WITH the cost of living soaring, many people are looking for opportunities alongside their day jobs.

Mum-of-one Zena West works as a board secretariat lead for the Civil Service, and makes a bit of extra money every month thanks to her Etsy shops West Art and Glass and Eden Walk Arts.

At West Art and Glass she sells art prints, coasters and tote bags, among other things, while at Eden Walk Arts she sells decals with various different prints including animals and plants. All items sold at these shops are handmade by Zena herself.

While the profit from these ventures can vary somewhat, the total averages out to around £400 extra a month.

Talking to The Independent, Zena says: “Sometimes I won’t have a sale for days, but other times an item will go semi-viral and I’ll have over 40 open orders.”

Discussing whether she would quit her job to pursue her art full-time, Zena says: “My side-hustles can’t become my main business until our mortgage is cleared, at the very earliest.

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“I don’t know how people do this sort of thing full time without the security of a day job.”

On her Instagram, Zena says she is a “watercolour painter and kiln formed glass artist, creating handmade artworks and practical homewares.”  

Here she shares the progress of a number of her ongoing and finished projects, and shas items she’ll be selling, such as coasters celebrating, or criticising, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – which one you purchase is up to you.

While you may not have the art skills for creating watercolour paintings or using a kiln, there’s plenty of other ways you can create items and then sell them on an online platform such as Etsy.

Alongside this extra income, Zena saves money by doing a lot of household repairs herself, rather than hiring help, she says:

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“I’m reasonably good at decorating, fixing things and DIY. I’ve replaced toilet cistern valves, wallpapered and painted, and I’ve also tiled our balcony.”

She’s also a rather savvy shopper, regularly getting cashbacks and vouchers and shopping second hand – she even got deals on her second and third kilns, which she uses when making her creations.

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