Having received a small business prize in 2022, former domestic violence survivor and mum-of-three, Naomi, is now turning her sights to a second business. Her story is one of many for the Perth South atWork Australia team who deliver the ParentsNext program which supports parents on parenting payments to plan and prepare for future study or employment. Naomi was keen to make the most of the services available to her; by connecting with community and improving her personal circumstances, she prepared for re-entry into the workforce and starting her own business.
Naomi is now a small business owner of a mobile spray tan and nail salon; she is able to support her children as a result of the friendly and tailored support she received. She gained recognition through receiving coveted local business awards in her first year of operation. Now, Naomi is reaping the benefits of employment to support her family and challenging herself with a new business project that will be ‘bigger and better’.
When Naomi was first directed to the ParentsNext program, she was facing unstable personal circumstances and was focused on the care of her young kids. She didn’t believe that her life would change within a year. Never-the-less, she spent time with her Job Coach, Anne, and soon discovered the number of services she could engage with to help build her skills and confidence. Naomi was able to get an education, build her self-awareness and build connections that would later support her journey to be a business owner. In particular, the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) allowed Naomi to join a small group of people who were motivated and gave her the belief that ‘no matter the circumstances, you can do it’. Naomi attributes the tailored support she received to her success.
The biggest challenge Naomi needed to overcome was financial. However, Naomi was able to manage her family and put in the hard work, leading her to start the business without a loan. Naomi’s business is founded on the support she received, and the drive she has to give back to the community. Most importantly, Naomi supports people within her local community who share her experiences; those with low confidence and insecurities who enjoy the feeling that self-pride brings, but within the comfort of their own home. At one point, Naomi was giving spray tans in exchange for tinned food that could be donated to the Woman’s Refuge in Mandurah, WA.
For Naomi, receiving local business awards is the culmination of her motivation to turn her life around; now displayed in picture frames around her home. She was surprised when she received the call from the Peel Chamber of Commerce advising that she had won Distinguished Recognition for a Home-based Business and a finalist in the ALCOA awards, Home-based Business category.
Owning her own business has given Naomi business skills and more motivation; she acknowledges the small wins that are all leading her to consider what’s next. Naomi says, ‘Employment has made me feel more grown up. I have more wisdom that has come from learning lessons along the way, listening to advice and accepting support. I am more enthusiastic to do more and do it bigger; nothing is off the table.’
Naomi attributes her success to the relationship she formed with her Job Coach, Anne, who has been a driving force. Anne provided Naomi with the tools and advice to make her start believing in herself and her abilities. Even a year after the launch of her business, Anne was there to celebrate the awards and to buy products at the launch of her product line. Anne was her biggest advocate. Anne says, ‘Naomi was a motivated, driven to achieve her goals and is a very positive individual. People from any background can receive the support they need to reach their goals.’
Naomi’s advice to others in similar circumstances is, ‘You can do it. There is always a way and support to help you get there. There will always be setbacks but don’t let that defeat you.’
Read our interview with Naomi online at The Chronicle.