Friday, June 29, 2018

Armed Forces Week: My experience of growing up as the child of a parent in the military

As part of Armed Forces Week, we invited our staff members with varied armed forces experiences to blog about how it impacted who they are today. Earlier in the week, we heard from Training and Development Specialist, Jenny Wallwork, and her time in the navy - if you haven't yet read it, click here. 

One of our newest members of the team, Victoria Hart, grew up with parents in the military taking her to new places, cultures and people and developing her outlook on the world, her adaptability and her resilience. Take a read .. 

As part of Armed Forces Day I am writing about my unique experience growing up as the child of a parent in the military or better known as a ‘Forces Brat’.  

We have a military family with uncles in the Irish Guards and my dad in the Royal Air Force so we have been scattered all over Europe over the years. My dad was in the RAF as a Senior Communications Electronics Specialist Technician for over twenty years and before I was 13 we had moved 5 times and I had been to 7 different schools!

Being a child with a parent in armed forces was like being part of an exclusive club, for weirdo kids who moved to a new country every so often. I was born in Dunfermline whilst my dad was based at RAF Pitreavie Castle in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. When my sister arrived three years later we up and moved to Oslo, Norway.  we also lived in RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire and after my youngest sister was born we moved to Holland.

We were really lucky to be able to experience different cultures, food, attitudes and lifestyles as we grew up. I attended an international school for several years with American, English, German, French and Dutch friends. This is my sisters and I on our way to Afcent International School, Brunssum, Holland in 1991. We took full advantage of our European home, in the international school our trips were to neighbouring European countries, as a family we would go shopping to Germany on the weekend, socialising with different nationalities through the officers’ club kid’s parties and we could drive to Italy, Spain, Belgium for holidays!

The best thing about living abroad was experiencing different celebrations for example Carnival. At Carnival we would all get dressed up  in funny costumes and go to the parades, catching the sweets thrown from the floats. On Sinterklass on the 5th December we would put one of our shoes outside the front door overnight hoping that we would get a big bag of sweets and not a big piece of coal! As a kid there is nothing like eating sweets in your pjs at 7am, out of a pink and green shoe!

Growing up a Forces Brat has had a massive influence on me as a person, I feel it is like a badge of honour that I wear and when people ask me where I grew up I can say “EVERYWHERE”! It always gives me an interesting story to tell.

I am open to new cultures, new foods, new music, new everything! I love travelling! I am forever telling my children about the Loempia and HEMA Rookworst we would eat when shopping on a Saturday in Holland and encourage them to try new foods themselves! I love learning about different cultures and carry on some of the traditions that we experienced abroad, here in the U.K.

When we returned to England and settled in Birkenhead, I had lots of adjustment and that was difficult as a 13-year-old. Living abroad for so many years meant I had to build relationships with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents that I didn’t know as we had always been away. It wasn’t until we fully settled in England that we were aware our upbringing was different to other kids, now we are thankful to my dad for providing us with amazing opportunities as kids.

Through moving around and starting new schools’ half way through the term I have developed adaptability, resilience and most certainly stoicism. Forces Brats are strong with a good sense of humour, because growing up you need to be to survive as a child with a parent who often is away on exercise. Meeting so many people from different countries has helped me to develop a proactive and alternative approach to doing things.

My childhood influences me as an adult as I am always challenging myself to take on new challenges, like my upcoming Tough Mudder in September!
Me and dad at Pitreavie, Scotland 1984.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Armed Forces Week: Born in Liverpool Made in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS)!

Armed Forces Week is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community across the UK: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets.

Here at The Women's Organisation, our very own Training and Development Specialist, Jenny Wallwork, served time in the forces long before joining our team, and we want to celebrate that this Armed Forces Week. Take a read of Jenny's guest blog to discover how her experience as a woman in the armed forces influenced the person we know and love today. Take a read of Jenny's guest blog this Armed Forces Week ... 

"Born in Liverpool made in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS)!" - Never a truer statement said!

In celebration of Armed Forces day I am writing a blog about my experiences and adventures as a Jenny Wren (yes I know, obviously born to be a Wren)  within the Women’s Royal Naval Service.

On leaving school I attended a local college to study with the intention of finding employment.  At the age of 17 yrs,  I was a shy, quiet, but a good kid who enjoyed sport, particularly netball and football, and was looking for my next step in life.  I attended a careers convention at college, there were lots of organisations recruiting for the future one being that of the Armed Forces and Police. I enquired about them all, however the Navy really did stand out, it is the Senior Service and their professionalism and all round commitment really appealed to me.  I was invited down to Derby Square (RN recruitment office) in Liverpool to attend an interview, I then completed a written academic test and finally a fitness test, I passed with flying colours. My adventure was about to begin.

One question that is often asked is "why did you join the WRNS?"

The fact of doing something different, which sounded exciting and a big adventure was the attraction. I did not know anyone else who had joined the forces, not even family members, I had never been on holiday as a child, we really couldn’t afford it, so to suddenly then to be on the cusp of leaving home at 17yrs and travelling to HMS Dauntless (Reading) for my Basic Training, looking back, seems quite crazy. So, off I went to start the biggest adventure of my life.

What did I gain from being in the Navy?

My naval career spanned 7 years, I felt quite privileged to be a part of an incredible team, as percentage wise, not many women who applied to the WRNS were accepted.

In the beginning I was terribly homesick, travelling the other end of the country, not knowing when I would be home next, gave me a horrible feeling that I had never experienced before, which on reflection isn’t surprising as I was so young, previously I had only been for days out with my family, the furthest being North Wales.  I firmly believe that the training and skills I developed, set me up for life, those Leadership and Management skills, Self Discipline, Motivation and Resilience and drive to be the very best that I could be, developing a can-do attitude. has guided me through every pathway of my career. The opportunity to travel, work for NATO and live in Norway for 2 years, building lifelong friendships, representing the Navy and combined services in Netball and Volleyball, opened another social outlet as well as giving me the travelling bug.  Even to this day, when asked about my career and my Forces experiences, people are genuinely interested, as for whatever reason, people still think that it was probably not the norm for a woman to be in the forces, in such a male dominant environment.  

 What was it like being a woman in the WRNS?

I can only speak from my experience, yes it was a tough environment as over 90% of my colleagues were male. I developed resilience like no other, even at a very young age I had the ability to stand up for myself, which as a woman in an extremely male dominant environment is important.  When I joined up, women did not go to sea, which I was glad about, as living in such cramped and sometimes smelly conditions was not appealing. However, this all changed in 1990 when women started to go to sea, I had long left by then.  

However, being shore based, we did the same job/work as our male colleagues, I think it helped me that I was so sporty and loved football. Having a good scouse sense of humour also helped, as I was always able to have banter and work as a team regardless of gender. Yes, I did witness lots of situations where Wrens were not treated particularly well. Sadly in those days it was accepted as the norm, which in this current day people would not tolerate or be able to get away with. Thankfully, my personal experiences were very positive and I am incredibly proud of my career and life experiences whilst serving in the WRNS.

Would I recommend a woman to join the Armed Forces? 

Absolutely yes - the life experiences I gained, the training I received, particularly in Leadership and Management, the ability to adapt to many situations, both emergency (reactive) and planning (proactive).  Being coerced into volunteering to be pushed out of a helicopter from 50 feet into Falmouth Bay, as part of the Search and Rescue exercise, which as an 18 year old was incredibly scary (I was the ‘Goldie Hawn’ of the sea, Private Benjamin). The colleagues/friends I met on the way, the opportunities I was given. I am biased towards the Navy, because of my experiences, it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Top tips:

Basic training is tough – after that, things get considerably better
Discipline is everything – work hard, play hard
Take every opportunity given to you – good drafts and the bad
Set your stall out – start how you mean to go on and enjoy the ride!

Picture of my Division HMS Dauntless 1980 - question is, can you find me?


‘BE BOLD’ – Trailblazing Women Share Stories and Advice at Business Breakfast

As 2018 marks the centenary of voting rights for (some) women, Business Breakfast celebrated the trailblazing women in business who are continuing to lead the charge for equality to this very day.

We headed to Museum of Liverpool to discover stories, experiences and advice from influential women who successfully established themselves in the modern working world. Guest speakers included; CEO of The Women’s Organisation, Maggie O’Carroll, Director of Museum of Liverpool & Merseyside Maritime Museum at National Museums Liverpool, Janet Dugdale and Former General Manager of Microsoft and current CEO of Earthport, Amanda Mesler.

With an early start, the women of Liverpool turned out in high numbers ready for coffee, pastries and a morning of empowerment. Up first, Janet Dugdale touched on 100 years of suffrage, paying particular attention to Lydia Becker a great leader in the early British suffrage movement. Janet reiterated the importance of powerful women today following in her footsteps, “together we can connect, collaborate and have a voice...”

Up next, CEO of The Women’s Organisation Maggie O’Carroll asked guests to put their hands up if they considered themselves a leader, with only half of the room reacting: “If this was a room full of men, there’d be quite a different response”. 

Maggie identified the most corrosive element to women climbing the ladder is that women don’t believe they’re leaders, she stated that true leadership is investing in yourself and helping others along the way: “leadership is an ill-defined concept, so make of it what you want and develop your own style. You ARE women who lead – don’t forget it!”

Finally, we heard from the incredible Amanda Mesler! Amanda’s wealth of executive experience in the corporate world, alongside being a mum to three daughters, has made her passionate about helping women create and achieve their ambitions. Amanda’s words of advice were, “fake it until you make it”, she recalled getting an ambitious job that she was the least qualified for: “confidence is key - initiative over experience is my mantra.”

Juggling a demanding job with international travel, alongside being a mother and having a passion for sports and running, some may ask just HOW Amanda maintains balance: “I’m always asked about balance, it doesn’t exist. That’s why I have four pillars of strength: family, international career, sports (Everton) and giving back. It usually only takes a little bit of energy to get me back on track, and I can get that from my pillars”.

Amanda recently became the CEO of Earthport, an upcoming business that helps with cross-border payments, “I run the company and get to change the culture. If I say diversity is important, if I say gender equality is absolutely critical, it’s going to happen because I have the power to make it happen” – YES AMANDA!

Having travelled to Liverpool for an Everton game several years back, Amanda fell in love with Goodison Park, our city and the people within it: Me and my daughter went to one match at Goodison and completely fell in love. I love the community of the city, it’s my favourite city in the U.K.”

Amanda’s final words of wisdom, “Be bold. Have confidence in yourself. Fake it till you make it. You are already a leader, you can make a difference and you will make a difference.”

After a morning of inspiring discussion, Maggie then asked for a second time “who considers themselves a leader?” – we had a room full of hands up.

Feedback included:

What a great inspiring session, one of the best I’ve attended

Inspiring event, great speakers, amazing venue and lots of lessons to take back to the office. I look forward to the next one.

A fantastic, motivational talk. It’s great to have insight into what women can achieve. Family AND career is doable.

WOW! What a truly inspiring morning. So great to hear other stories. I feel inspired and empowered. Thank you.

Inspiring keynote speeches. All the women who spoke made me feel empowered to remember ‘I am a leader’ in my own life in every aspect. Thank you – I look forward to more events.

Inspirational! Given me the motivation to lead and have confidence in myself.

A massive THANK YOU to everyone who attended our Business Breakfast, as well as to our event partners Museum of Liverpool.

If you enjoyed Business Breakfast, we have TWO more networking events throughout summer. Join us on 24th July, 6-8:30pm for some Summer Speed Networking, and on 23rd of August, 2-4pm for an in-depth discussion with Julia Keyes and Jacqueline Coles, Being an Empowered Woman.

Alternatively, contact us on 01517068111 or for more information.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Media Expert Lisa Pearson Joins The Women’s Organisation Board

We are delighted to announce that Lisa Pearson, Current Head of Marketing at Arriva North West and Wales, has joined our Board to assist in supporting and shaping our marketing strategy and vision for the future. 

Having worked with a wide variety of companies, from commercial radio group Bauer, to some of the region’s leading law firms, as well as within the leisure tourism industry, Lisa is an expert in creating impact on the local and national stage.

Lisa is incredibly passionate about empowering women to support each other in achieving great things and we can’t wait to welcome her into our team.

We sat down with Lisa to find out more about why she wanted to be part of The Women’s Organisation and her plans moving forward. Take a read ..

1) What made you want to join The Women’s Organisation’s board?

Over the last couple of years, I have been lucky enough to be involved in a number of events at The Women’s Organisation - aimed at supporting female entrepreneurs across our region with knowledge & advice to make their businesses (and themselves!) more successful.

At each event, I have been very aware of the unique sense of community that The Women’s Organisation has created and I like that! As I researched further into the areas of focus The Women’s Organisation is committed to, I felt even more inspired and wanted to ‘get involved’.

A change in my career earlier this year has brought me back to Liverpool and the vibrancy, ongoing regeneration and true uniqueness of our City continues to grow from strength to strength. I admire how passionate The Women’s Organisation is about our regions women being a part of this positive growth and change in Liverpool.

2) How do our values around women’s economic empowerment align with your own?

The Women’s Organisation is a genuine example of how ‘women empowered empower women’. I’ve always been a strong believer in the importance of women knowing their worth and how this is so dramatically linked to personal and professional development. There shouldn’t be any hidden agenda for wanting to help people and see them do well.

For those of us launching or running our own businesses, the need to feel supported and know that you can turn to someone for advice and guidance is incredibly important.

This is something The Women’s Organisation deliver time and time again – it is not dependant on backgrounds, needs or aspirations. We’re treating others the way we’d like to be treated – something I try to live my own life by, daily.

3) From your skills and experience, what will you bring to the organisation? 

My career in marketing has been very rewarding and over the last 5 years, I’ve gained knowledge & expertise around the importance of digital marketing, social media and engaging video content. If I can bring some of this marketing ‘magic’ to support the already excellent campaigns and messages coming out of The Women’s Organisation, I’ll be doing a good job.

I also firmly believe that there’s Power in People – who you know & how you can leverage your network to support a cause, campaign, event or message is sometimes more valuable than any marketing spend. I can’t wait to get out there & spreading the good word for The Women's Organisation!

4) What are you most excited about? 

This year already, I’ve been honoured to attend the Launch of our fantastic book, Twenty One (21 stories of Women who shaped our City) AND to speak about the necessity of being highly visualise with your marketing messaging at our June Business Club Event.

Events are definitely a strong point of The Women’s Organisation, bringing women together for a variety of themes and topics & I am really looking forward to our calendar over the coming months.
For me, it feels like 2018 has so far been a year of change and celebration – the #MeToo movement, the historic Eight Amendment referendum in Ireland and continued remembrance of 100 Years of Suffrage.

Women are really getting ‘stuff done’, something that has always been true for The Women’s Organisation – I am delighted to be a part of its future and what we get ‘done’ in years to come.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Dayo's Story: How Change It Changed Me

We love nothing more than when our 'Change It: Progress to Success' graduates share their amazing stories of how the programme has had a positive impact on their lives. Author, Dayo Benson recently finished the 4-week Change It programme at 54 St James Street and had some fantastic comments to share about it...

"The Change It: Progress to Success course facilitated a time of transformation for me. I was completely oblivious to some of the ways I was holding myself back, and the course challenged my thinking, attitudes, and beliefs about myself.
Beyond raising my self-awareness and revealing areas in which I needed to work on myself, Jenny, the course leader, also provided practical tips for making positives changes.

Change It was the highlight of my week for the four weeks of the course. I left each session with lots of food for thought and points to action. It spurred me to commence my own personal research on self-improvement and personal development. I appreciated the safe and supportive environment that Jenny cultivated and found myself able to share openly with the other women--a huge step for this reserved introvert.

Every woman should do Change It, or something similar. We're so used to rushing around, juggling numerous responsibilities; barely catching a breath. Change It is an opportunity to catch your breath, reevaluate your life and goals, and determine whether to change direction or stay on course.

I would highly recommend this course to anybody who feels stuck in a rut or who simply wants to unlock their full potential.

All my expectations regarding the course were superseded. I'm sure yours will be too."

Dayo with her Change It group

Thanks to Dayo for sharing your experience of Change it, we wish you all the best for your future! Dayo has written a number of fiction books and you can find more information out about them over on her website here 

We have recently announced more 'Change it: Progress to Success' dates going on around Liverpool:

Life Rooms, Walton - Wednesday 27th June 2018 (5 sessions)
54 St James Street - Tuesday 7th August 2018 (4 sessions)
54 St James Street - Wednesday 12th September 2018 (4 Sessions)
Dingle Childrens Centre -Thursday 20th September 2018 (8 sessions)

Toxteth Firefit Hub -Thursday 20th September 2018 (5 sessions)
54 St James Street - Tuesday 30th October 2018 (4 sessions)
Everton Childrens Centre - Monday 8th October 2018 (5 Sessions)

If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or to book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on and find out how we can support you.

CHANGE IT: Natalie Burgess

‘Change it: Progress to Success’ was designed to help the women of Liverpool see their true potential and do great things. We have been lucky enough over the past year to help women in different stages of their life come together to build a positive future. This is why we are so delighted to be able to announce our new dates for the programme!

Whether you’re looking to manage your thinking or develop more effective communication skills 'Change it: Progress to Success' really has something for everyone. We have seen women become more motivated and confident right in front of our eyes and walk away from the sessions with a new lease of life

Are you still wondering whether 'Change it: Progress to Success' is for you?

We caught up with Natalie Burgess who graduated from the Change It Programme, before starting her role as a Finance officer for The Women's Organisation to tell you all about her experience on the programme and why Change it will change you.

I’d just had my first child and didn’t feel like I really knew what I was doing, and it started to make me feel a little bit depressed really. Picton Childrens Centre really helped guide me through the steps of having my first child. Checking the centres timetable, I saw Change it and I thought ‘I’m going to apply’ so I booked onto the course and I can honestly say it was the best 8 weeks of my life.

I went onto the programme because I wanted to become a better me, I felt like I was very confident before having children and I started to feel like I didn’t know who I was or where I was going in life, but doing the programme helped me realise who I really am.

The best thing about the programme was learning how to say no, it’s really helpful to know how to be more assertive. I’m also confident in myself again, it’s made me realise that life is too short, and you should really enjoy it.

I’ve always thought about starting my own business, and after finding out I was pregnant with my 2nd child it scared me because I didn’t want to struggle with working and having childcare issues, I realised that if I did my passion of starting my own business I’ll be able to be in my children’s life a lot more, this is still my dream but now I’m able to feel more motivated about going for it.

Since Change it, I received information from the childrens centre about a job that was being advertised at The Women’s Organisation, and since the organisation had already helped me a lot I decided to go for it, and I got the job!

I’m now able to focus on my dreams and would say, do it, go and do it for anyone thinking about doing the programme! Never have a stigma about personal development programmes, they are there to help and support you and having Creche facilities at Picton gave me 2 hours to focus on myself!

I’ve suggested the programme to my mum and my sister, because it’s finally made me realise that I’m not the only one who has problems in life."

Natalie has since gone on to work for an accountancy firm and we're so proud of the achievements she has made and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or to book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on and find out how we can support you.

Monday, June 11, 2018

'I never knew change was possible, until I changed' - Meet Our 'Change It' Graduate, Sarah...

Change it: Progress to Success has been supporting women around Liverpool to develop their confidence, believe in their own abilities and simply make that change to look forward to a successful future. 

As we continue to help women reach their full potential, we love to hear from the women who have graduated from the programme, like our recent Change it graduate Sarah, who today has shared her story on what her journey through Change it was like... 

"I moved over to the lovely shores of Liverpool eight years ago from the hustle and bustle of Dublin, so I guess I that was quite life changing but in other ways Liverpool really is home from home. I am thirty-three, I have three cats and one daughter so I’m the cat lady of Old Swan.

I had plodded on with dead end jobs for years and if I am honest having a career, a proper career, had not entered my head as I never thought someone like me could have that sort of life…that is until Change It came along and just at the right time if I am honest.

I had been involved with Stoney Croft Children’s Centre in Old swan since Lucy, my daughter was born and having this community family saved my life in lots of ways. I knew I wanted something more than being a mum, of course I know the mum role is important, but I just felt empty... if that makes sense, I suppose I believed a good job would just come my way, it never entered my head that one day I would have the confidence to go and make that happen for myself.

No-one can prepare you for the loneliness that comes hand in hand with being a single mum and the staff at Stoney Croft just lifted me and Lucy up and made everything that was good possible. In-fact it was during a nurture training program that Gill mentioned the Change It Program and that’s when my life completely changed.

The best thing for me about Change It is the fact that it does exactly what it says on the tin. Gives you confidence, helps you challenge negative beliefs, become more assertive and more importantly made me focus on who I really wanted to become.

Six months later I am on route to my dream job -becoming a social worker. I have a plan for the first time ever in my life and I am sticking to it. Through the help of Mandy, I was assessed at Adult Learning Services to see where I was at with my English and Maths and through them I will be aiming for my Access Course in social care then onto John Moores University to study BA Hons in Social Work. Who would have thought that I could achieve anything as grand as that?  

If I am honest it was after the first session I felt an 'OMG' moment that a new life was possible no-one had ever spoke to me in this way in a way that they believed I could change and if the trainer believed it, then what was stopping me from believing in myself. 

I started to look forward to the sessions every Thursday and having the creche at the centre really helped with all the women, free creche is such a rarity these days. I was in a group where we were all in the same boat. We had all become stuck in a rut watching daytime TV and getting involved with petty dramas of life.
Every Thursday I used to get dressed up and ready to learn more personal development training to change the way I think and believe about myself. I never believed that single mums could have it all and guess what you can.

I have goals now. Mandy asked us, ‘What does success look like to you?’ That’s when I had a light bulb moment, success to me was a good job as in a career, a lovely home, good friends, money in the bank and feeling happy inside. With this idea of success in mind we planned to go get it. It wasn’t rocket science it was just a plan a goal and this has given me unbelievable focus.
I react differently to problems now and tackle them head-on and I don’t brush them under the carpet. I am assertive in everyday situations and it works, I get a good result without any anger. I am a lot happier because I am confident in my own skin and I know that I can be a positive role model for my daughter.

Its made changes in so many aspects of my life, I had to give a presentation in my GCSE English class and I smashed it. Changing the way, I think has changed everything. I won’t say its been easy its been challenging to say the least …but nothing worth having comes easy that’s what my mum says to me.

If any mum is thinking about this course then I would say, ‘What have you got to lose …it will open the door to a new life, look at me if I can do it so can you'"

Thank you Sarah for sharing your amazing story!

We have a number of Change it programmes going on around Liverpool and we have recently added some new dates:

Life Rooms, Walton - Wednesday 4th July 2018 (5 sessions)
54 St James Street - Tuesday 7th August 2018 (4 sessions)
54 St James Street - Wednesday 19th September 2018 (4 Sessions)
Dingle Childrens Centre -Thursday 20th September 2018 (8 sessions)
Everton Childrens Centre - Monday 8th October 2018 (5 Sessions)

If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or to book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on and find out how we can support you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The unstoppable catering force taking over the Baltic Triangle with Enterprise Hub

Serial Entrepreneur Anthony Zausmer has been in the catering business for 40 years and knows a thing or two about the industry. But having recently embarked upon his most recent venture, Posh Nosh Catering Kitchen Ltd, Anthony decided to take advantage of Enterprise Hub’s ‘Boost Your New Business’ programme to see if there were any tricks he was missing. 

Anthony told us that he now starts the day’s planning for the new business with “well Bernie said…” referring back to what he learned from the training as he found it “so useful”.

He commented: “The course was brilliant. Our trainer, Bernie, really made it personal and created an environment where I could say ‘actually I realise I’ve made a mess of this’.  Everyone is totally free to open-up, which is great as we could learn from one another’s businesses.  The most positive part for us was being able to face up to any problems in the business in a constructive way.”

Find out how Anthony got on with the 'Boost Your New Business' here

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jennifer Makes Interior Design Simple With The Mini Interior Design Company

Jennifer Kay launches The Mini Interior Design Company with the help of  Enterprise Hub

With a passion for interior design and 10 years’ experience of working in the merchandising industry, Jennifer Kay, the founder of The Mini Interior Design Company approached the enterprise hub to make her dream of starting her own interior design business a reality. The Mini interior Design Company offers a professional but quick, easy and inexpensive online Interior Design service with the main goal of providing beautiful room ideas to everyday people. 

Taking a leap into self-employment, Jennifer said “I have always loved Interior Design and liked the thought of being self-employed, whilst working my 9-5, I qualified as an Interior Designer and after having my son I decided I had to give it a go”

Studying and gaining her design degree from Liverpool Hope University then completing her interior design diploma online via The Interior Design Institute in London, Jennifer comments “I decided not to take the conventional interior designer approach. Instead, I wanted to offer an affordable, time-saving and convenient service for everyday people”

After designing rooms for family and friends, she decided it was time to create a real business out of it “I set up social media business pages and had a basic website created. I felt very excited about starting up, but I was also nervous and unsure about what to do next”

Always working for big organisations, Jennifer soon realised that being self-employed was very different and that she needed some guidance and an action plan “It is daunting because it’s just you trying to find your own way. I had been used to working in big offices full of people and departments that specialised in certain areas of business that I could turn to”

Jennifer approached The Women’s Organisation for business start up advice and guidance “The advice and support given by The Women’s Organisation has been invaluable to me” she also speaks of her business advisor Francine, “She was so helpful, and I really enjoyed our meetings” touching on many aspects of the business, Francine helped Jennifer create a thorough business plan along with lots of tips and advice.

Jennifer also speaks about the business courses she attended at The Women’s Organisation “They were extremely useful and always presented in a fun and engaging way, making them so enjoyable. Everyone I have met at The Women’s Organisation have been extremely down to earth and approachable. It’s been lovely networking with so many kinds of people, letting you pick extra help up along the way and exciting business ideas”

Running your own business along with living your life can sometimes be a tough act to juggle, when asked about managing that, Jennifer comments “I’m married with a two-year-old son, so I am conscious that I must separate work from family life. It is hard as there is always an email you want to look at outside working hours. You can manage your own time so core working hours can be around whatever suits you.”

...and how is the company doing now?
“I have now found that interest is growing, more enquiries are coming through and most importantly sales are increasing. I am really enjoying working through all the different aspects of my business. It is extremely rewarding to hear nice comments about what I am doing and there is nothing better than making a customer happy with a room idea I have designed especially for them.”

Jennifer enjoys putting her own stamp on things and working the way she wants, being who she wants allows her to enjoy every day. When asked what advice she would give a friend setting up their own business “Give The Women’s Organisation a call, you won’t regret it! This is advice I’ve already given to my friends who want to be self-employed”

Jennifer has started her hand at blog writing as she wishes to inspire and excite people in the world of interior design. “I will be showing my work and projects in more detail through this channel as well as talking about interior news, latest trends and advertising new products”

The Mini Intererior Design Company was recently featured in the Liverpool Business Post which you can read here

You can contact The Mini Interior Design Company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest!
They also have a website and can be contacted with any queries on

If you have an idea for a business and would like to receive advice and support we can help you get started! Contact our team on or 0151 706 8113.