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

A perfect storm of things happening that were completely out of my control! I had thought about setting up a side hustle for a while but had no idea how to start or what I would do. I found Julie in 2020 on Facebook promoting her 5 day challenge and I signed up, then just before the start, I unexpectedly lost my Dad, so all thoughts of that totally got lost. Then in March/April 2021 I found out (on a Teams meeting!) that I was being made redundant in June from a company I had worked for for 21 years. Julie was running her challenge again so I thought it was the ideal time to join – something that was for me, and that I would be in control of the outcome. I’d started experimenting with epoxy resin after resisting buying as it seemed to be all over instagram. I found that I was hooked on creating seascapes, it just took me back to growing up on the west coast of Scotland and trips to the seaside with family.

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

The biggest challenge was knowing where to start, I had no idea about how to set up an Etsy shop, getting insurance, using instagram for business and just having the confidence in myself (we all know imposter syndrome), joining the Hive and being in the Inner Circle has given me so much advice, knowledge from guest experts and from fellow bees and I feel so supported.

How has your side hustle positively impacted your life?

I now have a wonderful group of friends from all over the country who I’ve not met in real life, I have the wonderful Inner Circle members (I’ve met Liz Holloway and Cat Rowley in real life – so surreal because it just felt like I’ve known them forever!). Professionally – after being made redundant I was a bit scared to apply for another IT support role thinking that after being with one company for 21 years I wouldn’t know anything or be good enough, so I took a job as telephone support for Covid vaccination records, there was always issues with the laptops/software, never able to get through to IT support, so I would have people asking me if there was something I could help with, this showed me that I was still capable and did give me more satisfaction, also chatting with Ann Lucas helped me decide to apply for another IT role, which was the first ever temp contract I’ve taken, loved working there, and really fitted in well with the team – so much that they extended my contract until a permanent role was available

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

I combine my resin seascapes with Selkie folklore, handpainted selkies and seals, and powertex sculptures.

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

My proud moment was being accepted for a really large Food and Drink festival in Heaton Park this year, it’s the biggest fair I’ve done – only started doing fairs last November – it was quite an involved application process and the first time I’ve had to complete a risk assessment – was a bit scared and would normally have just gone no this is too difficult and not done it but I knew that I could ask in the Inner Circle for help , so with their advice and support I got all the information together, submitted the application and was successful! It was an amazing event, really loved it – just a shame that the weather wasn’t great so wasn’t as busy as the previous year.

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

Give it a try! It is so satisfying to do something you love, make extra money for treats and learn new skills, meet new people.

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

I wouldn’t have started if I hadn’t joined Julie’s free challenge week, the support of Julie, all of the Bee’s and the Inner Circle, I’ve learnt so much about how to prepare and set up for craft markets (thanks Gilli), so much more self-belief than I ever had and has helped me to try things that I would never have had the nerve to do before (applying to really big artisan fairs and exhibitions).

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

I would like to try some larger scale seascapes and create my own moulds from my original sculptures, also being stocked in independent stores/galleries – I’m waiting on a local artisan pop up opening locally.

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

I would never have done anything without the Happy Hustle Hive.

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 creating things that I love and seeing first hand when selling at fairs that other people love them too, and now having the confidence to call myself an artist!

Where can we find you?