SIDE HUSTLE STORIES – SHEILA KENNEDY MATTHEWS

So, Who is Sheila?

I’m 60 and married to Steve, a Canadian. Mum to one son and Grandma to one Grandson age 4 ½. I live in Hampshire and originally from Yorkshire. I worked in education for more than 20 years. Besides crafting I enjoy reading, movies or a good TV series. I also love outdoor activities like pole walking, walking by the sea, cycling and kayaking.

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

I saw Julie’s ad on Facebook in Jan 2021. I had finished working in school at Christmas with the plan being to give it 3 months or so to let Covid run its course, and then re-evaluate the work situation.

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

When I saw the ad I thought ‘as a matter of fact yes I am that person!’. I also thought ‘is this too good to be true?’, ‘is it really free’ and ‘what’s the catch?’. I did some cross reference checking to make sure it was legit and then I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’.

Why did you decide to join it?

It was perfect timing as I was at home and had the time to do it. My dream forever has been to monetise crafts and I have had endless conversations with friends about running a coffee shop/craft shop. I had made my break from education with its restrictive holidays and increasing demands and now was the time to try something that would avoid having to go back. Having family in Canada and in Yorkshire mean flexibility is key. This was a chance to be my own boss and I got my friend to do the challenge with me.

What was your favourite part of the challenge?

Working in schools, for all its faults, is challenging and intellectually stimulating. The pipe dream of working for myself also brought the worry that it would become dull and feel lonely, so it was really an eye-opener to discover:

  1. a group full of energetic, friendly, intelligent, interesting and co-operative women with so much knowledge, experience and delight in sharing
  2. an absolute ton of things to learn if you want to become successful in your business, so basically never a dull or lonely moment to be had! And all the help you could possibly need in the kindest community ever – definitely stretches your mind and thinking.

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

The realisation that it can happen to ME! In the old days I thought of crafting that it’s more of a nice hobby but could it ever be viable? Today I now know there’s so many ways of getting seen and known about. I’VE JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE OUT THERE AS EVERY OTHER ENTREPRENEUR!

Who would benefit most from this challenge?

Anyone who would love to have that outlet for their creativity. Mostly those who have time to continue to put the work in to it as I think to be successful it does need a degree of determination.

You will benefit if you have a desire to do this but you have self doubts or lack of confidence because Julie & Gillian have seen it all before and have the answers to all of your questions.

You’ll also benefit if you are willing to ‘trust the process’ as somethings seem counter-intuitive at first (eg niche) but if you’re willing to follow the steps and listen to expert advice, the pennies will start to drop, not always straight away, but they will!

Where can we find you?

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BeachnutsStudio

Instagram: https://instagram.com/beachnutsstudio

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/BeachnutsStudio/

What is your next big goal?

I’m working on my side hustle ideal client and my goal is to decide which direction to fully focus on.

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

The Hive – for life! I couldn’t bear the thought of ever not being able to be in the Hive, so soon I’ll be a fully paid up Bee forever!

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 I have had no previous side hustle experience so learning everything from scratch, from Julie.

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

Join Julies programme, and trust the process.

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

The friendships. Julie, Gillian and everyone in there are first and foremost friends, and that makes me comfortable to be myself and to be able to ask any question without feeling silly. I remember being struck early on by no one being cynical – that might sound unexpected, but I’ve worked with so many cynical people who moan about anything and everything, that to be surrounded by people wo just want to be joyful and positive, well, it’s just amazing and uplifting!

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

I can unleash my creative side in a meaningful way that can hopefully bring pleasure to others as well as myself. Something I believed would only ever be a pipe dream can actually become a reality if I’m prepared to put in the work and be teachable, and to do that I’ve found a place that provides all the resources I could ever need.

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