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A Side Hustle With a Kick

Meet Jill from Jilly's Chilli. I will definitely be giving this a try!

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

My name is Jill Daniels, I’m a mom of two. I have a full-time office job, and when I’m not working I’m a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter and an aunt. My husband runs a fresh produce business for which I run the admin side, and I have my little baby business, Jilly’s Chilli, which is my side hustle.

How old is your business now?

Jilly’s Chilli officially launched in mid-October 2019. I can’t believe our first anniversary is coming up.

How did you come up with the idea of and name for your business?

Well initially I had been making the original Jilly’s Chilli for family and friends who kept insisting I bottle and sell it, as they were convinced it would be a hit. One day I just decided to give it a try and sell to a few interested people, and in just under three months I had sold over 500 jars. As for the name, it really came at a whim, I figured since my name is Jill; Jilly’s Chilli had a ring to it and could be catchy.

What is that “one thing” that this Lockdown period has taught you and that you will be using in the future? How will you be doing business differently?

I’ve learned so many things during this period but I think the power of social media really resonated with me during this time. With so many restrictions during lockdown, I initially felt like there was this huge limitation on advertising my business and increasing sales. Thankfully though, I have still managed to keep this business thriving through social media and many loyal family, friends and customers.

Going forward I think I will be a lot more present, as well as reliant, on social media, along with providing an authentic range of sauces, to build my brand and increase its' footprint across the Cape.

What makes your business unique?

There are so many amazing competitors out there and we are all just hustling to ensure there’s food on the table, to fund a dream or get kids through school etc. Jilly’s Chilli is no different. When I make my sauces, the motivation is to allow the consumer an opportunity to try something different that they won’t necessarily find on the shelves at supermarkets. It’s made with love and the freshest ingredients, and you can only find it at Jilly’s Chilli.

Are you a solo-entrepreneur or how many members does your team currently comprise?

My husband helps me loads but I am pretty much a solo-entrepreneur.

How do you market your business, and which methods have been most successful for you?

I’ve rely heavily on social media; word of mouth has proven successful as well and offering tasters always works (haha).

What does a typical day look like for you? And how many hours, on average, do you work daily?

Wow, these days a typical day is quite a hectic one. I’ve been lucky enough to work from home during lockdown so my day starts with the all-important caffeine boost, breakfast for the family, a quick tidy up, then I co-ordinate the kids’ zoom classes and off-line school work. During this time, I juggle my full-time job’s deliverables as well. After ‘school’ I continue to work while the kids have some downtime; then it’s supper prep, coordinating Jilly’s Chilli orders and stock and admin for my husband’s business. Thereafter I’m back at my laptop for my full-time job. My day starts at about 6:30am and ends at about 10:30pm. Weekends are reserved for family time and making my range of sauces.

How has being an entrepreneur affected your life?

Honestly, it’s been an emotional roller-coaster (I can relate), having to juggle so many responsibilities can prove daunting at times. There are days I run about like a headless chicken and there are days I feel like a total champ having built Jilly’s Chilli from scratch. Overall, it’s given me a sense of accomplishment and made me realise that with a little bit of hard work, a great support system and the right opportunities, you can achieve your dreams.

If you could go back in time and start up your business all over again, what would you do differently?

Nothing, I believe that everything that brought me to the point of starting Jilly’s Chilli had to happen in order for me to realise that I could do this and that I had what it took. Yes, I wish I had maybe started sooner so that my business could’ve been more established, but honestly, the timing was perfect.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone just starting out?

Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Start small but always think big. Knowledge is power – research the market, stay on top of trends and never stop innovating. Put love into everything that you do and always support local, because local needs to support local.

Where can we find your business on social media?

Instagram handle: @jillyschilli

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