SIDE HUSTLE STORIES – KERRY BARHAM

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

I was always a bit ‘crafty’ as a child. I was the kid with a cupboard full of toilet rolls and yoghurt pots! I also had an obsession with stationery and colouring pens etc so I think it was there lurking from an early age. I was having a bit of a rough time about 15 years ago and my friend invited me round for a coffee and chat. She was a papercrafter and she plonked a TV Table full of crafty bits in front of me and said – make something! I went blank! But slowly started to create and loved it! It calmed my mind, made me smile and I had something pretty at the end of it! It has grown from there and so seemed the perfect side hustle for me!

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

The biggest challenge is me! I am my own worst enemy. I find obstacles where there are none and talk myself down instead of up. Imposter Syndrome lives well and comfortably at the back of my mind… When I found Julie’s free Side Hustle 5 day course, I signed up. Not only was everything she said good and solid advice but I met a huge number of other people who felt like I did! So with the support of the Hive it has become easier to accept I am ‘normal’ in the world of side hustles and that sometimes slow and steady wins the race!

How has your side hustle positively impacted your life?

My side hustle has been a massive impact on my life in all areas. Even before it was actually a side hustle it was my happy place. Crafting gives me a sense of peace and I absolutely love creating things. I love seeing a flat piece of paper become something wonderful. Personally, it has helped my mental health in so many ways. Sometimes just sitting in my craft room looking at all the lovely colours around me is enough to give me focus and stop the craziness in my head. Professionally, I think I have grown in confidence as I have had to put myself out there as a credible business owner and hold my own in a marketplace of more established businesses. Also, in my professional day job it has helped me relax a bit! I realise now that I am only doing a ‘proper job’ to pay the bills whilst I grow my side hustle and then can eventually leave that behind and make crafting my job!

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

I think every side hustle is unique. The papercrafting industry is massive! If I thought about my competition I think it would really impact my confidence and Imposter Syndrome! However, what my side hustle has that no-one else has is Me! I think when people speak to me they can feel my enthusiasm and passion for my work. It’s not just something I do… it’s a real labour of love! From the bespoke creations that are so personal to the recipient to my ‘off the shelf’ items each one has been thought about and constructed carefully and I am proud of each one. My main drive for my side hustle is not only the uniqueness of my creations but the promotion of mental well being. Whether you have a go at crafting at a workshop or receive a beautiful, personal card, you cannot help but feel the world is a better place!

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

I am always super proud when I find out that my creation has been framed or displayed or preserved in some way as the recipient loved it so much! This is why I love my bespoke service, creating very personal items that you just would not get in a shop! I was also very proud when I got an article printed in our local village Gazette. I approached them and asked if they wanted to interview a local crafter and they asked me to write a piece on papercrafting! I got a lot of response from the village and this has spurred me on to create community events to bring people together – either new crafters wanting to learn, or a group of experienced crafters just wanting coffee, cake and chat!

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

Firstly, do one of Julie’s courses! I cannot express how much information and encouragement is contained in such a short space of time! The biggest thing that I took from one of the courses is to have a serious think about whether it is a lovely hobby or an actual monetizable side hustle. There is a world of difference in your approach as to whether it is a hobby (fun, do it anytime, do what you want) to a business (marketing, insurance, deadlines, accounts, liabilities). You have to be able to find the happy in all the mundane business bits as well as the fun in creating your product! It can be a business and still bring you Joy. Joy has to be the foundation of a side hustle!

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

I love being part of the HSH Community. In fact, I am so glad I have a side hustle as I would have missed out on meeting some amazing women! I have learned so much in the couple of years since I first signed on for the free 5 day course. It has given me confidence to explore avenues such as Instagram, writing a book and many other possibilities. The workshops and guest speakers are amazing and just listening to such inspirational people gives you a massive boost. Moreover it has given me so much confidence. I have gone from ‘I might be able to do this’ to ‘I can do this’. It has done wonders for my mental health too. Being part of a group that only seeks to build you up and empower you is a rare find these days.

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

Ooooh what’s next! Well I have a huge list of strings I want to add to my bow and they are definitely more tangible now with my ever growing confidence and the support of the Hive. I want to have several income streams, all crafting based, but not all creation based. I have recently organized my first Craft Fair which went really well so I am looking to create more of those. I am currently working on running Workshops in November for Christmas Crafting and am confident they will work well too. I am also looking to write a Disney Holiday Planner – not papercraft related but it is my other Happy Place and with the workshops afforded me by being in the Hive I now have the tools to approach this with confidence too!

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

The HHH has been fundamental in helping me achieve my goals and help me set new ones! There is no judgement here, just good honest support and advice. I am by no means breezing through this process, I am very much a two forward, one back kind of girl! But I have learned that this is ok too. Some fly, some walk. If I had not had the Hive I would still be ‘playing’ at being a side hustler. By that I mean I would be having the fun bits like creating or having a Facebook Page, but not actually ‘doing’ anything to promote or progress! I love the accountability in the Hive – it’s not strict enough to be like school detention but it’s strong enough and valid enough to make you want to achieve what you say. I need that in all areas of my life – trust me!

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 being a side hustler is realizing I can do the thing that brings me most joy and earn money from it! It’s not easy, but nothing worth having ever was. I have realized some rookie mistakes I had been making and have learned many new positive things for my side hustle future. It has also spilled out into my personal and ‘proper job’ life too. My confidence has rocketed! And it’s genuine confidence, not the pretend I can do this confidence I had before! I have not made my fortune, yet, but it’s closer than it ever was!

Where can we find you?

KerryBCreates Etsy Shop

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