1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Firstly, I hate talking about myself out of the comfort zone, but here we go.

I’m a 36 year old mother to two: Jacob who’s 11 and Tilly almost 3. I live in rural Suffolk, in an amazing house and beautiful garden with my lovely calm and supportive partner of almost 6 years; Jon.

I have always been a bit quirky and was quite wild in my youth! I am much calmer now. Got it all out of my system during my uni years! Due to that wild side I ended up married at 24 and divorced at 31. I wouldn’t really change a thing though. I am a bit of a hippy (or I like to think I am). Veggie since age 12 and eco passionate. Used reusable nappies on both children and went down the rabbit hole to plastic use and zero waste! I originally got my degree in Psychology and counselling at Hull University then did my pgce as it was a faster qualification route than counselling and I wanted to start a family. I taught throughout the primary range reception up to year 6 and spent 2 years as a head of school (kind of fell into it due to colleague illness). I worked full time after my first child and hated it, but once I was a single mum it was necessary! (No maintenance from dad).

After the second child, I have been lucky enough to turn to part time teaching. I teach 2 days a week and hustle and mum it for the rest of the week.

2) How did you find out about Julie and Happy Side Hustle?

The wonderful Julie Breckon (my university room mate) showed me the light and introduced me to Julie’s challenge.

3) Why did you decide to join the challenge?

I had just started setting up TillyBoo’s as a way to make some extra money and indulge my hobbies with a purpose and Julie Breckon had just finished the challenge and said it would be good.

4) How did the tasks make you feel, how was the challenge day-to-day and overall?

The tasks made me feel energised, proactive and like I was achieving something. They were easy to manage and action even with a busy life and showed good impact almost immediately.

Overall the challenge was amazing and I don’t think I would be at this point with my hustle (or even still going!) without it

5) Would you recommend it to others and if so, which type of person do you think would benefit/enjoy it?

I would really recommend the challenge to anyone thinking about a hustle or small business, anyone with a hobby or passion or anyone at a loose end generally.

The challenge allows you to build a hustle that is as big or small as you want it to be around what you enjoy. Who wouldn’t want to do more with a hobby? Who doesn’t want more joy and purpose in their life?

6) What is your final side hustle idea?

TillyBoo’s plastic free products and handmade eco reuseables. So the main side hustle is hand sewn items to replace disposables, like face wipes, reusable kitchen roll, bowl covers, wax wraps and so on. Supplemented by wholesale products to build a business side.

7) What is your next immediate challenge for the next month or so and can we check back in with you to see how you are getting on?

My main challenge is time! With a part time job and two children I only get to sew 4 evenings a week after about 8pm! So making stock is my main issue. And launching new products. I have so many ideas, but not the time to implement them. Tilly starts nursery in September so I’ll have a whole morning then 😂


8) Did you join Start Your Happy Side Hustle/The Hive and if so how is that helping and how will it help in the future?

I joined the Hive after the explode your side hustle challenge. I was doubtful as any additional costs worry me. But it is the best thing I’ve done to help grow me and the business. The support from Julie Begbie, Gillian and all of the bees is truly wonderful. There is not a problem that someone can’t help with and if you’re feeling stuck they are all there to pull you out. The information presented in the masterclasses is amazing and so varied. It really covers all areas of the business, not just one thing, and with one focus a month it’s manageable! learning all together is also very motivating. Bundle that all in with Julie’s kindest work and support and it’s just a wonderful place to be whilst still being useful!

9) Have you tried to set up a side hustle before? If so, how did you get on?

Nope, hustle novice!

10)  Share your 3 favourite things about being in The Hive and 3 favourite things about your side hustle.

I love The Hive because of:

1. The variety of knowledge and skills brought in by Julie and the masterclasses.

2. The support from everyone in the hive!

3. The drive it gives me to keep going and growing my hustle.

My three favourite things about my side hustle are:

1. The extra (tiny but growing) income to allow me to stay home with the children.

2. The guilt free sewing – it’s not for me – and the excuse to be doing it every night!

3. That it has a positive impact on the planet