Inside staff side-projects: #1, Joe Dickinson - Toilet Face
Besides delivering brilliant results for our clients, several of our talented team run side projects in their spare time to sharpen their digital skills and entrepreneurial abilities further. In this new series we go behind-the-scenes to learn about some of these projects and how working at Evoluted has benefitted them - and vice versa!
For our first instalment we speak to SEO Assistant Joe Dickinson about his unusual venture Toilet Face. If that rings a bell, Joe also shared his trials and tribulations as a part-time entrepreneur at our Sheffield DM Summer '23 conference on the "Side Hustles to Real Hustles: What's the Reality?" panel!
What is your side project and how did it start?
Toilet Face is an ecommerce site which sells personalised toilet rolls emblazoned with a face of your choice! I started it during my Masters year when I wanted to send a friend a personalised toilet roll as a joke present and was surprised to find there wasn't anyone offering that ability.
After enjoying some early traction, I dropped out of my Masters degree to run Toilet Face full-time, roping in some university friends who studied Engineering to build a custom printer that could produce the rolls.
Since joining Evoluted in 2020, Toilet Face has returned to being a side-project, and I run it from warehouses based in Manchester and Sheffield.
How has working at Evoluted helped your side project?
I joined Evoluted because I still wanted a career and it seemed like a good progression from my self-taught marketing skills to come to an agency where I could learn from professionals. Working here has given me experience of different CMSes, Paid Social and PPC, developing my all-round marketing skills. The Toilet Face website was dreadful before I came here and began incorporating what I'd learnt - previously I had to outsource some marketing but now I feel confident enough to manage it all myself.
What I didn't expect was to get direct support for Toilet Face from the Evoluted marketing team. During COVID a lot of client projects had to be paused so the team put that spare capacity towards projects like mine. Support from Evoluted's Digital PR team led to coverage from The Sun, Metro and even The Voice TV show!
All in all, Evoluted have given me a ridiculous amount of support.
What has been your highlight so far?
Our Digital PR team landed some amazing coverage from LadBible on Valentine's Day with a campaign around getting your ex's face printed on our toilet roll. That led to me getting calls from a load of radio stations asking for interviews which was crazy - I did one with a station in Ireland.
The nature of the business means I've had all sorts of custom requests over the years but my favourite so far has to be an Australian lady who ordered rolls personalised with her ex-husband's face because she was having an extravagant divorce party and wanted to use them as decorations!
What are your plans for the future?
For now, I'm content running Toilet Face in my free time alongside working at Evoluted. I'm fortunate in that it's an easy business to run because I'm applying the same knowledge as in my day job, so they work well in tandem.