A “woman to woman” chat with our “Wall of Fame” women owned businesses
Name: Helen Jamieson
Gill Thorpe, Founder & CEO at The Sourcing Team chats to Helen Jamieson from Jaluch as part of our #Buy16in16 Campaign.
Q: What made you decide to set up your own business?
A: After my daughter was born, I lost my job shortly after returning from maternity leave, even though I returned after just 3 months to avoid disruption to the business. To quote my head of department ‘my wife stays at home, why don’t you?’ Whilst very difficult at the time, in hindsight it was the push I needed to set up on my own, which I did about a year later. If I’m honest though I was never cut out to work for others, I’m too strong willed and too many ideas of my own for that!
Q: What do you like about running your own business?
A: There are numerous advantages to having your own business (as well as a fair few disadvantages too!) What immediately springs to mind is that I have over the years, been able to fit my work in around my family life so I have seen my 3 children growing up. I might not always be there, but I’ve been there a lot more than I would have been had a stayed in my corporate job. When I want to work from home I do, but equally when I have had enough of them and want the peace and quiet of an office away from home I use that! I have also been immensely privileged to travel to places I otherwise would not have visited, meet people I otherwise would not have met and had adventures the like of which I would never have had if I had kept to my corporate job. In fact I have had so many adventures I could write a book about it all! If I was to sum it up, the upside of running a business is that it has given me immense freedom and opportunities. And I haven’t even mentioned in all of that, some of the fantastic people I have employed over the years and our immensely loyal clients. I can’t begin to say how proud I feel when I see where I have come from as a person and where I now am.
Q:How do you keep yourself motivated in tough times?
A: My favourite saying is ‘one step at a time’. It’s the way I climb a mountain and it’s the way I run my business. When it feels tough I find it easier to try not to get anxious about next week or next month but instead I seek to focus on what needs to be done today in order to get me to the next step. I also remind myself that every challenge provides an opportunity for us to develop more and the greater the challenge, the more potential there is for learning and development. I have so much more to achieve despite having been in business for 20 years so every single bit of extra self development counts. I want to do another 20 years before I put my feet up.
Q:Top tip for continued success in business?
A: When I started in business it was just me. The clients bought because they loved what I did and how I did it. Somewhere along the line though as the business and the team I built grew, I lost my confidence in me. I adapted too much to become the person I thought others wanted and needed me to be. So I lost my way. Now though I am turning the business back to something that reflects the real me as the business that was, simply wasn’t sustainable or fun anymore. It’s taking time and it’s not been easy, but now I have mostly achieved that, I want to stick to what is the real me, the authentic me, as that really is the only way I want to be successful.
Q: Can you buy from 16 women owned businesses in 2016 and share the challenge?
A: We have been talking about this in the team and will try. My greater concern is that the women owned businesses we do use are mostly sole traders and it would be lovely to find some female suppliers who are running substantial businesses. Or better yet, to see some of those sole traders strike out and start to build up their businesses!
Recommendation: “I have been connected to Helen for many years and when I needed help with outsourcing our HR, Helen was clear and efficient in our initial discussions. This is the first time we have outsourced our HR and I am looking forward to developing a longer term relationship.” Gill Thorpe