‘I started my business in my PJs:’ Woman’s side hustle turns over £7m

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More than two thirds of Britons have a side hustle which provides a second income alongside their main job. However, one woman has told how her accidental brainwave has made £7million in global sales.

32-year-old Annem Hobson works full time as a communication manager for a games company.

A few years ago she felt compelled to act when she realised there were no advent calendars for cheese lovers.

Now she heads up So Wrong it’s NOM, her own company which produces a cheese advent calendar.

Since she launched the business in 2016, it has not only racked up global sales of over £7million, but it has also become the best-selling advent calendar across all categories in Asda – even outselling chocolate.

Annem recalls first coming up with the prototype in her living room in her PJs.

After pitching to multiple cheese companies, the calendar was produced with the help of Norseland in Ilchester, Somerset.

Annem still maintains a “proper job” throughout the year but has to work twice as hard over Christmas to make sure she’s on top of her lucrative side business.

“For the most part, I use my evenings and weekends to get cheesy with holiday time taken for any activities during the working week – for example photoshoots and factory visits.”

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She adds: “The cheese advent calendar activity tends to ramp up around May/June time, so for around six months of the year it’s a rather chaotic juggle between my proper job and the cheese life.”

Annem has some great advice for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.

One of her top tips is: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

“It sounds simple, but really, you would be amazed at how much opportunity you already have within your network, so tap into it, and don’t be afraid to ask around,” she explains.

She continues: “You’ll be surprised at how many people you know – friends of friends, family members, neighbours – who can help you on your journey in some way or help to plug some knowledge holes.”

More and more Brits are taking on a secondary job, with selling handmade items proving to be the most popular activity, according to a survey by 118 118 Money.

What’s more, one in five Britons started their ‘hobby business’ after the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Experts at 118 118 money have come up with some rules and regulations that people need to bear in mind when looking to set up a side business from home, which include:

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  •  People may need permission from their landlord, mortgage provider, local planning officer or local council.
  • If the annual trading income is £1,000 or less, Britons may not have to tell  HMRC, however there are circumstances when they  must register for Self Assessment and declare their income on a tax return.
  • Entrepreneurs making over £85,000 per year from a secondary source of income, may need to pay other taxes such as VAT, which could require VAT registration.   
  • Britons should always seek independent legal advice, and contact HMRC for advice, if they are not sure what they need to do.  

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