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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Catherine Jones Decided After 25 Years Of Working In Journalism, To Start Up Her Own Writing Business; Catherine Jones Arts

Catherine Jones is a writer for hire within the arts, cultural, tourism and heritage sector.  Prior to this, Catherine worked as a newspaper journalist for 25 years, ‘Most recently as the arts editor at the Liverpool Echo for eight years, and before that I was Capital of Culture Reporter, covering the build up to 2008 and the year itself.’ During this time, there was a restructuring within Catherine’s department at work. Due to this Catherine decided to seek new pastures and think about setting up  her own business, ‘I felt a mixture of sheer terror and elation – a combination which has continued!

After deciding to take the plunge, Catherine spoke to friends who had followed a similar path. They suggested contacting The Women’s Organisation. Here at the organisation, we set out to support Catherine and make those initial feelings of ‘terror and elation’ disappear. Catherine received guidance from our Business Advisor, Jo Mountfort, to discuss her business idea and to set up a business plan. As well as this, Catherine also attended our courses, such as Planning for Success and our financial course on Tax and National Insurance.

“It gave me confidence that I wasn’t an idiot and could do it if I tried.”

Becoming a freelance/self-employed writer was something that had never crossed Catherine’s mind. Having only three weeks’ notice to leave her job, Catherine felt like ‘Everything was daunting.’  As her life was always her job, Catherine felt lucky in a way that she didn’t have any dependants. Despite this, it also felt like added extra pressure on Catherine to really find success in her business. Catherine has always had supportive family and friends who continually supported her throughout her journey.

Although Catherine isn’t currently earning at the kind of level she was when employed, it has only been two months so ‘In general, I am pleased.’ Catherine has already had interest from various organisations who have either hired her for a specific job or have a particular interest. Success!

For Catherine, the best thing about running your own business is having the opportunity to work with different people and organisations on interesting projects. Catherine is given the ability to choose, to a certain extent, what she wishes to do. Considering that three months ago Catherine had no thoughts about setting up her own business, she has attained a HMRC code, business bank account, accountant and having secured work already. ‘I feel I’ve achieved quite a bit'

Catherine’s advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business is to, ‘Do plenty of research, talk to people who have done something similar, talk to people who might be a potential customer base, and ask for help from professional organisations who can guide you through the process.’

 “While becoming self-employed came as quite a surprise, now it has happened I’m determined to keep doing what I love best, writing – and hopefully lots more of it!”

If you are interested in the services Catherine offers, you can contact her on:

Telephone: 07776 492540

Catherine also has an arts website,

And if you would like to start your own business or are thinking about becoming self-employed, then get in touch with us! You can email us on or ring us on 0151 706 8111