April 10, 2015

Pride, Work, and Necessity of Side Projects: Recycled Tee Pillows by Brittany Campbell



What are you working on—on the side?

I have had an Etsy shop, Britty Jane, for a few years now, but have only used it as a place to sell screen prints, graduation announcements, and wedding invitations. I recently moved, and while trying to downsize my belongings, I came across all these awesome t-shirts that I no longer wore, but couldn’t bring myself to give away. I decided to repurpose these shirts into pillows. Friends and family members loved them so much that I started making pillows out of their favorite old shirts. I then decided to start selling them on my Etsy shop. I repurpose shirts from friends, family, and thrift stores.

In addition to my recycled t-shirt pillows, I am also in the process of creating a kid focused tour-guide-book series called Tiny Travels. I have finished a Chicago book, and I am currently working on books for San Francisco, New York City, London, and Paris. I have plans to run a Kickstarter later this year to help print my first round of books.



How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

It’s a matter of prioritizing. First and foremost, my day job currently is most important. It’s what pays the bills. I work on these projects whenever I am able to find time. I usually spend my weekends and evenings researching, getting inspired, or actually producing my products. As I have gotten older, I found that spending time, energy, and money on side projects, not only makes me more productive in my day job, but also allows me to reach my creative goals.

Why have a side project?

I am super lucky to have a job that allows me to do what I want to do. That being said, I am an in-house designer, so a majority of the work I do has to fit within certain brand standards. Having side projects allows me to grow creatively and create work that doesn’t have to fall into the same brand styles that I have to use during my day job. Having side projects is also just a very therapeutic thing for me, especially when it’s a project that people enjoy and appreciate.

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Diptych courtesy of Brittany Campbell.

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Read more about the joy of side projects.


This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.


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