a side hustle.

She knew she had a profitable side hustle when her accountant told her it was time to get a tax ID number.

“I wasn’t looking for it,” she said. “It just happened.”

Sanders said the parties fill her with satisfaction and her clients puts the bow on her side hustle.

Creative talents run in her family. Her grandmother and mother were artists. Both finding their gifts later in life.

The painting parties became something special Sanders shared with her mother.

“She was sick breast cancer and they gave her 3-6 months. I took her to visit, to say goodbye to people, because she was dying,” she said.

Her mother lived for another seven years and became a regular side kick at her painting parties.

“She would puff up just like me and we would share in the excitement and the way it made both of us feel,” she said.

After her mom passed away last year, Sanders put the parties on pause.

“It took the wind out of my sails,” she said. “Finally, I did one. Just doing that one, hearing everybody brag, hearing everyone fill that need again, I was like, I’m going to do this again because I enjoy it.”

On a recent Saturday, she entertained a group of state trooper’s wives who hoped to bond over the artful experience.

Susanne Sanders helps put a bow on a bunny at one of her painting parties. (Source: WECT)
Susanne Sanders helps put a bow on a bunny at one of her painting parties. (Source: WECT)

“I’m not a creative person so I was a little nervous when we started but when she went around and told us she would help us I was really excited and I’m going home with something beautiful,” said Ashley Sutton, who painted a sign that stated “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Susanne Sanders helped to make this "Blessed are the Peacemakers" sign for a state trooper's wife. (Source: WECT)
Susanne Sanders helped to make this "Blessed are the Peacemakers" sign for a state trooper's wife. (Source: WECT)

Compliments like that really put the bow on the side hustle for Sanders.

On top of painting parties and her job as a dental hygienist, Sanders is also a mother, bee keeper and wedding decorator.

When asked how she does it all, she said she’s the type of person where the busier she is, the better she is.

To book a party with Sanders, call 910-389-6198.

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