‘It was scary giving up my job to turn my side hustle into a business, but I haven’t looked back!’: Entrepreneur reveals how she made her hobby pay
When Sheri Hill was furloughed from her job in retail after the pandemic hit in March 2020, she was determined to make the most of her time off.
The 24-year-old decided to revisit her passion for making bath bombs – a hobby she discovered after a bad fall put paid to her dancing career while she was in college.
Sheri, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, sent her creations for cosmetic safety assessments – and was thrilled when they passed and she was able to set up an online shop.
Sheri Hill, 24, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, enjoyed making bath bombs in her spare time
Taking to Facebook and Instagram, and launching her own website, the young entrepreneur was inundated with orders for bath bombs and whipped soap, and soon she found herself making waiting lists.
Sheri worked around the clock, including full-time in a clothes shop, when lockdown restrictions eased, but she knew she would have to make the decision to choose one job or the other.
‘I was 22 when lockdown hit, and I thought if any time is going to be my time, this is it,’ she said.
‘I was making them in my bedroom – and never in a million years did I think just a few months later I would have two products and more orders than I could fulfill.
Sheri’s hobby on the side eventually grew so big that she was working til 2am
‘My side hustle was growing bigger. I was up at 7am making them, going to work in retail, coming home, then staying up til 2am making more.
‘It got to the stage where I couldn’t juggle both any more, so I gave up my job. It was scary, the thought of not having a regular wage, but I knew it was now or never.’
Sheri said until then, her marketing had been on a small scale, using social media platforms.
Ad impressions (how many times the ads were viewed): 1,053,007
Huge brand awareness
Clicks to website: 499
‘Being featured on MailOnline was a huge pinch-me moment!’
But when she heard about MailOnline’s new Ad Manager platform, which gives business owners the opportunity to market their products to its 25 million weekly readers, she jumped at the chance to try it.
Sheri organised a seven-day campaign, which she created herself on Ad Manager’s easy-to-use platform.
She was stunned by the results, with more than one million ad impressions, and nearly 500 clicks to her website.
‘I’m not a marketing expert, nor experienced in creating campaigns, but I found the platform was really straightforward for me to use.
‘When I first thought about putting a campaign together it was really daunting, but it was actually very easy.
‘For me, it was about being able to get my little products onto such a big, global platform. Having that opportunity to advertise on MailOnline is amazing.
‘It’s a real pinch me moment!
‘I’ve been so impressed by the results. I was waking up to having had 40 people visit my website overnight, when usually it’s only two.
Sheri says advertising on MailOnline has not just boosted her business but her confidence, too
‘And I’ve had sales during the week and more followers on social media. As a new, young business owner, it’s really boosted my confidence too.’
The dynamic Ad Manager platform was launched to help small and medium-size businesses thrive while coming out of lockdown.
It allows entrepreneurs to market to MailOnline’s huge audience, while targeting potential customers by postcode, interests or life stage – all at an incredibly affordable price.
And it’s straightforward to use. Business owners can easily create their own campaign, set the budget and the target audience – and it can be live in less than 24 hours.
There’s also a friendly account manager at the other end of the phone to help you every step of the way.
There are no hidden fees, and you can control everything, from budget to target audience to creative design.
Here’s how you can advertise YOUR small business on MailOnline:
BEHIND THE BUSINESS
Growing up, Sheri Hill had always dreamed of becoming a dancer, but after suffering a fall while practising a routine, she was unable to carry on.
Sheri said: ‘I was practising for a cheerleading competition and went down wrong on my arm. ‘It was broken, torn ligaments, tissue and nerve damage, sprain.’
Lockdown gave Sheri a chance to concentrate on making her products ready to sell
Sheri says that at 19, she found herself going from job to job, unsure of what career path to follow.
Then, watching YouTube one day, a video on how to make bath bombs popped up and her creative side ‘jumped a little’.
‘I started making them for myself and my family using basic recipes, then as time went by, I started experimenting – ones with a foam and a fizz, and the colours in the bath to change.
‘When I got better, I wanted to start selling them, but found I couldn’t without them being properly tested. At 19 and job jumping, I couldn’t do that.’
So when lockdown hit, it gave Sheri the spare time she needed to concentrate on getting her products safety tested. And when they passed, she launched Serenity By Sheri.
She hasn’t looked back. Sheri reveals there are more products in the pipeline, but for now, she’s getting ready to launch her new Christmas range.
‘I love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year. I’m launching my Christmas stock this week – including new bath bombs, gift boxes, gingerbread-themed products. I’ve really gone to town!’
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