- Joel Remy-Parkes, 40, founded Bamboo Bamboo, which makes plastic-free kid’s tableware.
- The owner started it as a side hustle and turned it into a successful multimillion-dollar company.
- He advises anyone wanting to turn their side hustle into a major success story “just get started.”
In 2018, Joel Remy-Parkes, 40, was settled in a comfortable job selling digital software. His role paid well and allowed plenty of flexibility — but despite both of these benefits, he knew he had to quit.
Away from his full-time role, Remy-Parkes had been developing ideas for his own business for two years in a small room in his flat in South London.
When the CEO of the company he worked for back then encouraged him to pursue the idea, he realized it was time to make a move. “I believed it was my springboard,” he said.
He added that his boss’s unsolicited recognition “truly made me feel better about resigning from a job where I had free reign and was financially stable.”
The entrepreneur’s former side hustle, Bamboo Bamboo, which makes plastic-free bamboo kid’s tableware, became his main focus — and it has now become a thriving multimillion-dollar business.
Remy-Parkes shared documentation with Insider that verified his gross earnings from the business, as of January 2022.
He told Insider that the urge to do something purposeful became too important to ignore. Starting his side hustle not only allowed him to feel more fulfilled but also helped him in his previous job as a salesperson.
“I went around my house and anything I hadn’t used for over six months, I decided to throw them on eBay,” he said. “It was all about getting started,” others entrepreneurs repeatedly told him.
Having a side hustle isn’t as unusual as it used to be, with a third of Americans (34%) working one, according to the latest data from Zapier. There are many reasons why people decide to start a side gig, whether it is financial or personal.
For Remy-Parkes, while he sought purpose, the desire to build a legacy for his family was another factor. Parkes, who has four children, said: “I also want to be a role model for them and I want to be able to pass something on to them.”
Remy-Parkes shared his three tips for taking your side hustle to the next level.
Get started. It’s not enough to just have the idea, you have to execute it …
Remy-Parkes emphasized that the most precious advice he received was simply to get started. “You won’t know if your initial idea is successful until you find out it is successful,” he said.
“The only way to do that is to execute it,” he added. “You can’t say it will or not be successful unless you have done it.”
Ideas aren’t exclusive to one individual and it’s likely someone will have a similar idea, if not the same one. “I’m sure there were others who wanted to create Facebook or Apple, or any other big tech giants out there but someone was quick to execute it.”
Don’t be afraid to learn what good execution is, he added.
… But it’s also OK to find something that’s already out there and make it better
There are so many products out there that aren’t truly responding to the needs of consumers, Remy-Parkes said. “Find the one thing that consumers are complaining about, and make it better.”
He added: “It’s not only good for consumers but it is for everyone. That’s how innovation works.”
Try to be remarkable
Parkes believes products that aren’t remarkable require “a substantial budget for marketing.”
Ultimately, what you want to achieve by creating a product is “having people talk about it because first-hand experience will always beat advertisements,” Parkes said. Social media is a great tool for consumers to share their first impressions, as well as their reviews of the products.
“If you can solve a problem for people like you, and a problem that’s out there in the world,” there is no reason for your product not to be successful, he added.