Tag Archives: art

Over 60’s success!

4 Jan

You are never too old to achieve and become an inspiration to others. It is widely publicised that we are all living longer and with advances in medicine allowing us to live more healthily, 60 is fast becoming the new 30. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 395 million over 80’s worldwide.  Older people are no longer content to sit in a rocking chair and knit. Retirement can be a time for new beginnings and a new lease of life. We can take inspiration from following people all achieved success after the age of 60:

Gfauja-singh-marathonladys Burrill, from Hawaii became the oldest woman complete a marathon, age 92. She completed her first marathon age 86. Fauja Singh ran his first marathon age 89 and completed the Toronto Waterfront marathon age 100.

Frank McCourt became a bestselling author age 66 with Angela’s Ashes. Bertha Wood had her first book, Fresh Air and Fun, published on her 100th birthday. She began writing it age 90. Peter Roget invented the Thesaurus age 73. He suffered from OCD and making lists calmed him.

Colonel Hartland Sanders established the Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant chain age 65. On her 72nd birthday Poppy Bridger bought the company she used to work for and went back to work to grow the company, Anahiem test labs. Bill Foster founded Accessibility Services age 71 to support older people to stay in their own homes and remain independent.

Artists Mary Delany invented paper collage at age 72, Grandma Moses became famous in her 70’s and sculptorlouise-bourgeois Louise Bourgoise received mainstream recognition after the age of 60.

Over 60s are fast becoming the mainstay of the volunteering work force, supporting and inspiring others with their knowledge, skills, wisdom and sense of fun. If you, or anyone you know has a lot left to give and would like to make a difference, contact us at info@opsw.co.uk We would love to hear your views.

Interview with Rocket and Co.

13 Aug

I discovered Rocket & Co. through Facebook and instantly fell in love!   Susie makes beautiful, individual artworks from recycled and often vintage bits and bobs – buttons, maps, scrabble tiles, comic books.   Susie is from Taunton, Somerset and has a degree in illustration, and still does freelance illustrations.  Rocket is her cheeky cocker spaniel!

Like so many of the people I have met so far through Opportunity Plus South West, Rocket & Co. started after Susie became a mother and wasn’t able to continue with her previous job as a designer.  She needed to create a business that would be flexible enough to fit around her son.  Rocket & Co. started in October 2011.  Read on to find out how she did it:

What made you decide to start your own business?

I had my first child in February 2011.  The job I had before my son was born required me to commute 4 days a week, which meant leaving at 6.30am and getting home at 7pm.  Continuing to work like this after my maternity leave ended wasn’t an option for me, I wanted to be at home with my son as much as possible. ‘Rocket & Co.’ developed after my sister asked me to have a craft/art table at an event she was organising.   I had 3 weeks to think of a new idea of what I could make and sell.  I’d previously made gifts for friends and family using scrabble tiles and vintage music sheets and had some lovely feedback, so I choose to develop these ideas. It was really only intended to be a side line to my freelance illustration work, but since then it has grown quickly and I now spend most of my work time on ‘Rocket & Co.’

What is the best thing about being self employed?

Of course I love working from home and being able to spend so much time with my son, but this can also be the hardest part as it can be hard to focus and avoid the distractions of home life.   I get a huge amount of satisfaction and pleasure from creating and developing the ideas I have and having the freedom to work on projects I feel excited by.

What has been difficult?

Finding the time to do as much work as I’d like to do.  I’ve become a bit of a night owl, starting work at 8pm and often working until 3am.   It’s tiring, but because I love doing it it’s not that difficult.  I almost work the same amount of hours I did when I was employed full time yet I am now also a full time mum.  I’m still getting the hang of keeping receipts, records and keeping all the important bits and pieces in order.  I’m an organised person but I haven’t quite got to grips with my paperwork!   It is also difficult not knowing when the next pay cheque will come, I think the main thing I miss about being employed is the guaranteed payday at the end of the month.

How do you market your business?

I started promoting ‘Rocket & Co.’ through Facebook and found it was a really good platform for marketing my products.   I had a good response immediately and it motivated me to use it more.  Facebook has been my main avenue of marketing through social media although I do occasionally ‘Tweet‘.   I would say that at the moment 80% of my orders/sales are through Facebook.   It is a great way to keep people up to date with news and products and it’s free to use!!!   I have a website for Rocket & Co. and I promote the company with leaflets and business cards at any art/craft events I take part in.   I intend to take marketing to the next level in the very near future and I’m currently working on press packs and looking into suitable magazines for advertising.

What are your plans for the future of Rocket and Co?

I have a lot of ideas that I’m excited about and look forward to working on.   The main area I’m going to focus on is the promotion of Rocket & Co.  As great as Facebook is, I feel there are a lot of potential customers out there who I am yet to find and I want to make sure I’m getting Rocket & Co. ‘out there’ and seen by a larger audience.   I currently exhibit one off artworks in one gallery in Taunton and I’m keen to get my work in some more galleries in the South West.

What tips would you give someone wanting to start their own business?

If the business you’re starting is something you feel passionately about then I think that’s the most important thing, as you will always have the enthusiasm and drive to work your hardest on it.   If you work from home and have a child try and have a space that is behind a closed door to work in, it’s very easy to get distracted by your nearest and dearest!   Make sure you register as self employed, keep all business related receipts, record all sales and try and have a system!   Enjoy being your own boss and remember why you’re doing it!