For Jennifer Harrison, the thought of starting a new career later in life was a daunting one. After health issues had prevented her returning to work, the Entrepreneurship Facilitator program helped her to discover and pursue her passion in interior styling.
Initially, Jennifer attended information sessions delivered by the Hunter Entrepreneurship Facilitator, where she learned about starting a business from scratch, met likeminded people and engaged with potential customers.
After the sessions, she felt confident to launch her own home styling business called ‘Style by Jenn’. To help her on this journey, Jennifer joined forces with the Hunter Entrepreneurship Facilitator, Cheryl Royle.
The Entrepreneurship Facilitator initiative promotes entrepreneurship and self-employment as a way to create your own job. The Facilitators provide support and assistance to help people start their own business, including connecting people with other business support services in the local area.
Cheryl helped Jennifer identify her skills, goals and passions, and provided advice regarding the practical side of business development, like forward planning and risk management.
She said that Jennifer and her business have gone from strength to strength.
“It has been great watching Jennifer move through the different stages of business and blossom into a confident business woman,” Cheryl said.
“The real keys to starting your own business are confidence, passion and planning, all of which Jennifer has. My role has really been as a mentor and a sounding board."
Jennifer explained that while it felt intimidating to start a new business at first, especially at a later stage in life, Cheryl was able to tailor the support she provided to build on her strengths and business ideas.
“People ask me why I am passionate about interior styling, and I just say that it is part of who I am,” Jennifer said.
“Being an interior stylist allows me to be creative and share my creativity with my clients. I like to work with my client’s style and things that they may already have. I then use design principles to make a room really sing!”
Jennifer built up her business by working with a number of clients, including a local real estate agent for whom she styles properties for the sales market.
“I have felt supported the whole way through my journey with my Entrepreneurship Facilitator, Cheryl. She has really worked with me to develop my business,” Jennifer said.
“By having the support of the Entrepreneurship Facilitator program, I have been able to make my dreams a reality.”
Jennifer continues to be supported by Cheryl and attends networking sessions to further build confidence and her business skills.