a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
I started working for myself in 2012, with my barely two week old son lying in the crook of my knee. Although I primarily work for third party clients, I’ve created and launched a series of projects since that date to supplement my income. Investing both time and money into projects is risky, and not all of my ideas have paid off, but here are the current ongoing side “hustles”.
Jem’s Mail Form
A single page multi-use PHP web based mail (e-mail) website contact form with a focus on security, spam-busting and reliability.
JMF comes in both free and premium versions, and is currently profitable having been launched and maintained with minimal costs.
I’m hoping to bring Jem’s Mail Form spam-busting functionality as an add-on to other WordPress contact form providers at some point, but this is a long term goal.
In early 2016, looking for a way to pass on my children’s reuseable nappies and get a return on my investment, I went in search of a site which would facilitate the sale of these used (clean!) nappies. I found UsedNappies.co.uk but it was in the process of being shut down.
I stepped in and purchased the site but the purchase and takeover was not without issues. The software the site was running on was massively out of date which meant that there were potential security issues. The upgrade to the latest version of the site software was both a) expensive and b) complicated by poor documentation.
Redeveloping the site cost me time, money, and users. The current iteration is still buggy due to the poor software but I’m in the process of creating a dedicated auction platform on WordPress to support a future migration. I’ve invested nearly £2000 into the project with very little return so far.
When I first became self-employed, I noticed a lack of information for self-employed/sole trader work at home parents. WAHMweb aimed to fill that gap with useful advice on a variety of topics relating to self employment, business marketing and how to juggle your own business and children (or try, anyway!)
I pushed several hundred pounds into WAHMweb each year but failed to market it sufficiently. It was retired, and some of the better WAHM posts were integrated with the main jemjabella archives in 2017.
StrongMum Fitness Blog
After umming and ahhing about creating a dedicated fitness blog, in 2018 I happened to find the perfect domain and set about trying to acquire it (you can read more about that adventure!)
As well as giving me a place to talk ‘gym’ and ‘races’, the grand plan is to create a line of StrongMum apparel and recoup start-up costs through fitness/supplement sponsorships and ad placements.
with POCKETS! was launched in 2019 in an attempt to create a central hub of womenswear with actual, usable pockets.
It’s a little bit abandoned as of 2020, but I hope to relaunch in 2021.