Side hustle to life hustle


side hustle (plural side hustles)

  1. (informal, slang) A secondary job that brings in extra cash.


full time job (plural jobs)

  1. An economic role involving a full amount of time spent, for which a person is paid.

I've been making cakes for years. I started when I was 18 and at uni studying hospitality management. Friends and family would ask me to make cakes for their birthdays, kids parties etc and offered to pay me. It's been my side hustle for about 5 years now.

I left uni after about a year and a bit, it wasn't for me. I never learned by reading about things or listening to other people talk about them, I learn by giving things a go and trial and error. And since then, have worked full time, first in a cafe, then in a high end home store, and for the last 3.5 years, in media and advertising sales. All the while making cakes at night and on the weekends. There has been many late nights and early mornings, I've missed out on parties or social events because I've been in the kitchen creating, and there's also been a fair amount of blood (ok not actual blood, food safety everyone) sweat and tears!

I have a few special people in my life that have stuck by me and supported me so much, especially in the last year when things have really ramped up. Those are the friends that will be with me for life. They don't care that I always forget to message them back and I never come out to social gatherings because I'm in the kitchen. They know that sometimes to catch up they just have to come over and talk to me while I bake, get things out of the cupboard for me and help taste-test my icing (ok, maybe this is the real reason they come?) but they don't care. They are always there in the background cheering me on and making the effort. So thank you team, you will know who you are when you read this.

I've made new friends and become closer to some people through this journey, and I've drifted from others, and that's ok. I'm at the point in my life where building my brand, and building a future with my man, amazing family and close friends is my priority. You know where to find me!

Over the last 5 years I've gone from Just Jess Cupcakes making a dozen cupcakes and maybe a barbie cake every now and again, to now - Just Jess Cake Co, my little cake creation empire that is growing every day.

So how did I get to the tipping point to leave my cushy corporate job and take the leap to pursue my dream as a full time business? I got to the point where I was at max capacity. Working an 8 hour day in media, and then coming home and working another 3, 4 ,5, 6 hours at night to fulfill orders. I could see so much growth for my business but I just didn't have the time and energy to do it. There's new products I want to launch, but finding time to make, photograph and market them has been near impossible! I started to think about if this was something I could do full time, if there was enough opportunity and room for growth that I could make this my sole income. The answer to that question? No effing idea. But I'll never know if I don't try!

I am so lucky that I have this amazing supportive man doing life with me. Obviously this decision was one we had to come to agreement on together, and a lot of thought went into it. I won't be making the same money overnight, and we have a mortgage and bills to pay - can we do it? Will we have enough money to pay for everything? Will we have enough money to eat? (maybe we can live off cake?!) And although it's a pretty scary decision, he was all for it. He wants to see me living my dream, and that was when I really believed it. It's one thing to want your own dream, but when other people believe it too - that's a completely different and amazing feeling. Shout out to you boo - no-one makes a better team than us.

Next came actually resigning from my job - the scary part. This is what makes it all real! Once I do this, there's no going back. So I caught up with my manager, with shaky hands and told her my plan. It felt amazing once I'd said it and I had that overwhelming urge to cry, of sadness or happiness? I'm not sure but I managed to hold it together. My boss was really supportive and in all honesty probably not that surprised that this was coming eventually. So now it's real! I'm doing this. Holy sh*t.

A few days later I announced it on my personal social media - what I wasn't expecting was the phenomenal amount of support that flooded in! I knew my family and friends would be happy for me, and most of them already knew anyway, but I could never have imagined how many people I'm connected with in some way or another reached out and congratulated me on taking the leap. That was such an awesome feeling and made me all the more excited and determined to do this. Thank you all so much for your support - it really means the world to me to have so many people excited and happy for me! (Now you better all buy some cakes... Haha joking. But not really.)

You can change your life if you want to. You can literally change your whole life in one day! How amazing and scary is that?

I don't know if I will be a success, I don't know if my new products will sell and I don't know if people are going to want cakes forever. But what I do know is that believing in yourself, and pursuing your dream takes guts. It's gonna be hard work, I'm sure there will be more tears and laughs and mini-meltdowns, but I know it's going to be worth it.

Thanks for coming with me on this exciting, scary, crazy amazing journey. Stay tuned for new products and services coming your way soon!

Take your dreams seriously, nothing can stop me now! I have officially 8 days of full time work left, and then I'm off on holiday with my man for a few weeks. After that - watch out world! Coz Just Jess is taking over, one cake at a time.

Lots of love and buttercream dreams,

Jess x

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