Images: Amy Deeprose (@amybakesuk)
"Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life." We've all heard that saying, right? Well, Confucius, it ain't always that easy. We may not have known what we love back when we were studying, sometimes you've gotta hella graft for ages before you can properly achieve what you love, and sometimes what we love might have changed.
More and more, people aren't just doing their nine-to-fives, but also have a passion project - a side hustle, if you will - that they maintain in the hope of it becoming their main job in the future, so they achieve this elusive notion.
Arron Watson-McNab, 26, works full-time as a therapy assistant at a prestigious London hospital, as well as freelancing as a writer and photographer. His side hustle is photography - Faces, Places & Laces - while Dwain Caulker-Johnson, 25, is a part-time retail worker, whose passion is making music, under the stage name DeeWain. Amy Deeprose, or amybakesuk, 26, is a design engineer who uses her design knowledge in the cakes she bakes on the side. In a three-part series, I have quizzed them on how they manage their day-to-day jobs and maintain their side hustle, and how they hope to develop it in the future.
How long have you been baking and how did you get into it?
It's been 10 years. During my college A-level exams, I began baking cakes and learning to decorate them as a means of stress relief from revision. Then, when the baking got too much, the revision seemed like a break, so it worked out quite well.
What motivates you to make time to bake, though?
Enjoyment, stress release, people wanting to eat cake… Also, it's a creative challenge!
Do you see any return from it?
At the moment, I have only been baking for friends and family, but this helps spread my reputation by word of mouth, so when I eventually start running it as a proper side-business, it will mean I have a larger portfolio to do so.
What challenges have you faced maintaining your baking on the side?
Mainly time. Given that I work full-time, if I have a large cake - such as a wedding cake – I’ll have to take a day off work, or plan my schedule carefully, which can sometimes mean a full working day, followed by six hours an evening over a couple, or more, days baking and decorating for an event.
Also, creating content for social media can be a bit of a challenge; making cakes can cost money and isn't something that’s as quick as some people might imagine, so having new content is something that can be difficult.
Do you invest any of your own money into your venture?
Yes! On equipment mainly - though sometimes, I’m given a small sum of money towards consumables. However, I am usually giving my baked goods as presents.
Do you consider your baking a business?
While I still feel I am learning, and don't have all my ducks in a row just yet, I feel it cannot be one. However, when I have decent enough portfolio and some qualifications under my belt, it definitely could be - many people have suggested it should!
What is your long-term career goal?
To run my own business part-time cake-making, alongside other business ventures, either in products or management.
What advice would you have for someone who wanted to turn their hobby into their job?
Have a loose plan for a transition period where your hobby won't be a business, but you can use that time to grow your network - it's here where you may invest a lot of your own money. Taking jobs for a small fee, or free, is often necessary, too. Also, the best people to start networking with are your friends and family, and it grows from there.
Definitely make sure you have [an adequate] cash-flow and a business plan that's adaptable, and remember, if you survive a year as an actual business, then that's a massive milestone!