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Meet the five to niners starting a business in their spare time


In an uncertain economy, more and more people are starting up their businesses alongside a full-time job. In her 2010 book Working 5 to 9, Emma Jones coined the phrase “five to niners”, which perfectly describes the three entrepreneurs who talk about the challenges they’ve faced when running a business in their spare time and offer some key advice.

Hayley Evans has always been artistic. It was only two and a half years ago that she found she could transfer her skills from her craft degree to baking. She now runs Temper and Tipsy from her home in Surrey, getting up at 6am to bake before going to work in her full time job as a PA, and sometimes working on her business until midnight.

Elinor Vasiliou is the founder of Handwritten Weddings and her story isn’t so different. Having experimented with handwriting for a long time, a year and a half ago her husband bought her a correspondence course with the calligrapher Gaynor Goffe, so she could develop her technique. Soon after, she was taking commissions for her work: copperplate writing for wedding invitations, greeting cards and certificates.