Students find a side hustle in their passions

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Students find a side hustle in their passions

Devont Smith works with music engineering software Nov. 15 in his studio.

Photo By Lilith Osborn-Cole

Devont Smith works with music engineering software Nov. 15 in his studio.
Photo By Lilith Osborn-Cole

Devont Smith works with music engineering software Nov. 15 in his studio.
Photo By Lilith Osborn-Cole

Devont Smith works with music engineering software Nov. 15 in his studio.
Photo By Lilith Osborn-Cole

Lilith Osburn-Cole

Students have found a way to use their passions and time in a union of success.

Passions ranging from music to hair styling have pushed students to offer their expertise in the form of paid services right out of the comfort of their own homes.

Devonte Smith, sociology senior, started producing music with his roommate in 2015. At first, they both had little equipment and experience, but decided to take a chance and dabble in the music field.

The two were artists and decided to turn their artistic passion towards music engineering. Smith said they decided to create their own studio for recording and producing.

“(The music studio) was conceived before it even became a thing,” Smith said.

Smith said they had miscellaneous pieces of equipment along with their miscellaneous ideas that now hold a place.

Eventually, Smith and his roommate’s patience became the backbone for their thriving, home-operated business.

Smith said he first became interested in producing music when working with other music engineers on his own music.

Finding an affordable and workable environment posed a challenge for Smith and his roommate as they started creating their studio vision.

“People I knew wanted access to a studio, and now I have one,” Smith said.

Smith started out offering his equipment and space for other artists to use for a small fee. However, he eventually fell in love with the engineering of music when his clients started requesting that he produce their work.

“I would invest a lot of the money back into the studio, and we upgrade piece by piece,” Smith said.

Smith said that ever since building his studio, he and his roommate have been able to dream about what their business can really be, and expand on it for the future.

“We could talk for weeks about (music), but would never learn about it,” Smith said. ”The most successful people in this industry will tell you that you never stop learning.”

Another student who is making his name in the music scene is Reginald Jones, electronic media sophomore.

Jones said he started producing music in high school in his hometown of Waco, Texas.

Jones became influenced to learn about the mechanics of music creation from watching his grandfather, who started his musical journey in the 1960’s with a band called The Side Effects.

Jones’ grandfather has had a lot of success and worked with major film production companies like Disney.

Jones said he has even had the opportunity to watch his grandfather work on film scores and witnessed the creation of film music for the Disney movie, “Moana.”

Jones said when he first came to college, it became difficult to produce music due to the fact that most of his clientele was from his hometown.

“At some point, it started to feel not worth it,” Jones said. “So (business) slowed down, but it made my demand go up because I was not easily accessible to my regular clients.”

Even though it was difficult at first for Jones to resume his business when he came to Texas State, he continues to produce music for clients in San Marcos and Waco.

Jones said he is inspired by his own artistry and passion to help other artists with their music.

“You have to use your abilities and give suggestions as an artist to help other artists,” Jones said.

Jones said he learns from his clients as well, and loves to learn everyone’s stories that influence their own music.

“Everybody has an artist inside themselves,” Jones said.

For Jones, his business has functioned as financial support for him since he has been in college. He has been able to buy books for school and other necessities with the revenue made from producing music.

Dyneisha Rainey, business management senior, has developed her passion for hair styling, specifically braiding, into a business she enjoys.

Rainey offers braiding, hair styling and hair consultation services. She first started June 2017, and her business has been growing ever since.

“I always wanted a side hustle, and it kind of dawned on me one day that I loved doing hair,” Rainey said. “I never thought (my business) would get to where it is today.”

Rainey said she has noticed a lack of services for women and men with natural hair in San Marcos, and some people have to travel as far as Dallas to get their hair done.

Rainey said she gets an average of eight to ten clients per week, and her clientele capacity has climbed to six people in one day.

She plans on pursuing her passion for hair even more and hopes to go to cosmetology school to learn more about hair science.

“I watch a lot of videos and study hair even though I’m not in cosmetology school,” Rainey said.

Her passion for hair styling has propelled her to learn different techniques and master many styles of braiding.

Rainey said she has been successful in managing her time between her business and school work, and her journey has been accompanied by a community of support.

“I really get a lot of support form my friends and family and the community around me,” Rainey said.

Artists from a diversity of mediums have found their niche in the San Marcos market and are continuing to perfect their craft. These students have prioritized their passion in a way that allows them to redefine their college experience for the better.

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