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What is a side hustle, and how do you start one?

Updated: Mar 5

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How can I start a side hustle? Passive income ideas.

Well, Hello there!

What is a side hustle, and how do you start one?

I hope you have started the new year with a bang and some enthusiasm to get those finances in order!

If you lack motivation, perhaps this post on side hustles will motivate you to start that small business you always wanted to, which will hopefully help you create a passive income in the process.

Combined with some frugal living, you could surprise yourself, as I did!

Woman explains how she saved £56,000 to become mortgage-free 10-years early

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a second job but should be easier than your full-time, regular job. It is usually a hobby or specific skill, which people monetise in their spare time.

You might want to boost your income. The extra money may help pay off debts, such as credit cards or mortgages or planning for retirement.

The biggest perk of a side hustle is that it allows you to work around your full-time job, giving you the flexibility to achieve a work-life balance.

How do I know which side hustle to choose?

The first step is to evaluate your skillset. Is there something you are good at? Can you teach people a skill, such as crafting? Do you think you could create something and sell it? It could be baking, through to painting models to market.

Think about what your friends or family have told you that you are good at and think about how you could monetise that skill.

I would advise starting with things you already have access to. For example, if you wanted to create a photography business from scratch, that would cost you £ 1000's, and it might not work out!

I have spoken to six people who are all at various stages of their side hustles, and they give you their best tips.


Gary Chipchase Photography

Gary Chipchase | Facebook

Gary Chipchase is the founder of Gary Chipchase Photography, where he captures the true beauty of North East England. Gary currently runs his business through Facebook and word of mouth but will have a website soon.

Gary Chipchase Photography Stag Head
Image: Gary Chipchase Photography

What made you start your side hustle?

Photography is something that I have always enjoyed doing. I love taking photos because I know that the memories I can capture will last a lifetime and bring so much joy.

I also love how it challenges you to learn new tricks, skills and ways to enhance and create images that stand out.

You can continually improve and take better photos no matter how long you have studied and practised photography.

How to start a business in photography
Image: Gary Chipchase Photography

Does your product require a special skill or training to create?

Photography requires dedication and a willingness to learn, but it also consists of trial and error. Don't be disappointed if you go out for hours and return with nothing. If you have a particular shot in mind, but can't take it, make the most of what's around you and try something else. Make the most of the beauty on your doorstep, explore them and enjoy them.

Roseberry Topping
Image: Gary Chipchase Photography

How long was it until you made your first sale?

It was approximately one month to six weeks before I made my first sale. I hope to expand in 2022.

I also want to look at building a website and running stalls to advertise further afield.

How much time do you spend a week on your side hustle?

I spend most of my weekend taking photographs in new locations. This involves getting up at silly o'clock to venture out in all weathers.

What tips would you give somebody thinking about turning a hobby into income?

Have a clear target audience and start small. Don't get disheartened if things don't always go according to plan. Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't be afraid to try new things. Enjoy what you do and embrace it.

If you want to purchase some of Gary's beautiful prints, you can get yours here.


Ashtonishing Scents by Ashton

Ashtonishing scents by Ashton | Facebook

Ash runs Ashtonishing Scents By Ashton, a Scentsy business that sells amazing diffusers, wax melts through to beauty and body sprays. Ash runs her business through Facebook and is loving every second.

How to start your own scentsy buisness
Image: Ashtonishing Scents By Ashton

What made you start your side hustle?

I love the product and feel that others do too. I thought that I needed something I could enjoy that I could control and manage on my own, on my level.

Does your product require a special skill or training to create?

I have had some training from my director, but that's more about running through things and placing orders.

How to start your own side hustle
Image: Ashtonishing Scents By Ashton

How long was it until you made your first sale?

As soon as I was opened for business, I placed my first order. I was so nervous, but it all went very well.

How much time do you spend a week on your side hustle?

As and when I can, I have a very supportive family who loves to help when they can. I don't set times.

If something needs doing, I will do it as soon as possible. You get what you put in. But in hours maybe averaging eight to nine hours a week depending on orders and preparation.

What tips would you give somebody thinking about turning a hobby into income?

Do it! I thought about it for a while, and I wish I had done it sooner. I enjoy being my own boss.

If you would like to try some great Scentsy Products, you should visit Ash's page here.


Jenny Wren Designs GB

JennyWrenDesignsGB Etsy

Jenny Wren Designs GB is a Bournemouth based upcycling business. Jenny creates one-of-a-kind items for your home! Jenny runs her shop through Etsy, and her shop has the Top Shop For Gifts award, which shows how excellent Jenny's products are.

How to make a passive income from upcycling
Image: Jenny Wren Designs GB

What made you start your side hustle?

When I planned our wedding a few years ago, I remembered how much I loved art and creating when I was at school and vowed to carry doing stuff like that when the wedding was over, which led to upcycling.

I started upcylcing as a way to be creative, I have always loved rummaging in charity shops and car boots sales, and I'm also a massive bargain hunter.

There is something so exciting about getting something for a couple of £'s or even free and transforming it into something new or bringing it back to life.

The spare room was filled with all my creations, even after gifting many to family and friends to cut a long story short.

I set up my Etsy shop and started selling. I'm sure I undersold loads of it, but the response was tremendous, which was more than enough to put a smile on my face (although the extra money was also nice).

I used to sell the smaller items (tins, jars, bottles, etc.). Then any bigger things I shifted on Marketplace and eBay (although I also sell loads of stuff on eBay, electronics and clothing as I'm a sucker for pre-loved items, as I said).

How to start upcycling and make a passive income
Image: Jenny Wren Designs GB

Does your product require a special skill or training to create?

Not really, creativity mostly. I watched loads of YouTube videos to learn how to do stuff, decoupage, paint etc. I made many mistakes, but I even sold some of those bits dirt cheap on Etsy.

As long as you list any imperfections, so customers know what they are getting, it's no problem. Using Etsy was simple, as is eBay. You have to be organised to package and send stuff and run the shop, but that'

s not a significant deal as the sites are so advanced these days. A smartphone is all you need.

Can I make money from upcycling?
Image: Jenny Wren Designs GB

How long was it until you made your first sale?

I think it was about three weeks from the point of listing to the sale. I remember selling a small Lloyd Loom Laundry basket I bought for £2 at a car boot. It sold for £43.

I was proud but weirdly nervous as it was my first proper sale.

I spent ages packing it up and even put a special note in thanking them for the purchase. However, I never got feedback, so I have no idea how it went down. I continued with the thank you notes for a while after that and had some positive responses on feedback

How can I make a passive income in 2022
Image: Jenny Wren Designs GB

How much time do you spend a week on your side hustle?

Not much. The initial set-up of the shop takes time, but then it's pretty simple. I already had a whole room with a years worth of upcycling to fill the shop, so time-consuming listing.

Nowadays, I would tend to complete an item and stick it on the shop or come across something worth reselling and get on listing that.

Sometimes I have a whole day of listing stuff from a mass clear out. For example, I had sold all of my husband's Blu-rays before Christmas on eBay, which made a couple of hundred pounds.

A few years ago, I sold all his old Rock T-shirts and Programmes from the '80s and '90s and made nearly £500. You need a few hours and some patience, but it's so satisfying when it starts to sell. As far as the upcycling goes, though, marketing is a by-product of my more creative moments, so it's more of a case of as and when.

What tips would you give somebody thinking about turning a hobby into income?

Suppose you are selling something. You first need to understand your market and where the buyers are. Etsy works well for handcrafted, individual unique items, whereas eBay is better for general second-hand items. You will reach a larger audience if you can post items; however, before you go along that route, make sure you REALLY understand which is the most economical way to send something according to weight and value. If something goes missing, you can lose money quickly.

Lastly, if you enjoy doing something as a hobby, try to keep the enjoyment in everything you do. If you are doing it to make money, your creations will not be anywhere near as good as something which is created out of love, enjoyment and passion

If you want to purchase some of Jenny's beautiful items, you can get yours here.


Gemma Grayson

❤ Beaux's Beauty ❤ | Facebook

Gemma Grayson is an area manager of The Body Shop at Home. This initially started as a side hustle and how now evolved into Gemma's full-time job, where she works from home, where she posts helpful make-up tips, which we can copy from home!

How to start a side hustle and turn it into a full time income
Image: Gemma Grayson

What made you start your side hustle?

Initially, my little girl (6months at the time) had severe skin issues due to multiple allergies. She lost the top layer of her skin, and no amount of topical creams and steroids from the doctors helped. I decided to try a Body Shop product called hemp body butter to see if it helped her. It was a miracle cure!

I also had never, at 31 years old, considered a skincare routine for myself or even owned a cream!

I tried a few bits and got addicted. I then joined TBSAH to make money back on my purchases. Then it went crazy, and within weeks I was selling thousands of pounds worth of products a month, quickly promoted to manager, and now bringing in at least a 4- figure income monthly, allowing me to work from home and be with my family more. I've now left my employed job to pursue my newfound passion.

How to be your own boss with Body Shop
Image: Gemma Grayson

Does your product require a special skill or training to create?

Not at all! I was a complete novice, the knowledge and training provided are second to none, and my team was massive support offering continued advice and guidance when needed.

How long was it until you made your first sale?

My first day! In my first three weeks, I sold over 1.7k in products, making £425 in commission.

How much time do you spend a week on your side hustle?

Originally maybe an hour a day. Now that it's my sole income and career, I'd say 3 hours on and off and 1 hour per day on and off supporting my team and others.

What tips would you give somebody thinking about turning a hobby into income?

Honesty, persistence and consistency are key! Show up every day. It will pay like one if you treat your side hustle like a hobby. Treat it with as much passion as you have for the brand, their ethics and products or services, and it will reward you tenfold—both financially and for me mentally.

My mental health has improved massively, and it has given me something for JUST ME a purpose. Something that is all mine, where I am not a colleague, a wife or a mother.

If you want to purchase some of see the amazing deals that Gemma can offer you, you can get yours here.


Mrs D.M Author

That Book Written By A Teacher: My Bizarre Descent into Exhaustion

Mrs D.M is a full-time teacher, wife and parent. Despite this, she still managed to dedicate time to becoming an author! That Book Written By A Teacher: My Bizarre Descent into Exhaustion is a candid and witty insight into the ups and downs of teaching, including the importance of a custard cream.

How to create a side hustle by publishing your own book
Image: Amazon

What made you start your side hustle?

I have always liked writing and have been jotting down some stranger experiences I have had teaching. When friends and family read what I'd written, they laughed, so I decided to write a book.

Does your product require a special skill or training to create?

I don't think so! An editor may have helped to cut out any tedious parts- I tried to edit it as I went along, but I'm sure if I'd had professional help, it would have been better. I didn't have the benefit of an editor either because I didn't want to spend any money.

How teachers can make extra money
Image: Amazon

How long was it until you made your first sale?

I put my manuscript on Amazon DKP, and they turned it into a book, although I had to fiddle about designing a book cover, which took a while.

The first sale was probably as soon as I admitted to close friends and family that it was available on Kindle, and people were very supportive. The first sales to strangers came after about a month when I'd had some good reviews.

How much time do you spend a week on your side hustle?

Now that the book is out there, I don't have to do anything. I set up some very cheap pay for click advertising, so I check it's running ok every week. It has brought in more sales as long as the advertising costs are a safe percentage. Less than the profit, I am happy.

What tips would you give somebody thinking about turning a hobby into income?

I would say go for it! You have nothing to lose as publishing is free on DKP, and you may be more successful than you expect.

I have been very surprised by the positive feedback and the number of sales, which have stayed consistently at about 20-30 books a month. I'm sure I could be doing more to promote the book, but I'm not a salesperson.

If you want to purchase Mrs D.M's book, you can do so here. Remember, it is free on Kindle.


Fair Metcalfe Printables

FairyPrintMother | Etsy

Fairy Print Mother is one of my side hustles which I started in December 2021. I create PDF's printables so people buy them, download them and print them off themselves. I create wall art, kid's worksheets and party games, and I will be creating party invites soon.

Can I make money selling printables?
Image: Fairy Print Mother

What made you start your side hustle?

I was already subscribed to Canva to make images for my blog. You can get Canva for free, but I prefer to have access to everything and I was using it every day.

I used Canva to create a free printable download for my subscribers for Christmas.

I then decided to place some on Etsy and sell them. I am a teacher by day, so creating worksheets is something I can do quickly, so I created Christmas party bundles and placed them online.

Cheap wall decor
Image: Fairy Print Mother

Does your product require a special skill or training to create?

You need to have basic ICT skills to create worksheets and images on Canva, but if you can use basic PowerPoint, I think you would have no problem. I would also suggest a desk because lounging on the sofa creating worksheets gave me tennis elbow!

How long was it until you made your first sale?

It was under a month. I did pay for ads on Etsy, which helped a lot. I was very excited because all of my sales have been to strangers so far. I don't pay for ads all year, but I think I will pay for advertisements over Christmas every year because they did bring in most of my sales.

How to make money selling instant downloads
Image: Fairy Print Mother

How much time do you spend a week on your side hustle?

Initially around 7 hours a week, minimum. This was to create stock for my shop.

However, I am much faster at using Canva and reusing many of the templates I have set up.

I have 25 items in my shop, and because they are printable, I don't have to restock my shop, so now I spend around 1-2 hours a week checking the SEO trends and making workbooks.

What tips would you give somebody thinking about turning a hobby into income?

Do it! I am already starting another small business which will be live in the next month. I dedicate around 20 hours a week to my blog, Etsy business and promoting my social media pages. My vision is to do this full time.

If you want to purchase any of Fair's Printables, you can check them here.


Did you enjoy this post? If so, let me know on the Fairly Frugal Facebook page.


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