Monday, March 11, 2013

Her Children Were Her Inspiration: Helen's Business Story

For mother of 2 Helen Kaufman, her children were her biggest inspiration for starting a business.

Helen said “I’m a mother to 2 daughters, Jessica and Amelia hence the name JA Interiors. They are aged 2 and nine months so the last 3 years have been completely life changing for me.”
 
Juggling work and her family was a new challenge and Helen soon realised she would need to re-think her career path:

“After having my 2 daughters I realised I wanted to develop and sustain a business that would benefit  my lifestyle in terms of dropping and collecting my children at their grandparents, and working hours that suited me and my clients instead of the 9 – 5 rat race.  I wanted to break free from the cycle and was excited at the idea of being my own boss.”

Helen wasn’t without experience having studied for not one, but two degrees, the first being a BA Honors in Fine Art and a Foundation degree in Visual Merchandising and Promotional Design.  She had also developed a practical understanding of the interiors industry having worked for an independent interiors company for 7 years.  Despite this, Helen still felt she needed to build her confidence before setting off on her own business venture.

“At first I signed up to the Women’s Organisation for the confidence building course” she said, “but I soon realised it wasn’t my confidence that I needed building it was just to be encouraged and guided onto the right path of starting my own business. It was very daunting at first but that was soon overcome with excitement and that passion to succeed!”

Helen attended the free course The Women’s Organisation offered around business planning to help her to move her idea forward.

“The thought of having to write a business plan frightened the hell out of me” admitted Helen. “I couldn’t have done it without the help of the wonderful trainer at The Women’s Organisation who made me feel she had every faith in me and guided me through all aspects completing it, including the finance section which wasn’t my strong point.  I was also given a business adviser who again came up with such helpful hints, tips and ideas. He was brilliant. Everyone there has such faith and belief in me and that is what I needed to help me on my way.”

Helen knew there would be challenges to face on the road to business success.

“The obvious concerns were there, such as not having a regular income, start-up costs, and all of the other ‘what if’s’.  They would go through my head daily, but I didn’t want to look back in life and have any regrets so I learned to channel my anxiety into positive ways of developing the business.”

Now Helen has launched ‘JA Interiors’, offering affordable advice in transforming your home.

“Whether the client has just moved house or needs to sell their house, our advice service is totally independent with no connection to any brand, enabling us to give an unbiased opinion, and supplier recommendations where appropriate. I feel this is where we differ to any other interior company and makes us ‘unique’. Our mission is to provide our clients with affordable advice on how to transform their home into a desirable interior, based on their personal requirements and needs. We offer a range of services including design ideas, mood boards and an exclusive personal shopping experience. We work hard in achieving a finished interior that truly reflects your home and personality, taking into account: budgets, affordability and the overall finished scheme.”

Keen to see other women in her shoes follow their dreams Helen advises:

“Never give up and just keep doing! There is always somebody out there who will help you. It’s about being clever and using your resources around you. I had no idea how to design a website or how to develop a marketing plan, but I had friends who could. It’s amazing what you can get done over dinner and a bottle of wine!  As long as you have the passion and determination in life then there is nothing stopping you achieving what you want. I was never the more academic person in school and college but I loved art and design. I carried on in life with these subjects and this is where I am today!”

To take advantage of JA Interiors affordable advice on transforming your home visit www.jainteriors.org or contact Helen directly via helen@jainteriors.org  / 07800 952 105

 “I cannot thank The Women’s Organisation enough for getting me to the stage I’m at today” says Helen. 

If you have a business idea you are dreaming about, why not contact info@thewo.org.uk or 0151 706 8111 today to find out how The Women’s Organisation can support you FREE!

 

 

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