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Aurora Crafted: not just in it for the money

- October 6, 2020 3 MIN READ
Designing new stickers for her online business is one of Prini Naidoo's favourite hobbies

It seems everybody has a side hustle of sorts these days, but if yours isn’t making any money, fear not. Prini Naidoo — a full-time receptionist and small online business owner — explains why she’s not concerned about some extra dosh.

Discover why your side hustle doesn’t have to make money

Prini started her homemade crafts business, Aurora Crafted, at the beginning of this year. And before you go labelling it just another COVID-19 start-up, give Prini’s story a once over.

Prini’s love for crafts stems back to her time as a child. She was often isolated in hospital wards for months at a time as she received treatment for some mental health issues. This time alone was good for few things but one of which was the opportunity to be creative.

“With the craft stuff, I guess that was kind of my own therapy to help myself.”

From here, Prini fell in love with the idea of starting her own business and has pursued that goal ever since she was fifteen. Despite this dream of hers, Prini never wanted to start a business just to turn a profit. Crazy right? Wrong. Here’s why…

Starting a business is its own reward

“My goal wasn’t to start a business to make money, my goal was just to start a business.”

Prini describes the intrinsically rewarding idea of starting a business for its own sake. Not only does this give her a great starting point if she wants to grow her online store in the future but she can also learn the ins and outs of running a business. Website generators and online selling platforms like Etsy make it easier than ever to get started. What’s more, unlike a 9 to 5, Prini explains that “you can make it your own.”

“I feel like when you create your own business, you add your own touch to everything,” she said.

You can treat it like a hobby

“If I feel stressed or anything it is usually my go-to hobby.”

What’s the adage? Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. Despite its overuse, this holds true for Prini. Whenever she feels stressed from a long day’s work, she lights a candle, puts on an audiobook, brews a cuppa and begins to fill online orders. Whether it’s creating stickers, designing custom pet bowls or sewing personalised face masks, they all add to her precious “zen space.”

Maintaining a business teaches you new skills

“My business is something I do for personal enjoyment and fulfilment and each time I do something for it I’m learning new skills or I’m upgrading myself.”

Starting a business, as well as the upkeep, requires more than just dedication, it requires knowledge. For Prini, setting off on her small business journey in May with no prior business experience was a bit of a leap of faith. Nevertheless, she has absorbed a wealth of information in this short period. The twenty-four-year old has learnt how to code her own website, ship orders internationally and adapt product development on the fly. If you want to add an extra string to your bow like Prini, check out Flying Solo’s online course for micro business owners.

Make a killing later on

“I’m not really too bothered about making money at the moment, it’s more about building up a brand that I can eventually turn into something else.”

While it’s nice to experience these non-monetary rewards, Prini acknowledges that she would like to expand Aurora Crafted in the coming years. After all, like many startups, she is struggling to cover her starting costs. By having this experience under her belt, as well as great customer ratings, Prini is set to springboard her business whenever she so chooses. She also has the added benefit of growing a customer base that trusts she will produce good quality products and, therefore, will likely remain loyal. “I don’t want to let my customers down,” she said.

For now, however, Prini is happy clocking into her day job in order to pay the bills, while quietly, contentedly, making a name for herself in the online, craft business world.

“It’s not a big business but it’s still something, it’s one of the things I wanted to achieve, and I’ve achieved it.”

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