Meet the Cov students who run their own side hustles alongside uni
Let’s get this bread
Let’s face it, uni is expensive and sometimes students need other ways to make themselves extra money to get by whilst studying. Some students start up their own businesses during uni which go on to be really successful.
Though people are more entrepreneurial, the challenges remain, especially now with Covid-19. It has left some businesses at a standstill whilst others have reduced cliental. We spoke to four Cov student business owners about their businesses and how they’re juggling Covid-19 restrictions and studies during university.
Holly Kintuka- Photography
Photography has always interested Holly because of the confidence that she gains from being in front of the camera. However only recently did she finally pursue her passion as a business venture.
Holly told The Coventry Tab: “I only turned photography into a business this summer because a lot of people encouraged me to take my photography more seriously and it was something, I always wanted to do, but I didn’t have the confidence to”.
The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has affected many small businesses including Holly’s. She has had to temporarily bring her business to a standstill but is learning to adapt.
“I’ve just started up, but because of lockdown rules I can’t physically meet up with different people and take photos of them. When I am doing photography, and I see my models gain that same confidence, it’s a heart-warming experience”.
But her studies definitely do come first, she said: “I tend to just focus on my business on the weekends”.
Jake Paris- Selling Vintage Clothes
Jake has always had an interest in clothes, often wearing vintage pieces himself. However, with university and placements he never had enough time to consider it as a business. Lockdown inspired him to start his clothing business on Depop.
“I was always interested in selling vintage clothes, but I was always busy or making excuses not to start, the lockdown convinced me to start and give it a go. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to be at university this year if I didn’t have a Depop or Facebook page to sell vintage clothes”.
His new venture means he is able to keep studying and earn extra money on the side. When it comes to balancing his business with his studies, he says: “I allocate time for both. Taking photos and listing the clothes can take up a lot of my time”.
Jake also plans to take his business forward after graduating: “Classic Vintage Outlet is definitely something I would like to take forward with me. I see a lot of room for expansion”.
Kalya Chambers- Selling Bagels
Kalya’s launched her business in October last year before Covid-19 took over. She got the idea at uni when her and her flatmates were hungry.
“It all started one night me, and my flatmates were up, and we were hungry. Someone jokingly said they wish there was a bagel king in Coventry, and that’s when it clicked in my head. I stumbled upon a gap in the market by accident and went full steam ahead with it”.
Covid-19 has changed her outlook on her business and she has learnt to adapt and develop her business skills to keep her small business afloat. Before Covid-19 she only had one set strategy that she followed. But she has now had to review and re-plan to do what is best for the business.
She told The Coventry Tab: “I now understand how important it is to have contingency plans to mitigate risks”.
In terms of her future plans for her business, Kalya remains doubtful but has made plans for her business after graduating.
“I’m not sure if this is something, I’d be doing in the future even though I would love to. The plan is to one day own a physical store and then sell the business for a large pay-out”.
Socials- Snapchat Karribean
Debbie Kale- Hair Braiding
Debbie started her business long before going to Cov uni. She has always loved braiding hair and developed her skills through watching YouTube videos and reading blogs.
“I started about five years ago. I had been doing my own hair since school so I thought I should start to expand my talents to others. I was always fascinated by the natural hair movement, watching loads of YouTube vids, and reading blogs”.
Braiding hair allowed Debbie to make money independently and not have to ask for money from her family. She says: “You pride the money that you make yourself more than the money that’s been given to you”.
Lockdown meant she wasn’t able to take appointments for months which put her business temporarily on hold. Debbie utilised this break however and took the time to perfect her craft and practise new styles.
Debbie does try and prioritise her degree telling us: “I know I can’t do hair every day; otherwise my grades will suffer. I had to tell myself that saying no to clients and rescheduling is okay because, at the end of the day, my education comes first”.
Please make sure to support small businesses during lockdown and during Christmas. You never know what you could purchase a doorstep away.