Turning your hobby into cash: Part 3

We’re now well into our new blog series about monetising your hobby. (Part two here).  Today we have the third in the series.


Gemma used her background in fashion and love for all things creative to turn her hobbies into a business after she became a mum.

1) What is your hobby?
Since being a young teenager I’ve always loved cutting up, taking apart, and adding something extra to my clothes. I always wanted my clothes to be different from my friends and loved getting asked where they were from so I could reply ‘I personalised it myself.’
2) Was this a hobby you started when you became a mother or something you have always done?
Have always done it since maybe 13 or 14
3) What motivated you into monetising your hobby?
I did a fashion degree and although I enjoyed it and found it useful, I never found a job within the fashion industry that I really wanted to do. I knew that design jobs were hard to find and found pattern cutting hard work and boring. I probably would have been happy sat behind a sewing machine in a factory but loved deconstructing and customising clothes more than anything else.
4) How did you develop your hobby into something more?
I was asked by an agency if I would consider running some fashion workshops with teenagers and jumped at the chance. I developed two types of workshops. One is a T-shirt customising workshop where we take a plain boring T-shirt and do various things to it like cut the neckline, take it in, take the sleeves off, put beads or diamanté on etc then design a logo/picture, make a stencil and print on them. The second is a Rags to Riches workshop where they bring clothes they no longer wear and we adapt and customise them so that they are completely different and hopefully loved again.
From my experience with the agency I have been able to get other work within local schools and charities and I have also been booked for some T-shirt customising birthday parties.
5) Do you consider what you are doing now to be a business or a self-funding hobby?
I consider myself to be self employed.
6) What do you gain from this venture?
I have learnt that I really like teenagers, even the more challenging ones! I’m currently looking into using my degree and experience to hopefully do on the job training to become a textiles teacher in a high school.
7) Who is your target audience/customer?
At the moment I tend to work in areas that have funding to provide workshops for teenagers during school holidays or after school clubs.
8) What advice would you give to another Mum who was thinking about turning a hobby into something more?
If it’s something that you really love doing then you never actually feel like you’re working. Sometimes I feel bad that I get paid for doing something that I would probably do in my spare time anyway! I read a quote recently that said ‘Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.’ And I think it’s true!
9) How do people contact you/find out more about your businesses?
You can email me at gemmatuson@googlemail.com for any enquiries
I also have a creative blog; www.makencreate.blogspot.com

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