Aussies turn hobbies into profits

The small business world and entrepreneurship endeavours may seem complicated, especially if you’re working a full-time job or in a remote area.

While an extra stream of income can be extremely empowering and sometimes life changing, you might not know where to begin when it comes to starting a side hustle or where to find customers.

Our business Spend with Us also started as a side hustle, which we were able to create multiple income streams from—everyone needs a side hustle these days.

Australians of all ages have thought about turning their passion into a side hustle and national research conducted by YouthSense found that 42 per cent of Gen Z-ers have their own ‘side hustle’, with another 31 per cent admitting their interest in exploring the idea. 

It’s not just Australians toying with the idea of turning their passion into profits—around 1.7 million UK hobbyists changed careers to make their living from selling products they have made after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to research by retailer LoveCrafts.

A further 4.1 million people in the UK are selling their own craft items as a part-time or full-time job. Meanwhile, a US survey conducted by LendingTree found that nearly half of the respondents who started a new hobby during the pandemic had turned it into a money-earning side gig.

When the entrepreneurial spirit of regional Australians collided with droughts, bushfires and a drop in tourism, a burgeoning money-making scene was born by reaching customers online. Their initiative continues to gather momentum and gain nationwide appeal through the implementation of apps and websites like Spend with Us, a social enterprise created to support communities impacted by natural disasters.

In an unorthodox twist that nobody could have imagined, employers worldwide are supporting side-hustling employees with their endeavours to encourage loyalty and creativity. Even industries considered more traditional, like investment banking and tech giants Google and Adobe, have adopted generous sabbatical programs or special paid leave to allow employees the space for personal projects.

As fewer people find themselves homebound because of pandemic restrictions and more tourists arrive on our shores, it hardly seems that beloved hobbies turned income generators will be left in the rear-view mirror.

There are many benefits to pursuing the handmade side hustle and consumers want to buy unique items, making it a win-win for everyone. In fact, research suggests that a side hustle or another income-generating job performed alongside full-time work boosts a sense of empowerment and employees perform better at their main job.

So, if you're artistic, have a knack for a craft, a passionate hobby or a fun creative outlet, it’s as easy as ever to find customers online and one of the best ways to earn extra cash or start a great career.

By Jenn Donovan, co-founder of Spend with Us