Start your Side Hustle online: 5 success stories to inspire you

6 min read
Matthew Pattinson

During your 9-5, do you have that little voice: that one which says you could do this yourself? The one which says you can do more? This is the essence of the Side Hustler.

They agitate for change in their professional lives. They defy convention by launching a side business alongside the security of a salary. Sound like you?

Well, if you're thinking of starting a Side Hustle, you’re not alone. In fact, research released by GoDaddy and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), revealed that the number of UK side hustlers has risen by 32% in the last decade.

So now’s the time to turn your passion into profit. Now’s the time to get inspired by the achievements of others. These 5 side hustlers share their successes and mistakes to help you get your Side Hustle off to the best possible start.

Swole Panda

Fashioning a Side Hustle in the digital age


With a mix of Side Hustle and sustainability, Swole Panda creates clothing and accessories from bamboo. Co-founder Oliver Slacke developed the idea with his brother James, whilst studying Geography at King's College London.

Oliver said: “I was learning about sustainable development and the sheer impact humans are having on the natural environment. I wanted to create an accessories brand that would combine style with sustainability, minimising this impact. This led me to explore alternative resources where I came across bamboo.”

Managing their Side Hustle wouldn’t be easy. They’d need to juggle it with their degrees and part-time jobs.

The brothers’ Side Hustle has grown into a fashion mainstay, featured in British GQ, London Fashion Week, Attire Accessories, Boat International and Motorboat.

Oliver added: “Having a website allows you to do all of this, and also makes the barriers to entry in the global marketplace almost non-existent.”

This Side Hustle, now turned business, “could never have worked without the internet and a solid support network to get us through those early days".

Visit Swole Panda to find out more

Kathryn Tyler, co-founder of Digital Mums

From Side Hustle to Full Side Hustle


How do you take a Side Hustle to a full hustle? Meet Kathryn Tyler, co-founder of Digital Mums.

Kathryn conceived the Digital Mums concept whilst working a full-time job. In time, she decided upon informing her employer about the Side Hustle.

“I was given great support by my then employer to pursue my passion,” said Kathryn, underscoring how “transparency was a major benefit”.

As the business grew and expanded, she incrementally dropped her working hours down to 3 days a week. This guaranteed financial stability, ensuring the Side Hustle was viable before taking it full-time.

It was only when they received a low interest, low-risk business loan from the Big Issue investment arm, that Kathryn with the support of her employer, became self-employed and started to chase the full hustle dream.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Visit Digital Mums for more information

Sally Jones Media Consultancy

Broadcasting Side Hustle success


With a background in broadcasting and journalism, Sally Jones is no stranger to a Side Hustle, as she also runs a media consultancy business outside of work.

Her company provides education and health charities with advice, in addition to media training and crisis management.

Speaking about her business, Sally said: “The best thing about my Side Hustle is that I can be my own boss and have the freedom to choose my own work, while also providing a useful service to worthwhile organisations such as top schools and charities.

“A lot of my work is repeat business, or comes to me via word of mouth, but a website can be very useful to show the range of work I do to editors and to attract more contacts that I could notify about new opportunities.”

Sally balances her profession and Side Hustle with perhaps the most important job of all: parenting. And she’s not alone.

GoDaddy’s report, ‘Side Hustle: A Way of Life, Not Work’, reveals that 44% of side hustlers are parents with at least one child under 19 living at home.

Check out the full report here

Top Up Tents

Setting up a Side Hustle camp


Gaining its name from the university top up fees which were introduced in 2004, this father and daughter Side Hustle allowed for Rosie and her brother Rory to graduate without heavy debt.

The business operates all around the UK, and boasts several marquees, gazebos and various flooring options for its customers.

As well as making great business sense for the family, their services also support several charities, including national cancer charity Hope For Tomorrow.

Top Up Tents are a great example of cross-generational side hustles that can work well because of the tight family unit.

Visit Top up Tents for more information

Sholto Blissett

The artist who exhibited business greatness


Whilst studying at Durham University, Sholto Blissett began to develop his love of painting, and wanted to turn this into something more than just a hobby.

He began to exhibit in galleries outside of his studies, a practice which helped him not only create a career, but to complete a Masters at the Royal College of Art.

He said: “Being taken seriously as a student was one of the hardest parts of having a Side Hustle, but as I started to paint more I gained confidence in the value of my work, which meant that galleries were more willing to sell my work and help my Side Hustle grow."

Speaking about the importance of the visual presentation of his work on the internet, Sholto added: “A good website was important to this process, letting people who had seen my work in galleries contact me and see more of my art. It also gives me direct control over how my work is displayed and represented.”

View Sholto Blissett for more information

Ready to turn your Side Hustle dream into a reality?

If you’re ready to take the first step… or the next step… toward the future you want to build, we’re here to help, every step of the way.

And we’ve got thousands of engineers and advisors hell-bent on making it happen. We’ll give you the tools to do it yourself and services that scale with you as you grow. We’re here to help you Kick Ass!

Build your Side Hustle website and, if you need a little extra help, we truly love getting your call. So take a moment. Stand back and ask yourself: ‘what am I waiting for?’

The time is always most definitely now!