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Taking Care of Business with… Sarah Hussaini

Sara @ Wingspan
August 31, 2020

We’re passing the mic to some of our favorite freelancers who make Wingspan’s community thrive, and who remind us every day that there are no wrong ways to take care of business. Want to be featured? Submit yourself here!

Sarah Hussaini is an architect turned ceramicist, a pottery teacher, and the founder of Not Work Related, a Brooklyn-based housewares company sold online and in shops around the U.S.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

In your own words, what do you do?

Not Work Related is a whimsical approach to ceramic home goods.

Where do you call home?

Brooklyn, New York.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I roll over and check how many times I’ve hit snooze. I’m pretty notorious for setting like four alarms. I have this dream that I’m going to wake up at 5:30 every day, but by the time I wake up, it’s actually like 6:30.

What’s your favorite thing about freelancing?

My background is in architecture. The hardest thing for me was being creative for other people and then not getting any credit for it. For the first time, not only do I get to make stuff that I approve of, and I don't have to get someone else's approval [for], but at the same time, I get credit for my work.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

The biggest thing that has provided me the stability to grow Not Work Related has been a diverse income. I really would recommend trying to either diversify your income or keep something part-time. Even if it’s a job that you don’t love, having someone else pay you even just a little bit every week will provide you a lot of mental sanity, and it’ll give the financial space to figure out your own business and let it grow naturally.

What’s your biggest challenge as an independent professional?

Figuring out what is the business structure of Not Work Related. And how to keep it running and also pay for my apartment and my student loans. I try to make the best decisions that I can, decisions that align with my values, and the company’s values.  

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