Alyce Tran knows a thing or two about a successful side hustle. The lawyer turned creative entrepreneur turned her first side venture into a multimillion-dollar global fashion accessories business, before she sold it to her former business partner in 2021.

But, before taking a step away from that venture, she’d already co-founded another creative business with a close friend, this time a vibrant lifestyle and dinnerware brand called In The Roundhouse

Alyce attributes the thriving nature of her second creative business to identifying a gap in the market, as well as recognising a resurgence in the popularity of dinner parties, particularly among Gen Z and Millennials. “I’ve always loved entertaining and making beautiful settings,” she says. “Through this, I found a real gap in the market for tabletop items that really popped, are on-trend and are affordable, so that you can purchase more of a range and create so many different aesthetics.”

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Alyce Tran looks at a dinner plate from In the Roundhouse while standing in front of an orange grove. 

Alyce noticed, with the rise of social media, younger people were taking more of an interest in styling their houses, as well as entertaining at home. “Part of it is people want to present tablescapes that look fun and interesting to their friends,” she says.

When it comes to launching thriving creative businesses and successful side hustles, it seems Alyce Tran has the Midas touch. So, what advice does she have for people wanting to follow in her footsteps?

Alyce Tran’s Top 3 Tips for Starting a Creative Business

1. Be different: “There’s no point in bringing to market a product that might already exist. Everything I ever created, I always thought about how it was going to be different to something else already [out there]. In the homeware space, there’s so much stuff that is ubiquitous and plain, so part of the success of In The Roundhouse is presenting products to people that are extremely different to what is in the market, and that comes through artwork, colour, shapes and design.” 

2. Go for it: “It’s a hustle – you just need to put yourself and your product out there and see how you go. I also hear a lot of people talking to me about their ideas. I ask them, ‘Do you think your idea is great? Then just go for it. Create the product and get it out there.’ That’s the only way you’ll be able to get market feedback on what it is you want to do. And then just reiterate from there.”

3. But, go slow: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket; make the transition slowly. Even now, I am working a second job so that I don’t put too much pressure financially on In the Roundhouse.” [Alyce works part-time for LTK, a global influencer marketing platform that connects brands with influencers around the world.]  

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Alyce Tran’s Creative Business Essentials


“Yes, I’m still one of those hard-copy people,” Alyce says. “I still print documents and designs, then mark them up by hand. I just find it much easier to digest things when they’re printed rather than viewing them on a screen.”

Hot Tip: To make printing more sustainable and cost-effective, a continuous ink tank printer negates the need for replacing costly ink cartridges, which also means less plastic empties in the bin. Products like the Epson EcoTank printer use designated reservoirs for each of the printer colours and large ink bottles to fill them.

GIF series of four images showing printers at varying angles and shown on different-coloured backgrounds.

What To Try:

Tools for organisation

Storage boxes and magazine holders have definitely helped tidy my office,” says Alyce. “Keeping everything clean and organised helps me work and be creative.”

DId You Know? It’s not just Alyce who thrives in a tidy workspace; research shows being organised is good for our output. Scientists from the Princeton Neuroscience Institute found that, because our brains like order, keeping a desk tidy and uncluttered helps workers focus and process information, as well as improving productivity. 

Gif series of four images showing office accessories; a desk organiser, metal pen cup and file, desktop file, magazine holder on different-coloured backgrounds.

What To Try

SEE ALSO: How to Balance Your Day Job and Side Hustle

Pens and Coloured Markers

“I love the pens section at Officeworks – it’s always very fun to look at. Fresh markers always make me feel better, and I use them all the time for design,” says Alyce.  

Hot Tip: Try non-toxic Copic Ciao Markers, which produce bright colours and contain ink that dries acid-free on paper.

A GIF series of seven images showing art supplies; copic markers, graphic pens, fineliners, gel pens, pigment pens, fibre-tip markers.

What To Try

Coloured Cardboard and Paper

“I really like coloured cardboard and decorative paper,” says Alyce. “So I sometimes use the cardboard as backgrounds for the content I create for In The Roundhouse social media accounts.”

Hot Tip: Vibrant Quill A4 paper has a thickness of 125gsm, making it ideal for cards, artwork and invitations and comes in an assorted pack, so there’s plenty of colours to choose from. It’s also acid-free and won’t react with your precious art supplies. 

A GIF series of four images showing brightly coloured paper and cardboard products displayed at varying angles and on different-coloured backgrounds. 

What To Try:


“I love different-sized notebooks to keep to-do lists in, my thoughts, and also sketches,” says Alyce. 

Did You Know? There are many health benefits to expressive writing. In a meta-analysis of 13 studies in 2018, Cambridge University Press found that writing down our emotions, even negative ones, improved both physical health and psychological wellbeing. 

A GIF series of four images showing assorted notebooks at varying angles and displayed on different-coloured backgrounds. 

What To Try:

SEE ALSO: How to Build Perfect Money-Making Side Hustles 

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