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posted on March 1st, 2019

The San Francisco hustle

Spending days between Lululemon, downtown SF, and a start-up in the Mission district sounds like the typical life of twenty-something woman in San Francisco. But Turo host Natasha B. is a little different — she works at that Lulu and that Mission start-up in addition to another part-time job, and has a side hustle to support herself while she earns her MBA at San Francisco State.

Living out in the Sunset district, taking classes across the city in downtown, and working nearly everywhere in between requires no small amount of travel. But in San Francisco, it doesn’t make sense to do all that from the driver’s seat of a car.

“I commute so much with Muni and Bart, my car sits in front of my apartment most of the time,” Natasha says. “And it’s a cool car! I was like, ‘other people really might like this!’”

She was right. Her 2013 Mustang was her dream car and a high school graduation gift from her parents, and when she listed it on Turo last year, the interest was immediate.

Natasha’s Ford Mustang (San Francisco, CA)

Her most recent guests are a prime example of her typical clientele. Before the couple picked it up, the wife told Natasha that she booked it to surprise her husband, since a Mustang has always been his dream car, too.

“She messaged me this whole story about how they really want to get a Mustang but the timing hasn’t been right, so in the meantime they’re going to spend some time enjoying mine,” Natasha said. “When I started Turo, that’s exactly who I wanted driving my car — someone who would value it even more than I do.”

Putting in work

Between her 9–5 marketing role at a sustainable design start-up and her part-time catering gig on the weekends, (not to mention grad school classes from 6–9 each weeknight), Natasha doesn’t have time for many joy rides. And you wouldn’t think she has time to manage yet another money-making endeavor.

“Turo is just so easy to do and I actually get to make these cool connections,” Natasha says. “It’s really exciting to know someone else is having fun with my car.”

Beyond grocery store trips, Natasha gets a limited amount of time with her car, though not for lack of desire. A Mustang has been Natasha’s dream car since she was young, playing Barbies with a toy Mustang rather than a pink Barbie convertible. “I was so excited when I got my car, so that’s how I hope other people experience it when they get to drive it,” Natasha says. “The fact that I get to add my car into their personal story, whatever it is… I think that’s the best.

Now that she’s found a way to share her car with other enthusiasts, she’s set her eyes on the next prize. While the income from her two jobs goes towards living expenses, she earmarks her Turo funds for a different goal: a Porsche Macan GTS.

“It’s so out there, but I have to set my goals high. Otherwise I’ll just spend the money!”

And in the meantime, like any car lover, she’s enjoying the journey.

Virginia is equally enamored with words and globetrotting. Whenever possible, she likes to combine the two through travel writing to help other wanderers discover and fall in love with the world.