Bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown

bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown - Bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown

It seems the pandemic has been the perfect catalyst for people to launch a side hustle and according to a new study by The UK Domain, Bristol is the fourth best UK city to start a side hustle in lockdown.

From bespoke art to a specialist afternoon-tea service, the number of side hustles have truly taken off since as people have taken advantage of the lockdown hours to boost their bank balances or simply to pass the time.

Since March, the UK has been forced into a wave of economic hardship causing an increase in unemployment rates, redundancies and a reliance on furlough schemes.

However, despite these challenges there has been an emergence of new independent businesses giving people newfound security and ambition to follow their own dreams.

And now with further tier restrictions and a mutant virus on the loose, what better way to spend your time than invest in something you love.

For these people, 2020 has provided unique business opportunities and they couldn’t be happier.

“We all need some beauty and positivity to pull us through”

Keynsham photographer Kitty Clark started her photography business during the pandemic.

From door-step shoots to the coverage of a Keynsham Black Lives Matter march, the 34 year-old’s work quickly gained traction.

She said: “I’ve since worked with the charity Black Mothers Matter on a shoot of the mothers they’re supporting, have shot my first wedding, and am ready to leave my job and dive into it full time in the new year.”

Miss Clark mainly shoots maternity and families but hopes to use her services to help charities and causes in the new year.

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(Image: Kitty Clark)

She said: “The future looks very busy; I have a rebranding underway to move into elopements and small, intimate weddings, as well as a busy 2021 schedule for family and maternity shoots.

I’m in discussion with some charities and causes to use my photography to help their progression, and I would like to carry on using my photography for this kind of work.

“Ultimately, I want to just continue giving people these little snapshots of this strange and surreal time.

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“We all need some beauty and positivity to pull us through”
(Image: Kitty Clark/Facebook)

“Something they can look back on fondly, and remember this period as one which was undoubtedly very difficult but also one in which most of us were given an opportunity to re-evaluate and spend more time with the people who are really important.

“I have always loved photography, but since picking up a camera professionally I’ve been able to see how special these captures can be to people, especially when times are difficult and we all need some beauty and positivity to pull us through.”

Check out Kitty Clark’s work on her social media pages -Instagram: @kittyclarkphotography or Facebook: Kitty Clark Photography here

Ensuring “survival”

Zahra Irving, 36, from Staple Hill has been running as a home based delivery and collection service since March, after covid forced her cafe business to close down 18 months after launching.

On the brink of losing 50 Mother’s Day bookings, she decided to set up a mobile service instead.

She said: “The business went from The Cosy Cafe to The Cosy Kitchen pretty much overnight and we’ve made hundreds of deliveries.”

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“The business went from The Cosy Cafe to The Cosy Kitchen pretty much overnight”
(Image: Zahra Irving)

Specialising in bespoke afternoon tea, she has not only diverse locally but has also travelled as far as Clevedon and Portishead.

She said: “To ensure our survival in these uncertain times we’ve put a strong emphasis on our bespoke boxes.”

“Lots of treat box services have sprung up this year, but our bespoke boxes allow us to tailor them to individual customer requirements, providing a unique box for each.

bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown 5 - Bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown
(Image: Zahra Irving)

“We’ve recently made boxes based around flamingos, bears, trains, unicorns and dinosaurs. We have customers returning again and again, to challenge me with new and exciting themes too, which I love!

“We’ve also added a few post-able items to our range, for those further afield. These currently include our bake-your-own-biscuit boxes, and flavoured or themed hot chocolate kits. And in early 2021 we will be launching post-able brownies and iced cookies too!”

The tea specialist plans to relaunch their ‘Princess Parties’ alongside entertainment in Bristol venues providing restrictions will be less strict in the new year.

Check out Zahra’s Cosy Kitchen services here

“I set myself a challenge to paint everyday”

Katie Collier, 37, from Henleaze launched her creative services in October this year – after realising a passion she gave up for a career and motherhood 15 years-ago.

Selling coasters and art prints, the Fine Art graduate said: “After lockdown it seemed everyone was making their own art sidelines. It spurred me on to realise I could do it too.”

Mrs Collier initially started with coasters and greetings cards but wanted to to expand her hustle further and lockdown 2.0 made it possible.

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Katie Collier has use the lockdown to develop her childhood passion
(Image: Katie Collier)

She said: “I wanted to keep the momentum up so I set myself a challenge to paint everyday.”

She has begun painting places in Bristol and South West landscapes from photographs she has taken.

“From these I then printed my Rustic Postcard series which have been really popular through my Etsy store – especially my Sidmouth print. I then painted Clifton Suspension Bridge which I printed and that is popular too,” she added.

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From rustic postcards to paintings of landscapes around the South West
(Image: Katie Collier)

Mrs Collier uses her social media pages to promote her creations and to connect with local businesses across the city.

She has already painted four watercolour commissions ready for Christmas including a beach in Devon, Oxford college, a holiday memory and a local landmark..

She said: “ For 2021, I hope to work with local businesses to promote their businesses further during this tough time and hope to have a stronger presence in the city – with a website too.”

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Avon Gorge Sketch
(Image: Katie Collier)

You can find Katie Collier’s work on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest called Made By Katie Collier or her Esty account here

“An event such as a lockdown can either make you or break you”

Rebecca Smith,31, from Keynsham started producing her own artwork after her mental health was impacted during the first lockdown.

She said: “I was going through a major rough patch.”

Miss Smith said she was working full-time at a hospital helping patients with the virus and due to living alone, she was unable to see family or friends for comfort.

bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown 9 - Bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown
“Lockdown can either make you or break you”
(Image: Rebecca Smith)

She said: “Even when the bubble was introduced, it posed risky seeing them due to my career at the time. This took a major toll on my mental health. Thankfully I got through it and things started to improve.”

Miss Smith said once lockdown 2.0 came around she was desperate not to fall back “in that dark place again.”

So she began working part-time and spent the rest of her time focusing on her art.

bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown 10 - Bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown
(Image: Rebecca Smith)

She said: “My breakthrough came when I produced a large painting for a friend and used social media to broadcast that I was happy to take commissions for a price.

“To my surprise, this had amazing feedback, and the requests came through at an overwhelming rate.”

The 31 year-old has begun to wonder why she had not turned her hobby into a side hustle sooner.

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(Image: Rebecca Smith)
bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown 12 - Bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown
Lockdown 2.0 was her light bulb moment
(Image: Rebecca Smith)

She said: “I came to realise that an event such as a lockdown can either make you or break you. Although you have no control of the event itself – you can control what you do with the time you have whilst the event unfolds.”

More side hustles & businesses

Kiaha Butler started her toy painting business when she found herself jobless during the pandemic.

She said: “It started with toys for my daughter and has blossomed into a little business.”

Though she mainly sells through her instagram account, she is grateful for the generous profits she makes.

“I love doing it, “ she added.

bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown 13 - Bristol people who stepped up their side hustles in lockdown
“It started with toys for my daughter and has blossomed into a little business”
(Image: Kiaha Butler)

Check out Tabitha’s Treasures here

People’s Pizza Bristol by Tommy Spondooly – Staple Hill

He started the pizza business during the pandemic and hopes to begin production in Staple Hill after Christmas.

Offering pizzas from £10-15 which comes with a variety of toppings including cheese, tuscan Kale, mushroom and sausages.

And desserts from £3.00 which includes vegan Brownie and Caramel chocolate king donuts.

You can find People’s Pizza Bristol here

Simply Sweet by Rach

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Reindeer Brownies
(Image: Rachael Manning/ Facebook)

Rachael Manning makes homemade bakes such as cookies, brownies, cupcakes and more.

She even made her own birthday cake – Images from Facebook (Red velvet sponge cake with cream cheese filling – covered in a white chocolate ganache and vanilla buttercream).

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Christmas tree cupcakes
(Image: Rachael Manning/ Facebook)

You can find her treats here

William and the wolf by Becky Vowles

A Bristol based online store, filled with design lead children’s clothing

You can find William and the wolf here

Candle making by Rose Ford

She began making candles during the lockdown and decided to leave her job in November to pursue it full time.

Adele Grace-Keevil is now training as a women’s empowerment coach and has discovered a range of beauty products and supplements that she now sells having suffered with “menopause belly” she was unable to shift.

She said: “I was so impressed, I’ve just signed as a distributor.”

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