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Gatsby Days Video: Using Gatsby to Launch Your Side Hustle for Free

Kat Huang
June 24th, 2020

After much thought and discussion, the Gatsby team has decided not to hold Virtual Gatsby Days in the way we originally planned. While we were very much looking forward to our first digital community gathering, we feel now is not the time to take attention and space away from the Black Lives Matter movement.

Transforming Gatsby Days from a live event into a content series keeps the focus on more important events while sharing the amazing speakers and learning opportunities in a way the community can access when the time is right for each of us. All of the product and program announcements planned for Gatsby Days have been rolled up into an initial blog post, and now we are following with a video series to present the speakers who had been scheduled to share their knowledge during the event. We hope you enjoy. 💜

We look forward to seeing you at our next Gatsby Days, planned for October, though it’s difficult to say right now exactly what form that will take. Follow Gatsby on Twitter to keep up with announcements around our fall Gatsby Days planning, calls for proposals, when registration starts, and other developments.

Makenna Smutz is the COO of Meeshkan, a startup providing tools for automated testing of servers, APIs, authentication flows, and more. Makenna, a long-time user of Gatsby open source, was first drawn to Gatsby for its approachability and community. She used Gatsby to create an online apparel shop dedicated to her tagline, Just Be Freaking Kind. Makenna’s Gatsby Days presentation walks us through choosing the tech stack for creating an e-commerce store. Be Freaking Kind is integrated with several services, including Printful for on-demand apparel, GraphCMS, Stripe, and SendGrid. With Stripe’s pay-once-you-earn model, generous free plans for these other services, and a free subdomain from your hosting provider, you can launch your side hustle for zero cost!

Be Freaking Kind uses Gatsby to dynamically generate pages from a template, bringing together data from both Printful and GraphCMS. Transactional emails, such as purchase receipts, can be challenging to implement on a static site, but Makenna explained how she configured a serverless function on Netlify to use SendGrid. She also used the Chakra UI component library and Stripe’s customizable form elements, to maintain a consistent look across the website.

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Product Marketing Intern @ Gatsby. I like puns, drawing, squats, and digital sociology. Learned to code on Tumblr and once taught myself Latin.

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