Blog Archives

Turning A Hobby Into A Profession

Editor’s note: This is part of a series highlighting member stories on SkillPages.  Amanda is a knitter from the US who uses SkillPages to showcase her skills in a new country.

Working With A Newborn

When I moved from the US to the UK, I found myself in a strange country with a newborn baby. So, in order to fill my numerous waking hours courtesy of our son, I took up crocheting and knitting.  These are interests that I’ve had since my college days but didn’t have enough time to hone at that stage of my life.  After a while it turned out I was rather good at them.  My favourite thing to knit is lace but I can do children’s clothing quite well also.

So, discovering I was good at something I enjoyed and that I could do it with a newborn attached to me, I joined SkillPages to offer out this talent to others.  I hoped there would be people out there who may have had the desire for such crafts but lacked the knowledge or skill to execute it themselves.  To my surprise and delight an old school friend found my SkillPages profile and commissioned a project from me!  That was about two years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

Doing What I Love

At the moment I have plenty work coming in with the holiday season coming up.  I really thought knitting was this thing that I was just going to do for myself and my family or perhaps for friends having babies.  Now, with SkillPages, it’s a great way for me to make a bit of money doing something I truly love.

It’s brilliant to have found this great community of talented people.  I recommend joining to anyone who has a skill that they feel confident about – there’s a place for everyone, and I’m pretty sure you can find your place here.

Amanda Needham, Knitter

Skill Highlight: Aerialist

It’s fascinating to see the thousands of unique skills people add to SkillPages every day.  One such skill that stood out to us is an aerialist.  An aerialist is an acrobat who performs in the air, on a suspended apparatus such as a trapeze, rope, cloud swing, aerial cradle and aerial silk (beginners do not try this at home!).

We recently came across Amy Nash’s portfolio on SkillPages, and we caught up with her to see how she has nurtured her hobby into a successful business.

How and when did you begin performing as an aerialist?
I have been studying general aerials (trapeze, hoop, silks and Spanish web) at The New England centre for Circus Arts’ Professional Training program since October 2009.  Soon after finishing my program I decided to specialize in aerial silks and tippy lyra as they are my strongest areas, and haven’t looked back since.

How has your skill developed over the years?
After a year of training daily, I began performing in small studio shows.  It was hard, at first, because I had to pay to be in them, and I had to learn how to stand out from students with training identical to mine.  Now, I perform for a living and if I’m not with a circus, I perform at gigs, birthday parties and corporate events.  I was lucky enough to have a background in theatre, so I was able to incorporate this into my aerials.  Most people assume that you need to have a background in ballet or gymnastics but I think my more unique background gives me the ability to hold the audience’s attention as I convey a story and a feeling.  I love the fact that I’ve turned my passion and hobby into a business!

Amy’s Circus Demo

Where does your inspiration come from?
I would say inspiration comes from books and music, and as a result I’ve portrayed superheroes and vampires for many of my performances.  I also try to learn about things that catch my interest, because you never know when that knowledge will come in handy!

Is most of your business generated online or is it more word of mouth?
Most of my business is created when I perform, so getting those first few performances are crucial.  Usually the people who hire me have friends who are also interested in hiring me.  I also think updating my online portfolio on SkillPages and website has helped me to generate some business.

Apart from being an aerialist, what new skills would you like to learn?
I would like to hand balance, someday, but aside from that, I will leave the future open for possibilities, perhaps someday becoming a Physical Therapist!

Thanks Amy Nash for sharing your story!

Aerialists from around the world

For a sample of more aerialists on SkillPages click the links to view their great portfolios:
Katie Hardwick from England specialises in aerial acrobatics on silks, hoops and ropes.  Charly McCreary from Seattle performs on hoops and aerial hammocks. Imogen Rose Macrae from Reading possesses various aerial skills from cloud swinging, aerial net and corde lisse.

Send us your story

Have you a fascinating or uncommon skill with an extraordinary story that needs to be told? Email us!