Time + creativity: How the pandemic made us entrepreneurs

The pandemic has changed a lot about the world we live in – some for the worse, and some for the better.

But one thing that has really emerged from the endless lockdowns is an increase in people setting up their own businesses online. A lot of free time has clearly spurned the creative mind and so many have decided to turn their hobbies and passions into businesses.

In addition, people are spending more and more time online, meaning that the power of advertising via social media is greater, and your products are able to reach a wider audience. And without the need for or costs of running a high street shop, it is overall more cost-efficient!

These small online businesses also offer bespoke, high-quality products that aren’t available on sites like Amazon – and instead of using your money to buy from large corporations -, buying from a local or small online business helps to support someone who is growing a something that they’re truly passionate about.

In light of this, sites like Etsy, Depop, Instagram and Not On The High Street have become incredibly popular platforms where small, homemade brands can sell their products for a low cost.

For example (although pre-pandemic), Harry Hunt, a 21-year old student from Manchester, set up his own vintage clothing brand in 2018, via the popular social shopping app, Depop. 28 Vintage sources retro, vintage clothing from all over the world, and are committed to delivering a sustainable, efficient service.

After launching on Depop, Harry then set up an Instagram account to promote his clothing brand. 28 Vintage now has 65.9k followers, and due to the immense demand for pre-loved vintage clothing, he has now set up his own online store.

You can check it out here: https://28vintage.co.uk/

Another example is handmade jewellery maker, Daisy May Silver. Daisy was furloughed from her full-time job in March 2020, and as a self-taught silversmith, she decided to grow her business to keep her occupied in lockdown 1.0.

Daisy’s jewellery is made from sea-glass collected from her local beach in Cornwall, meaning that each piece is unique – when it’s gone, it’s gone! Everything is handcrafted in her small garden workshop.

After launching exclusively on Instagram, with a ‘direct message to order’ method, Daisy then went about setting up a brand image – that is, a font style for posts and a colour scheme.

After gaining over 2,000 followers, Daisy has now set up her own online shop and website, with featured items as well as a ‘design your own’ section if you wish to purchase something a little more personal.

Check out her beautiful jewellery here: https://www.daisymaysilver.co.uk/

Businesses like these have relied on social media as a way of getting their name out there and have counted on friends and family to help share, like and comment on their posts – and through this their passions have become realities!

The next time you need to buy a gift for someone, why not take a little more time and spend a little more money on sourcing one from a small online enterprise?

PODCAST REC: Conversations of Inspiration

If this article has inspired you to turn your hobby into a business, listen to this podcast!

Holly Tucker, founder of Not On The High Street (a website that supports small businesses and provides a platform for them to sell their items), hears from founders and top entrepreneurs each week to discuss the highs and lows encountered whilst building their businesses, and share some advice and inspiration along the way.

Conversations of Inspiration is available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.