Eau Claire students explore their unique passions as side jobs

Blugolds pursue hobbies like eyebrow threading and photography to make extra money


Photo by Hailey Novak


Story by Hailey Novak, Staff Writer

Have you ever had your eyebrows threaded in the library? Some students can say yes, thanks to senior Vishwa Raval, a biology major who threads eyebrows in her free time.

Raval learned how to thread eyebrows, a healthier alternative to waxing, during her senior year of high school at Exquisite Threading in Appleton.

“I consider it a hobby, and it’s more of my stress reliever really,” Raval said. “It makes me feel good that I can help people out in an inexpensive way.”

Her Facebook page, Eyebrow Threading by Vishwa, is open to anyone who wishes to join.

She is also in the process of making business cards to share with people on campus as well as the community, to promote her services. She charges $10 for females and $15 dollars for males for most hair removal.

Since threading requires no more than thread, scissors and a comb, she takes her supplies with her everywhere and does it many places on the go, including the library.

Threading doesn’t damage skin cells or cause premature wrinkling like waxing does, Raval said. It also keeps hair from growing back longer than waxing and takes less time to do.

“It’s a better option for people looking for hair removal, and I want to be able to share this healthier way with others,” Raval said.

Eyebrow threading originated in parts of the Middle East, including India, which is where Raval is from. Her mom always wanted to learn but never found the time, so Raval said she is glad she learned because it’s a small way of giving back to her mother for all she does for her.

WEB_SideJobs1While Raval is also employed at the front desk of Oakridge Hall, when it’s tough to get hours, threading helps keep her financially safe and provides her with spending money for groceries and going out with friends.

Raval isn’t the only Blugold who is taking time to pursue her passion as a side job. Seniors Claire Winkleski and Kassi Ingram make a little extra money doing photography.

The two girls met when they both became Resident Assistants in Oakridge Hall in 2011.

Winkleski was previously involved in photography, and Ingram became interested when Winkleski took photos of her during her campaign for homecoming queen.

Ingram then began working with Winkleski for fun.  In 2013, when she opened up her Facebook page, Claire Ellen Photography,  the duo started taking on shoots together.

“It really took off when Claire asked me to shoot a wedding with her in April, which is a big deal,” Ingram said.

Though they are currently in their dry season, where business is slower than usual, on a typical weekend they shoot two or three sessions. They mainly shoot family photos, senior pictures, and headshots for the music department here at Eau Claire.

The girls also have six weddings booked to shoot so far this summer, which is where a lot of their money comes from.

Winkleski said her Facebook page and word of mouth have really helped promote their business. While the girls do it out of passion and to develop more professional skills, the extra money is an added bonus.

“It’s such a fun way to be creative and capture moments,” Winkleski said. “There’s nothing riding on it by any means.”