In these tough economic times, people are getting creative to earn extra cash. One woman found a unique solution by renting out her husband for odd jobs. Now, he’s constantly in demand.
Laura Young from Milton Keynes, England, is a mum of three who was struggling to make ends meet while she stayed at home caring for her three children, two of whom had autism.
Her husband, James, was working in a warehouse.
Her Brilliant Idea
After listening to a podcast wherein a man made a living by putting together flatpack furniture, Laura had the enterprising idea to do something similar.
“Rent my handy husband,” was the tagline, which later became James’ business name. Laura advertised on Facebook and Nextdoor, expecting little to come of it.
For 40 pounds an hour, her husband would tackle almost any DIY project, and within a day, James had his first client.
The Husband Every Woman Dreams Of
“James has always had a keen interest in building and creating,” Laura writes on their website, listing his completed personal projects as being “anything from flat pack assembly to designing and building dining tables, installing kitchens, building pantries, assembling various sized trampolines, home improvements and more.”
He Left His Warehouse Job
The business took off. James was so inundated with work requests that he left his job at a local warehouse shortly after launching to pursue his wife’s creative idea instead.
Just months after the idea was formed, James was fully booked, working six days a week for eleven hours each day.
“All those things I thought I could no longer get done, I now have faith that I might because of this service,” one customer wrote in a review.
Creating and Building a Business Together
The two work together as a team, Laura managing the social media and bookings and James providing the manual labor.
When Laura posed the business idea to James, his response was simple. “You create and I’ll build.”
While initially, the plan was for James to attend to general DIY jobs, painting, decorating, tiling, and carpet laying, it didn’t take long for his repertoire to stretch into setting up trampolines, rebuilding walls, and even a spot of gardening.
Since the business has flourished, James and Laura have been able to turn down jobs to maintain more practical business hours.
James, who was diagnosed with autism four years ago, is now able to spend more time at home with his children, knowing the family is being taken care of financially.
Booked through the end of the year and even into January, the team has added ‘Christmas Light Installation’ to their offered services.
Noting that many of their customers are “reoccurring,” Laura explained how the business allows the family flexibility around appointments and school runs “without having to clear it with an employer first, risking them saying ‘no’ or being guilt-tripped, and feeling like you’re letting a team down.”
Making The World a Better Place
The couple offers discounts to seniors, disabled persons, carers, and NHS and emergency services employees as well as those on universal credit.
“We know what it’s like to be parents of children with special needs,” Laura said in a Daily Mail post, “and we’ve known what it’s like to struggle for money or have to save.”
Making An Impact
The couple have been met with a positive response, with Laura mentioning that “we have also been approached by the National Health Service to see if we can offer work experience for disabled people.”
The story reinforces the spirit of community as this one family has been supported throughout the start of their business.
“I never expected it to take off as much as it has,” Laura said. The couple continues to post updates on their Facebook page, with many photos depicting James’s hard work.
“Amazing company,” one five-star review said. “Can’t recommend enough.”
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This article was produced by TPR Teaching.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.