Sarah’s Story

Sarah came to Positive People with a passion to be self-employed. She is affected daily by fibromyalgia, arthritis and her mental health, that makes consistency in work difficult. Being her own boss would give her flexibility to work when she is feeling her best and take the time to rest when she needed to.

The idea was already there, to use her love and knowledge of classic toys and grow a business around that. Sarah often spends weekends scouring car boot sales and charity shops on the look for rare or vintage dolls, My Littlie Ponies and other iconic toy brands. She knew there was a market for this type of business online, having spent many years within online communities discussing and selling these memorabilia. What Sarah needed now was a bit of support and guidance to take this from an idea, to a reality.

When Sarah first heard about the project, it is safe to say she was sceptical:
“[I thought] what a load of B******s I’ve been unemployed now for 10 years….every other support I have been offered has been rubbish…but when I started to speak to Ben I realised what support you could really give me.”

Sarah worked with Pluss Change Coach Ben to put together their plan of action. She had several sessions with self-employment expert, Peter Bridge, who was able to give Sarah some guidance on where to really begin, planning the business and the all-important pricing and tax.

Sarah also began work with Chloe, Digital Trainer from Cosmic, to learn more about the digital side of the business. They explored different selling opportunities online like Ebay and Etsy; broke down tips and tricks for digital marketing for her Facebook Page; and learnt some basic video and photo editing.

“You’ve broken everything down so I know what I am doing”

The one to one approach of Positive People’s support was a huge benefit to Sarah’s progress. They were able to spend more time on the bits that Sarah found really tricky (like online store statistics) and zip through and recap what she’d already tried before (like photo editing).
“I’ve actually realised that I can do it. Everything that I haven’t been able to do before, I can do.”

In addition to the practical business support, Sarah has worked with specialist partner, Jo Sale, who offers health & wellbeing coaching. Sarah has suffered a lot with depression and anxiety and Jo has been able to provide her with coping strategies to better manage her mental health.

Positive People were also able to support Sarah by buying equipment she needed, like a printer, inks, photography lights and tape gun for packaging. The equipment allows Sarah to be productive and efficient in her working time and make the most of when she is feeling well and active.
“Being able to do photography indoors as well as outdoors is going to be such a bonus.”

Sarah’s now ready to take the leap into her new business, DollyDolly UK, and put everything she has learnt into practice. Starting out with local selling on Facebook and then exploration further into online sites like Ebay and Etsy.“[When I started] I did not have high expectations at all, but you’ve all been absolutely amazing”

Our work with Sarah was made possible by The Beach Hotel, who have become a fantastic base for Positive People appointments in Minehead.