• Lauren Leopold

Side Hustle: How this Mum of 2 started a business during the pandemic

Updated: Feb 18

'Side Hustle Stories' is my regular column about the lives of amazing women running side hustles alongside their 9-5s. Here, we meet my client Kat Jackson, who’s currently running her interior design side hustle Kat Jackson Design You can find her on Instagram at @_katjacksondesign. She lives in Leeds with her two boys Joshua and Leon.


When did you kick off your side hustle?

I officially launched my business at the beginning of January 2021 but I had been planning it since around august 2020.


What were the challenges that drove you to make the change and how were they impacting your life?

I have been wanting to start a creative business for quite a few years but didn’t have the courage or confidence to do so. Although my current job is fine for my circumstances it wasn’t giving me the creative fulfilment I craved.


How did you go about making the change?

I have always loved interiors and studied architecture at university so knew that I had a capacity for design. It's a real passion project for me. I started to make the change during the pandemic when I realised life was too short and just to go for it. I then joined the Topology Interiors ‘Designers’ Toolkit Community as a safety net for support and industry expertise. Having the added bonus of a Lauren as coach to help me realise the potential for my business and to get over my own road blocks has been invaluable


How did you get started?

I started offering my mood board services to friends and family for free. Once I had completed some and loved the process, I joined the Designer’s Toolkit Community to hold myself accountable and accelerate my business.


How do you manage your time between your 9-5 and your hustle?

I work during the day then try to do a couple of hours a night or at the weekend on my projects. I am trying to find a balance between being realistic and wanting to be desperately busy!


What is life like for you now that you're side hustling?

It’s been a massive confidence boost. I feel a real satisfaction that clients are loving my designs. I am not earning huge amounts at the moment but it is a real point of pride that people want to pay for me to do something I love.


What have been your biggest achievements?

A client overpaid because they were so happy with their design!


What are the challenges and how do you deal with them?

My biggest challenge is around attracting clients. I haven’t over advertised because I have two young children and a full time job so there is a hesitance to go for bigger jobs in case I am unable to deliver in one of my roles.


What have you learnt along the way?

I’ve learnt that doing something is better than waiting for perfection.


What 3 tips would you give to people wanting to do the same thing as you?

  1. Believe in yourself

  2. Keep moving forward however you can

  3. Don’t get in your own way


How has having a coach helped you along the way?

Lauren saw straight through my imposter syndrome and self blocking. As someone who often gives advice to friends about confidence I find it hard to follow myself so having someone in my corner has been amazing.

Are you feeling unfulfilled in your job like Kat was and want some clarity to change career? Or maybe you already run a side hustle or business and want to take it to the next level. Either way, book in a free discovery call to see if we vibe!.

Meet Lauren


Career Change & Business Coach and Side Hustle Queen


Hi, I'm Lauren. I burnt out, hit rock bottom and used the experience to manifest my dream life. I now help passionate and ambitious women change career, start side hustles and grow businesses. I'm living proof that you can - and deserve to - have it all.


Find out how I can help you.


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