Written by Gileasa Ebrahim 

Everytime a lockdown or new set of restrictions is announced it turns into the Hunger Games, which businesses will still be open? Which jobs will continue working? For some people the time on furlough is difficult, especially when a number of employers are not topping up the 80% furlough scheme pay. But for others, the time at home brings new opportunities. Even those who are working from home seem to have more time on their hands as work days become more flexible. So what do you get when you combine those finally having a break from their 9-5 with boredom and more money to spend? Hobbies.  

Craft business magazine reported on a Serenata flowers survey which found that half of British women have taken up a new hobby since the start of the pandemic. With nearly 1 in 5 also saying that practising their new hobby has increased their overall happiness, it is clear that hobbies can help with mental health but many people have also found a way to use their hobby to help their bank account. We are in the digital age and so sharing everything you get up to on social media is normal. Many people were sharing their new hobbies of embroidery or lockdowns, the biggest trend, candle-making, and before long people were asking to buy them. Whether the interest in shopping small came from mainstream shops being closed or from a new desire to shop locally, it’s great news for small businesses and as a result more small businesses have popped up.  

The biggest hobby turn business ideas are coming from home decor: decorative candles, resin and terrazzo pieces. Perhaps with more people spending time at home they want to spruce up their space with small decor pieces. Everything about shopping small feels more personal, from custom orders, finding out more about the business and often the singular face behind it to the packaging and personal thank you often included. In times like these, it feels good to do good and knowing that your purchase is genuinely making someone’s day and paying for their livelihood as opposed to making someone at the top of the food chain richer is a great feeling.  

We’re always told that the richest of the rich have multiple streams of income. Whether you want to make some serious coin or simply just start a side hustle, turning your hobby into a business can be a great idea. You get to create things you love, see your creations in other peoples homes and make someone’s day. Plus, the small business community on social media can be supportive to help you get started and then keep you going. Who knows, this side hustle may turn into a full time hustle and you can feel safe and secure leaving that 9-5 you dread, or maybe you decide to keep it as a side hustle and enjoy it either way, you’ll never know unless you try.