This is what it’s like living with a small business owner whilst at uni

Because if you’re not running a small business of your own, you definitely know someone who is

With a rapidly shrinking job market and ever-increasing demand for ‘small business’ goods, many people over the past year have taken to turning small hobbies into profitable work. Whether it be custom resin paddles (yes… those paddles) or hand-sewn tapestries, you can find pretty much anything you wish. I for one love this new explosion of independent sellers, my Instagram feed has been taken over by candles shaped like female torsos and upcycled clothes – a refreshing change from the oh-so-perfect Instagram we are all accustomed to.

via @pimpmyplantpot on Instagram

But have you ever wondered what it’s like living with someone who runs one of these small businesses? Well, I’m here to tell you – sparing none of the gory details. A big thank you to my housemate Emily for letting me write this.

Without wasting another moment, here’s what it is like to live with a small business owner:

1. Packaging… lots and lots of packaging

And you thought all of your Amazon parcels were bad. As is to be expected with running a business during a pandemic, shipping products to customers is the only viable option. Especially as these businesses become more popular, you suddenly find yourself needing more packaging.

Cardboard boxes line our walls like abstract art, whilst plastic airbags become part of corridor chic. Whilst I don’t think our home will be making it onto Ideal Home anytime soon, I do enjoy the huggability of the giant airbag when I’m on my third lockdown-related breakdown of the day.

2. Small business drama

It’s like I’m in my own version of Love Island. Except I’m not abroad. And replace the contestants for small businesses. Of course, while everyone wants to put their own twist on things, it can be easy for ideas to overlap. What does this mean for those living with the owners? It means fun gossip whilst I eat my third breakfast of the day (time is an urban myth guys, that’s what this lockdown has taught me, anyway).

3. All of the freebies

I cannot describe the joy I hear when my friend tells me she has a new design she wants to try. Because nine times out of ten it means one of us will be getting a free version. And again, if lockdown has taught me anything, it’s that acquiring tangible items can bring me just enough serotonin to stop me from eating breakfast number four.

4. “Guys… will you share my latest post?”

I don’t know why they’re so nervous to ask us these things. I LOVE to share cute photos of my friend’s new products. And if someone even mentions a giveaway, I will be sharing posts so fast, I’m not even sorry to any of my followers for the spam, my friend’s talents need to be shown off.

5. Watching your friends succeed

via @amandaperry on Instagram

Cheesy, I know. But as embarrassing as it may sound, watching the people you care about succeed in bleak times like this really helps to put a smile on your face. With every new purchase or advancement to their business, you get to see your friend’s dream become more of their reality, and I cannot be prouder of them for that.

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