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New London collective reminds us that there’s ‘NO SHAM3 [@No.sham3]: In A Side Hustle’

Having the courage to pursue your ‘passion’ is no mean feat. It can require a significant investment of time, money and resources just to get things off the ground. Whilst figuring exactly what it is one might really want to do or to pursue, it may make sense to test the waters first – I know I certainly did. Diving head-first into a new field and leaving your current ‘day-to-day’ behind may not necessarily be the safest move to make and many people are not in a position to do so. Embarking on a ‘side hustle’ could not only give one the ‘best of both worlds’ whilst breaking into a new field, but can allow one to bide their time for long enough to stumble across something else that works for them.

In 2018, The Independent reported on a study published by Henley Business School that suggested that 40% of UK workers have a side hustle. The study also revealed that the number was expected to rise to encompass half of the working adult population by 2030. Accounting for 3.6% of UK GDP, the importance of the side hustle economy on a macroeconomic level is now no secret; a fact being reflected by the diversity of initiatives being created in the area. One such initiative, ‘NO SHAM3’ is a London based collective led three women with a passion for and focus on bringing emerging creatives to the forefront. Their primary aim is to bring an audience to these creatives’ side hustles, ‘aside from on the ‘gram and other artistic platforms’. There is certainly a narrative shift occurring, with society finally coming to accept that side-hustle businesses can be as legitimate as any other ones.

Their inaugural event, ‘NO SHAM3 : in a side hustle’ took place on 18 May 2019 with the aim of allowing underground artists to showcase what they do in an inclusive, community-focussed environment. The event, held at one of Autumn Street Studios’ warehouse venues in Hackney, attracted videographers, photographers, artists, DJs and performing artists such as vxmob and Donalee.

The prep for the event was a collaborative effort led by the in-house design and production team at NO SHAM3. Guap creative Aji Ayorinde caught up with NO SHAM3 after the event to find out more about what they hope to do with the initiative.

[Who is behind NO SHAM3?]

Elle, Holly and Izzy. I guess you could say that we’re the driving force, but as we continue to grow and collaborate with other artists, we see it as a big family. NO SHAM3, to us, is everyone that we work with.

[How was the collective created and is it a side hustle itself?]

The collective was initially more of a collaboration of skills. We didn’t intend for it to become a collective but as things got started with putting on the event, it just kind of happened that way. We all have that particular area that we are passionate about within the realms of creativity and within the underground scene, but we have different takes. It helps that we each have our own side hustles – whether that be photography, writing, art or music – that knowledge and understanding of how these areas work really help. NO SHAM3 is a side hustle in itself – it definitely takes a lot of time and investment outside of our ‘9-5’, but it is definitely a ‘labour of love’.

[What do you hope to achieve?]

I think at the moment we’re pretty open minded when it comes to our goals. In the next few months we’ll have a clearer idea of how it will all end up looking so we don’t want to set anything too much in stone but we do want to make sure that we continue to bring exposure to creatives and people with side hustles. Long term, it is more about seeing where it takes us, expanding into other areas and giving back in some sort of way. That’s important to us all.

[We understand that there is no shame in a side hustle, but is this something you see yourselves doing full time?]

Very interesting question, but we’re all open to opportunities that come our way. You can never say never.

[As someone who used to run my own clothing brand as a side hustle, I’m aware that you need to be extremely passionate to keep things moving after a long day doing your ‘9-5’. What does ‘passion’ mean to you and what tips would you give aspiring creatives struggling to find a passion to pursue?]

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Passion really is love and enthusiasm combined. It’s that real ‘want’ to push whatever you’re passionate about further than where it is at the moment. You want to see it grow and be a part of that growth. I think it’s impossible not to. Often, when you’re really passionate about something it will manifest in your life and will shape everything that you do – your decisions, how you learn and how you grow yourself.

Re the advice that we would give to creatives who are struggling to find a passion to pursue, I would say to really explore outside of your usual circles and what you would usually do or listen to – whether that’s going to an exhibition or going to music that you wouldn’t usually listen to or something else. Opening up your eyes to something that is a little bit different is a great way to get new inspiration. You might see one small thing in an exhibition that you think is sick and combine it with something you are already doing, or it might just trigger creativity in you. I think the other important thing is just to make sure that you always enjoy what you’re doing. It is hard work but it should be something that brings you joy at the end of the day. If you have the opportunity to collaborate with others, I would definitely recommend doing that as it’s just another way to get inspiration and to learn. We’re definitely stronger when we’re together.

[What can we expect next from you and from NO SHAM3?]

It’s a pretty exciting time for us. We do have our next event coming up at the end of the summer, which will be another ‘NO SHAM3 : In a Side Hustle’. We’re looking to collaborate with more creatives, musicians, artists and photographers you name it.

Get in touch with NO SHAM3 if this sounds like you.

~ @ajibolajosiah