I'm a dog dad and I started my side hustle when I was bored of being furloughed…now I make thousands making pet posters | The Sun

WITH mortgage rates increasing and bills rising, many people are searching for side hustles in order to earn a bit of extra cash.

And that's exactly what happened with one man, Luke Herbert, when he found himself furloughed back in 2020.

But he decided not to let it get him down, and instead used his furlough as an opportunity to launch a successful business.

Luke, 26, from Cambridgeshire, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: “I had been furloughed from my job in 2020 due to the pandemic and was sitting at home, like most of the country, bored and online shopping. 

“I wanted a poster of my dog, Nova, as an astronaut, but didn’t want to pay £70+, so I designed my own. 

“I went on Photoshop and created a design, then decided to make a couple more for fun. 

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“A few people said I should sell them online, so I started UniquePetPrints and away we went!”

The entrepreneur was thrilled to discover that his business proved popular from day one, as he continued: “I created an online store with Etsy, which I had experience with in the past. 

“I already had a laptop and the software needed so once the shop was open, it was just waiting to see what happened – we got our first sale the night we opened!”

Seeing the business do well was exciting, but it also meant Luke needed to put in long hours to make it work. 

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He added: “As the shop grew, balancing it as well as my 9-5 was a struggle – but I’ve never shied away from long days so working in the evening, especially once we had moved into our first home, wasn’t that daunting for me.

“I am still working as a Production Manager at a local printing company, and I recently started another company. I have no plans of slowing down anytime soon!” 

Many business owners will tell you it’s vital to be passionate about what you do, and Luke is no exception.

He explained: “I find my work rewarding because part of it involves creating lifelong portraits for families who have lost their pets.

“I’m inspired to keep pushing on whenever I receive a lovely, heartfelt review – getting positive feedback like this is absolutely one of the driving forces behind the company. 

“I love knowing that UniquePetPrints produces portraits which capture memories lasting a lifetime.

“I’m fortunate enough that I am yet to hit any financial roadblocks. I was happy to see our first sale the night we went live – since then I’ve amassed almost 13,000 sales!

“This year has been the second busiest period for us; the busiest period being Christmas 2022. 

“Our products are very fairly priced at as little as £10 per portrait with free delivery, so they make great, budget-friendly gifts – we get lots of reviews saying that they’re great value for money.”

Not only this, but Luke has been able to save money by carrying out the production at home.

He revealed: “All the production is done at my office at home. The business currently employs 3 members of staff and should be looking to expand next year.

“In the first year we turned a profit of around £3,500.

"Now we’re almost at the end of our third year and we are on target to make around £80,000 profit.”

For those wanting to achieve similar success, Luke urged people to take the plunge and go for it.

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He advised: “Just do it! Do your research and get something going – there are so many e-commerce platforms that make it so easy to create an online store. 

“It’s a great feeling building something from the ground up and employing staff – it’s something I’m very proud of.” 

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