What inspired you to start your side hustle, and how did you come up with the idea?

I knew I needed to do something and wanted to ‘change my stars’ and do something for the love of it, that actually made money too. I spotted Julie’s challenge on FB and it was just perfect. Looking at it now, I was her ideal customer, back then, it was like she’d written it just for me I had my craft business and wanted to do more with that, but on that last Live of the challenge Julie picked up that I had a love for craft fairs. She got in touch afterwards and found out a bit more about me and convinced me to lead one of her monthly ‘Expert’ slots. I didn’t really look back after that!

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when launching your side hustle, and how did you overcome them?

I think convincing everyone else that it could actually be a business was hard. Many of my friends, family and acquaintances locally saw me as a Deputy Head and Uni lecturer – I had people telling me they were embarrassed for me as they saw it as a huge ‘fall’. I saw it as freedom and luckily I have the most supportive husband ever. My biggest challenge was to start charging people for my knowledge and expertise I still struggle with this. It’s something I talk to Julie and my Side Hustle Sisters about regularly and I’m getting better.

How has your side hustle positively impacted your life?

My side hustles have hugely impacted my life. I love that I can do something that makes a difference, that I really believe in, that I’m in charge of, and most of all, that I’m responsible for. In education, the goal posts are always changing and you are so restricted with how you teach. In my side hustles I know that how much I put in directly equates to how much I get out. I am more confident in my own opinions and decisions and although I still have wobbles (we all have imposter syndrome days), they are few and far between and I know I have an amazing support network to help me through.

What do you think sets your side hustle apart from others in your industry?

For Craft Market Masters – I don’t think there is anything quite like it out there. I support crafters to enjoy selling crafts. Not just turn up on a wet Sunday morning, but turn up with a smile on their face. For Gilli Life – again, I can’t find anything that is quite the same. I am trying to plug the gap in education between happy, bubbly toddlers and anxious, disillusioned teenagers. By helping the parents to support their children and teaching them ways to guide their children to be more confident, resilient and happy, I hope I’m empowering everyone! No matter which hustle I work on, I think I’m a pretty marmite person in that I don’t suffer fools gladly and I tend to tell it how it is. I still have my northern straight talking, but I say it from a place of understanding. I’ve been at the bottom, so I hope I don’t sound preachy!

Can you share a success story or proud moment from your side hustle journey so far?

Apart from that very first webinar in the Hive I think my proudest moment came from Lou earlier this year. We bumped into someone who was very sneery about my breakdown who asked what I was doing now (obviously not expecting much!) Before I could answer, Lou said “Oh, she’s running 3 of her own successful businesses AND she’s always there if I need her. How amazing is that!”

Still makes me smile.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting their own side hustle?

Go for it! If it gets stressy or overwhelming, then pause and come into the Hive. We’ve all been there and we’ll all help. It’s also YOUR side hustle, so you make up the rules! Put your family first, decide on your own priorities and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

How has Julie and the Happy Side Hustle community helped you along your side hustle journey?

I wouldn’t still be side hustling if it wasn’t for Julie and the community. I talk to Bees every single day. Some of my best friends are Bees and I would do anything for them, just like I know they would do for me. Julie is someone I will always count as a friend. I think if we’d just met on the street we would have still recognised the happiness core that runs through the centre of both of us. I love the way she works, the way she encourages, cajoles, nags, gives homework, and celebrates us all.

What’s next for your side hustle, and where do you see it going in the future?

My Gilli Life hustle is just starting out and I am so excited to see where it goes. I have huge plans for it and am so excited to get it all out into the world. My Craft Market Masters hustle and Dyad Crafts will also always be important to me as I love getting out and meeting the public and my customers. It was where this mad journey started! One day, I will run my own family happiness retreats in Northumberland and all Bees will be welcome!

How has being a part of the Happy Hustle Hive helped you achieve your goals?

Being in the Inner Circle was a huge decision for me. At the time, I was just starting out and it was a big financial outlay, but my Dad had left me some money specifically to ‘follow my dream of running a business’, so I used that and it was easily the best decision I ever made. The rest of the Circlers laugh at me coz I end often up with the most homework, but it’s exactly what I need. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to do any of this without the support, accountability and the gentle pushes from Julie. She has so much knowledge and is so generous with her time. When you have a dozen women who are all actively wishing you on, then how can you fail!

What’s your favourite thing about being a side hustler, and how has it impacted your life in a positive way?

My favourite thing about the business is the autonomy. I am my own boss and I fit my businesses around me. I still get frustrated if I’m ill or something gets in the way, but then I remind myself how lucky I am. My favourite thing about being a Happy Side Hustler is the community. Together we can do anything!!

Where can we find you?