Thursday, May 18, 2017

After Redundancy, Katie Dullaghan Didn’t Lose Ambition, She Decided To Start Up Her Own Oral Health Business; Happy Teeth

Katie had worked in the Dental Health sector for 12 years, exploring all fields of dentistry. When Katie was unfortunately made redundant, ‘It pushed me to evaluate my life in every way.’ It encouraged Katie to the extent that she was able to start up her own business. ‘Happy Teeth is an Oral Health Education Services company providing training and education looking after our teeth. I provide education to schools, care homes and other healthcare settings to improve oral health in the local area.’

Prior to her business, Katie had worked 3 different jobs in the industry simultaneously at one point to make ends meet. Katie left school after her A levels with no idea of the career she wanted to pursue. She stumbled across an advertisement in the local paper. From this, Katie achieved her Level 2 and 3 Oral Health Qualifications, working as a Dental Nurse Assessor/Tutor delivering those qualifications. ‘I completed Level 4 PTTLLS teaching Qualifications and working in Management I completed a Level 5 qualification in Leadership and Management. I worked my way up from the bottom.

After taking some time away, during her holiday to Croatia, Katie was given that vital time to evaluate her life. ‘Having time to myself and to really think about what I wanted in life and how I could make a positive change in my field. This encouraged me and gave me the strength and motivation to start Happy Teeth.’

With her motivation and strength pushing her along the way, Katie wasn’t sure exactly where to start. So, she started to think of various things she could do to make a change to oral health. Katie decided to contact the Women’s Organisation for some key advice.  ‘I contacted The Women’s Organisation and attended the start-up workshop with Bernie Cox. From when I entered the building at The Women’s Organisation to meeting all the lovely women attending the workshop I fell in love with the atmosphere.’

“Women inspiring and encouraging other women I found really motivational”

During the start-up process, Katie had completed the bulk of her business plan and met with our Senior Business Adviser; Huda. Huda supported Katie and her initial idea about dental friendly snacks. However, Katie ‘Realised the effects of selling to large supermarkets and with the budget I had, it was not plausible.’ As a result, Katie decided to neglect this idea and instead focus on making a difference, ‘If the population know about how to care for their teeth and what snacks are healthy to eat I can inspire change in this way.’ Katie’s passion for Dental Health grew, ‘So many children and families are unaware of the causes of dental decay and are unnecessarily suffering from it. Dental decay is 100% preventable.

The Women’s Organisation supported Katie throughout her business process. ‘I found the service really good guidance and would encourage anyone thinking of going into business to contact them.’ Since her business start-up, Katie has now signed up to the Business Club and has attended various event that are held monthly. Katie was also asked to speak at the Enterprise Hub showcase in The Atkinson as a guest speaker, which ‘I really enjoyed.’

Being a single mother was no obstacle for Katie and her dreams. Due to her large circle of close family and friends, Katie was given that additional support to push her. ‘I definitely could not have done all I have without the support and reassurance from them.’

So, how is business going for Katie? ‘Really well.’ Katie is receiving recognition for her work and enquires far and wide about her workshop. Her business has progressed extremely and Katie has also written a range of children’s picture books that are used as a resource during her training.

The best thing about running your own business for Katie is ‘Being able to make the difference I so wanted to make especially for children.’ To have the ability to reduce dental decay and protect children from this is the rewarding aspect to Katie’s business that is truly priceless. As well as this, Katie is able to manage her own time and can work around picking her son up from school. ‘I wake up everyday knowing that all the work I put in is for me and my son. For the success of my own business. Nothing inspires me more in the mornings than that.’

“I am so proud to say that I now run my own business.”

If anybody was looking to start up their own business, Katie would advise them to ‘go for it!’ There may be obstacles along the way but, ‘if you push for what you want you can make your dreams a reality.’  Due to Katie’s amazing achievements so far, ‘she can honestly say for the first time I am completely happy in every way. Taking that step back from the 9-5 grind and realising my potential and going for it turned negatives into positives for me and turned my life around.’

Katie’s future plans include expanding the training further and employing staff. She also wishes to write more educational books for children and have them published into a whole library of picture books that will help to educate children and families on caring for teeth. Katie hopes to possibly return to producing those healthy Dental snacks. ‘Happy Teeth snacks watch this space.’

If you would like to find out more about the services Katie offers, you can contact her using the details below:

Contact Number 0151 903 5503

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