From passion to payday

(Photo: Hannah Daley)

(Photo: Hannah Daley)

As a university student, finding a balance between the things you enjoy and schoolwork can be difficult.

Three first year students at King’s are taking matters into their own hands and turning their hobbies into a way of getting a little bit of extra cash.

First, there are FYP students Julia Hancock-Song and Hannah Reid. During the last semester they each took a liking to the art of henna. Not too long after they decided to turn it into something more.

“We talked about it for a very long time before we actually did anything,” said Hancock-Song.  “Then one night at the Wardy we just set up a page and did everything.”

That was around November, and not long after they were gaining business. In their first day they reached about one hundred likes on their page, “Henna on Humans.”

Both Reid and Hancock-Song enjoy the art of henna. For them, it is a great way to spend time doing something they love while also getting something for it.

“It’s a nice way to procrastinate and equally keep up with your art,” says Reid.

The artists are up for any design.

“No commission is going to be too out there. Honestly, if you present us with a picture we’ll do our best to copy it,” says Reid.

Both of them have their own styles that they work with.

“We definitely have really different styles, and we’ll overlap a lot.  We’ve done a lot of cool experiments,” says Hancock-Song.

Hancock-Song and Reid are enthusiastic about what they do.

“I am doing henna on myself so much because I always want to do it… I can’t stop. My left arm and hand is always covered with henna because I can never stop practicing on myself,” says Hancock-Song.

“If you’re a human and you want to have henna, just shoot us a message or literally just stop one of us in the hall and say ‘Hey,’”says Reid.

Another first-year student has channelled her creativity into cash. Amanda Tickner is selling embroidered patches through Facebook and in person.

Not long after the Christmas break, Tickner started selling her patches in the Facebook group “Buy n sell UKC”.

“One of my friends invited me to the group and I noticed that there was a lot of clothing and stuff being sold, so then I thought ‘Hey, this is a free place to advertise my stuff. I’m a student, I can’t afford to keep an Etsy or something like that going, and then I can’t ship anything,” says Tickner.

Selling through the Facebook group was successful from the start.

“I put three (patches) up originally, and then they sold within I think two minutes of me doing the post. Those three were sold and then I made some more and posted them, and then I’ve been getting commissions every so often. A lot of people have been asking for stuff on their clothes or something like that. It’s just kind of grown from there,” says Tickner.

All three students agree that when it comes to a university environment, you have to think about who you’re selling to.

Hancock-Song and Reid have set their hourly rate at twenty dollars, but they usually go at about five dollar increments for every 15 minutes. They are flexible with their rates, understanding the student market they are trying to reach.

The same goes for Tickner. She is selling most of her patches for four dollars.