A former South Tyneside council worker has reinvented herself with a new career – after taking a leap of faith following redundancy.
Natalie Wiley had a steady job working with young people, but in the back of her mind she always wanted to have her own business.
I decided to take my redundancy and look at starting my own business - it was the push I needed.Natalie Wiley
With the threat of redundancy always in the air, the 36-year-old decided to leave and set about carving out a new career for herself.
Mrs Wiley, of Dulverton Avenue, South Shields. said: “Having my own business is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I was settled in my job. It was comfortable.
“But with redundancies coming round and facing yet another round of re-applying for my job, I decided to take my redundancy and look at starting my own business. It was the push I needed.”
Mrs Wiley went on to retrain in the art of holistic therapy and sports massage, and in October officially started trading with her new business – Realign Sports & Holistic Massage.
Mrs Wiley, who is qualified in sports massage (soft tissue therapy) and a range of holistic therapies, added: “I started with foot massages, as originally the idea was that I wanted to open a little shop in the MetroCentre, but the idea grew and I got into sports massage at college.
“I also offer pregnancy massages to help expectant mums with the aches and pains that come with pregnancy, so they can focus on the baby.”
Mrs Wiley works as a freelance holistic therapist and masseuse, carrying out treatments and massages in the comfort of people’s own homes.
She added: “At the moment I am building my client base, with a lot of my business coming through Facebook.
“It has been tough, but it’s also been a bit of a whirlwind, from making the decision to take my redundancy to getting where I am now.
“Everything about the business is a learning curve for me, but at the moment everything is going well.”
Natalie has received support from Tedco through its New Enterprise Allowance programme and Nicky Gray – a business advisor with Tedco based at North East Business and Innovation Centre in Sunderland.
The scheme supports anyone over the age of 18 who is unemployed and in receipt of job seeker’s benefit.
It works by offering an initial eight weeks of support to create a business plan and apply for funding needed.
If the plan is accepted, 26 weeks of payments will follow to help establish and build the business.
Mum-of-one Mrs Wiley said: “My little boy is in nursery school, and having my own business means I can be flexible with visits.
“I would like to push the business further to see how far I can take it.”
Mrs Wiley offers a range of massages including Thai massages, Indian head massage and Swedish and sports massages using Neals Yard Organic products for her treatments. She also runs pamper parties.
For more information on Realign Sports & Holistic Massage, or to make an appointment, search for the business on Facebook or visit www.realignme.co.uk
Appointments can also be made by contacting Natalie on 07910 500 850 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Tedco and the support available for those looking to start their own business, call 0191 516 6102 or visit www.tedco.org