Turning Boredom into Business: The Success Story of Sophie Riegel

The Covid-19 pandemic brought life to a standstill, forcing people indoors and often leaving them with feelings of boredom. When boredom struck, many individuals found ways to occupy their time, and one such person was Sophie Riegel, a student at Duke University back in 2020.

Initially, Riegel had no intention of starting a business. In 2020, her goal was simply to attend college until graduation. However, the pandemic shifted her classes online, leaving her with newfound free time and a desire to do something productive.

Interestingly, her business venture began with no capital investment. Riegel started by selling clothes and items she no longer used or needed, leveraging online platforms for sales. Through this method, she managed to earn around US$200 or Rp 3 million.

This initial success sparked Riegel's interest in the resale business. She began sourcing quality second-hand items from around Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and selling them online for prices ranging from US$1 to US$10.

From these sales, Riegel claimed to make a profit of US$50 or around Rp 700,000 per day, resulting in a monthly profit of US$10,300 or Rp 163 million. Her business continued to thrive, even as she graduated from college this year.

According to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It, Riegel's sales of second-hand goods amounted to US$123,800 or Rp 1.9 billion over four years. Accounting for platform fees and the cost of goods, her net profit exceeded this amount, totaling over US$192,000 or Rp 3 billion.

To this day, Riegel continues to operate her business alongside her primary roles as a writer and psychologist. She reportedly earns between US$400-500 or Rp 6-7 million per day from her resale business, with it contributing to 70% of her monthly income, surpassing her earnings as a psychologist.

Despite her increasing workload, Riegel no longer runs her business alone. She has hired employees to support its operations, and she sees no reason to stop. In fact, she believes her work as a psychologist strengthens her business network.

"I'll continue doing both for as long as I can. Both careers make me happy and allow me to be independent, and I don't have to choose between one or the other," says Riegel.

Sophie Riegel's story serves as a testament to the power of resilience, adaptability, and entrepreneurial spirit, showcasing how seizing opportunities in times of adversity can lead to remarkable success.

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