In 2012, Nora Curlnow 51, has been living in New York and working in the antiques world for about a decade.
But she realized she needed to return to her native Pennsylvania to care for her mother, who suffers from a rare congenital disease. “I came back to northwestern Pennsylvania thinking, ‘How am I going to make a living in the antiques world?’” Says.
She created an antique appraisal website and sold items on eBay. Then, in September of 2012, she saw an opportunity for a work-from-home online antiques appraisal role on job listing site Jobrapido. “I didn’t hesitate to apply,” she says, and a few weeks later she received an email saying she had been approved as the new antiques expert on the advice site. Just answer.
JustAnswer features experts in a range of subjects including lawyers, electricians and vets. Users pay a subscription fee plus a monthly fee and have access to all the experts on the site. They can submit a question any time of the day and get answers on JustAnswer or talk to an expert over the phone.
Curl has worked full-time on the site since 2012, and made more than $124,000 last year alone.
Here’s how she built her career on the site and her advice for anyone who wants to achieve similar success.
Curl studied communication She attended Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and began her career in restaurant management. After moving to Los Angeles to work in food service and interacting with Hollywood’s elite, she landed a job as an executive assistant to film producer Elie Samaha. But it wasn’t her dream job.
“I never had a desire to be part of the Hollywood rat race,” she says. “On the weekends, I would go to auction houses, museums and junk stores with friends and just treasure hunt.” She often knew what was on offer. “I’d say, ‘Oh my God, this is a Tiffany vase or this is a Stuben glass piece.’ She was surprised to find that her friends were not aware of this.
“Since childhood my parents were weekend warriors going to auctions and antique shops,” she says. She realized that she had gained some knowledge in this field, and perhaps she had a talent for it.
“So I gave up Hollywood.”
Curl joined auction house Christie’s graduate program in 2001 where she studied fine and decorative arts connoisseurship. I graduated in 2002.
She then held a series of jobs in and around the antiques world working in magazines, warehousing and gallery space. The latter allowed her to deal with the “original”. [paintings] “What Norman Rockwell did,” she says. Eventually, she worked with artist Nelson Shanks, famous for painting icons like Princess Diana and Ronald Reagan. I especially loved this job.
She says he had “the third-best collection of early Baroque and late Renaissance works in private hands in America.” “That was part of my specialty. So I ended up becoming his assistant and handling his modeling contracts and working with his models.”
I worked with him until 2012.
JustAnswer came at just the right time. But even when she immersed herself in work on site, she did so with skepticism.
The experts on the site have professional experience in their field and have been verified by a third party to ensure they have the correct “education, credentials and licenses.” According to the site. Some answer questions full time, others are just a side hustle. They earn between $2 to $20 per answer, According to Sidehusl.comdepending on the experience and status on the site (users can rate it).
“It’s very self-directed, self-directed,” she says. “You just have to find your way.” I started answering people’s questions about their paintings, Hummel figurines, and vases. “Within days, it was close to $1,000,” she says. “And I’m thinking, ‘Is this real?’
Sure enough, she got paid the next month.
For a while, she was working about eight hours a day and making $5,000 to $8,000 a month. “During the coronavirus lockdowns, I was there nonstop for 14 or 16 hours a day,” she says. In 2021, she made an average of $12,600 per month.
These days, she’s back at work about eight hours a day.
“My main work hours are around 4 p.m. to midnight,” she says, answering users’ questions on the site or by phone. This works for its clients located all over the world. “At night when I’m working, I get a lot of orders from Australia and New Zealand,” she says. “Morning is a lot of people from the UK.”
Many people want to know if they can sell their pottery, sterling silver pieces, etc. She often recommends selling online. “eBay is a really excellent platform for selling,” she says, adding that it has “global exposure 24/7.”
In terms of advice for others who want to try their luck with JustAnswer: “Don’t quit your day job,” she says.
“Give yourself some time to get involved on the platform, you know. See if it’s really for you.”
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