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What's your day job?

I am currently at Lancaster University studying marketing. I have a little bit of spare time to run my side hustle in between lecturers, seminars and society work, but often I stay up until one in the morning to finish coursework, and two to finalise wholesale orders.

And tell us, what's your side hustle?

My side hustle is the The Cute Quipster, a shop that creates bright and fun housewares and accessories. I sew, design and make everything from doughnut pillows to funky pins. I wanted to apply some of the crafting and designing skills I learnt whilst studying my Graphics Design A-level — that’s how my business was born.

What is the inspiration behind your The Cute Quipster?

My work is inspired by things that makes people smile and my aim is to inject a bit of fun and positivity in to everyone’s day. My products tend to be based on the foods I eat (doughnuts, in particular) or whatever my mind comes up with — cat doughnut pins, anyone? I am a big fan of bright colours, so if I see something bright when I’m out and about, or visiting galleries, I tend to take a quick picture for inspiration.

Donut cushions

What is your biggest money management challenge with your side hustle?

It’s always quite tricky to keep an accurate account of ingoings and outgoings, especially when there are delays or complications. Sometimes with design fairs and conventions, money is moving all over the place and you have to somehow keep up in order to make accurate accounts, which is a real challenge I face with my business.

What are the challenges with the operations?

Side hustling is a challenge, as you have to try to be a jack-of-all-trades. You have to manage your accounts, deal with your banking, create your product, run your marketing schemes, organise deliveries… there’s so much to do and it’s not always easy, particularly when you have your internship or coursework, as well. Although, when things do get really hectic, I am able to put it aside for a while, which is great.

Cat donut pin

What's the best holiday you've been on and why?

My recent trip to Jamaica with my family. Not only do I love the sun, sea and relaxed vibes of the island, but for a few days I saw my grandma again and met up with my extended family. It’s a really nice feeling to see all of them after so much time has passed. I was also able to pet a few sharks during my time there, as you do.

Donut cushion on sofa

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

Very good question. I think I would be a some sort of cross between a flamingo and a penguin. Flamboyance, cold temperatures and a great sense of balance.

If you had no money constraints what would your next product be?

Well, I have always had a thing for stationery and still obsess over unique paper and foil letterings. I think I would create a series of outlandish diaries or planners because I have been using them for years and nothing organises my life better! It would have stickers, and pop up pages and even a bag of glitter at the back for emergency celebrations.

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