So who is Charlotte Than?

This is a great question- as opposed to “what do you do” It’s hard to answer though in words.

I love: my family and friends who are spread all around the world, creative design, God, cooking, maps, a cheeky glass of vino, disco music, seeing the potential in the seemingly hopeless, books, the fact I have my dad’s blue eyes.

I’m married to Liem, we currently live in Earley Berkshire. But unlikely for too long as we both have lived and would love to live again in other countries.

Our madly random little family heritage spans UK, France, Vietnam, Pakistan, India and New Zealand Maori.   Ironically I don’t have my own children in the literal sense but I have been entrusted with a real global family over the years including  two “kiwi chicks” who I  informally “fostered” in NZ (now both grown up) and in recent years Liem’s two beautiful teenagers who live alternate weeks with us. 

This has recently led to a real keenness to support others who are step mum’s – it’s been and still is a lot of the time an incredibly tough and lonely path to tread.  I have ideas forming around this for the not too distant future I hope!

For now, day-job wise I work with a fabulous gang of assertive outreach workers – our client base includes substance misusers, DV victims, sex offenders and murderers.  An eclectic bunch and makes for very interesting team meets(!). I co-ordinate all the support side and I just love being part of a small team with a big heart and a strong stomach!

I’ve always loved being creative. I can’t sew, knit, draw or paint or toffee though and am always so impressed with those in the Happy Hustle Community & Hive who are incredibly talented!  My passion started off in event design where I worked for a large London church and more recently  graphic design.   I’m totally self-taught with the exception of the odd Udemy short course to pick up some basics for various software tools etc.  I think Gods made me a very visual person and I’m definitely in the groove when I get to turn something lovely out of something seemingly inconsequential.  

How did you cross paths with Julie and Happy Side Hustle?

I saw the 5 day challenge ads popped up on my fb feed. I’m not normally one to go for something like that but it hit a chord as I’d been trying to pin down a hustle idea without success for a while before that – going round in circles really.

How did you feel when you found out about the challenge?

More than a little cynical if I’m honest!  fb was becoming flooded with a lot of  “make your millions by doing what you love!” type of claims due to the ongoing lockdown (well my feed was anyway– No doubt algorithms doing their thing as I hunted online for my own creative hustle ideas!)

I wasn’t chasing the fast cash dream anyway, nor did I hate my day job (I never have) I was really seeking some clarity and accountability as I tried to pinpoint how I could use my creativity in a positive way that brought something of benefit to the world, whilst perhaps making some extra cash that again could be used for good.

Why did you decide to join it?

I almost just kept scrolling but thought “nothing to lose” and could always dip out after starting if it turned out to be a load of old tosh! 

I suppose in hindsight I went down the sales funnel!   Kudos to Julie that it was always a light and gentle no “hard sell” approach. It always felt kind, yet not too fluffy!  There was a focus and purpose behind it.  (I don’t do fluffy but I DO do kindness and purpose!) 

Something just resonated in the top line advertising. I was also intrigued to see if the claim that within 5 days there would be a side hustle idea on the cards, I thought was a bold statement that I would like to put to the test (though still with more than a healthy dose of cynicism!)

What was your favourite part of the challenge?

Seeing people’s ideas forming – and in some case some long suppressed dreams being reawakened –  I really got into the naming and ideas thing in the comments too!

Like many women here I lead an incredibly busy life so couldn’t really watch anything live but I caught up late at night and found myself looking forward to the morning challenge. 

I kept a notebook throughout and still have it, though I struggle to decipher some of my notes when I look back at it as a) my handwriting is already shocking and b) I was scribbling and doodling away madly (that’s how my mind works!)  as the ideas kept flowing and it’s all over the place!  I often do go back to it though, especially when I’m finding myself getting a bit woolly again as I find it really helps me return to those core values I was clarifying during that challenge week.

What was your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment from the challenge?

I’m going to go for both and say:

My favourite takeaway was the one we asked trusted friends and family to let us know what they thought we were good at etc.  I’m incredibly lucky to have a great depth and breadth of such people in my life and the answers I got back were just so affirming but in a matter of fact truthful way (I,e. they had nothing to gain by telling me a load of platitudes!)  This days task really helped me hone in even more on the nucleus of who I am designed to be.

A more specific AH-Ha moment came on day 5!   I was feeling within touching distance of that “something” but still couldn’t put my finger on what my hustle could be that would bring it all together.   There was another participant (Cheryl Berry) who posted up something announcing she was going with “Cherry Berry” for her hustle name (hanging paper decorations).  Straight away in my head I saw hanging cherries/berries as a logo idea for her.

I messaged Cheryl and tentatively offered to scribble something down for her, she very graciously said yes(!) – as we messaged more I realised that I felt really happy and creative and was being a small part of helping someone realise THEIR dream – all elements that I have known for a long time make up my purpose in life! 

I hit upon the hustle idea at that moment I visualised the cherries!  A logo design service for fellow hustlers, the vision was crystal clear,  “Upsidedown Turtle Design” it would be purely a starter hustle,  to trial and error all the elements of running a hustle but with a view to just getting started and helping people along the way as I then continued to develop a more established idea.

Cheryl was so generous with letting me trial out a lot around a design hustle with her precious hustle and what an honour as her products are just stunning!

Who would benefit most from this challenge?

Women ready to really go for it in terms of getting all those ideas they have buzzing about but never consolidating into something focused.  It doesn’t even need much time commitment – just a choice to become intentional about discovering and launching a happy side hustle and the resulting commitment to keep moving forward towards that, however life allows.

Where can we find you?

So far nowhere! (sounds poor but it’s totally intentional!)  I kept Upsidedown Turtle Design deliberately offline as I wanted it to remain word of mouth because I couldn’t commit to much time and also didn’t want to invest that limited time I had in setting up all the marketing side for something I knew was only ever going to be a temporary starter hustle.   The strategy worked for me and I built up a load of great experience and testimonials as well as some cash flow to all slowly but surely invest all into my next more established hustle.

Once launched I will have my own website – feel free to bookmark it in advance! 😊  

Possibly will have an Etsy presence at least to start with but I’m more focused on hopefully becoming listed on a really quality and contemporary Christian faith-based gift site called “Cheerfully Given” (check it out if you have products which could genuinely fall within this marketplace!). 

What is your next big goal?

Ooh I’m very excited about this….  my new product-based hustle “Says On The Tin” has been hatching away in the background for a few months now….  to be launched as soon as I am able to ….. ideally in time for Father’s Day but we’ll see as times v tight already!

I don’t intend to be all secret squirrel about it but I’m going to be doing a little bit of product launching gradually over the coming weeks and months so don’t want to give too much away now- if you are interested to find out more then do head over to (it’s a prelaunch page at this present time) to sign up to receive the updates and some fabulous launch discounts etc…

Are you in the ‘Fast Track your Happy Side Hustle’ or ‘The Hive’?

I’m in the hive – joined in Nov 2020 (I think!)

Did you have any experience running your own side hustle before? How did that go and what do you know now that you didn’t know then?

No previous experience, just a pipe dream that never came to fruition due both to a hectic life and hugely impressive procrastination skills! 😊

What’s your biggest tip for someone who’s considering setting up a side hustle?

Just start!   Seriously that’s the key.  There was a fab image someone posted in the hive a while back of two people climbing ladders side by side.  One ladder had multiple closely set rungs and the guy was halfway up easily managing the small steps and making progress albeit incrementally. The other ladder had fewer rungs with big spacing but that guy was still on the ground not able to reach the first rung as it was too high.  It’s a brilliantly insightful portrayal of how so many peoples dreams just never get off the ground as they are waiting for something or other to happen before they start (excuses excuses!)

Running alongside that, that I know that a scattergun approach doesn’t really work, expels too much energy with little to none ground being gained.

For now with my new hustle – There are so many avenues I can go with it, my big book of ideas I now keep on the go is overflowing with scribbles but I’ve learnt to park these up as they come (not forgotten or discarded but archived for now until the time is right!) and in the meantime I can then maintain focus and continue on the small steps that need taking to get to that bigger dream…   This stops me going back to my old Pre-hustle challenge “going round in circles” days!

What’s your favourite thing about being in The Hive / Fast Track Your Happy Side Hustle?

I’m in the Hive and its genuinely feeling part of a lovely little kind and positive community, it’s a bit of a haven in a tricky world sometimes! Whilst we are all working on our own projects there’s a lovely vibe as we buzz around each other to help and encourage where needed.  I’m a quieter member (not shy (far from it!) just a naturally quiet and independent soul). There’s no pressure to be anything else but ourselves – there are all characters in the Hive but one thing in common is kindness and positivity.  I think women particularly struggle to encourage each other, I’ve always tried to champion that and the hive is one of those rare places you find where that really flourishes and its very refreshing and absolutely beautiful actually.

What’s your favourite thing about your new happy side hustle?

The fact I’ve stuck on something where all of my favourite parts of my character, talents, joys and faith come together in one overriding idea to hopefully help others realise how loved and treasured and purpose-given they are too!

Thank you to the effervescent Julie and her ever-lovely sidekick Gillian for providing the environment for this to flourish!