Welcome to another Small Business Update – today a quick chat with Anastasia Bird, previously of Jellybean Gifts, who’s had a sudden change of direction since last time we spoke to her. That was in March 2014 (and her first interview was in March 2013). At that point, she’d had a few issues in her personal life, and wasn’t sure where she’d be by now: “It’s really hard to say, because I can’t predict what happens in my personal life, but I hope that we’re doing a lot more events like fairs, and I hope we’re stocked in a shop long term, and I hope we’re cutting our own wood!” – and in fact that’s not where she is at all, but we can wish her luck with her new venture instead. Read on to find out what happened …
Hello again, Anastasia! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Not at all, but for the better in so many ways. My home circumstances changed my perspective on Jellybean, and then my arthritis made it almost impossible to hold a paintbrush so I couldn’t continue painting.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Jellybean closed down and I opened Virtual Bird, a virtual assistance business. When running Jellybean, I’d always had a passion for the admin side of things and spent time doing admin for fellow small businesses so it made sense to transition to a business that I had skills in.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve picked up lots of skills and undertaken an intense amount of training. I wish I’d known how good it was going to get.
Any more hints and tips for people?
Never be afraid to change
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
The same! It’s idyllic.
Well, I don’t know any business that hasn’t changed a bit in the time it’s been running – I for one started off thinking I was going to be proofreading student theses and dissertations forever, and had no inkling about the way I’d branch out into transcription and localisation. It seems that Anastasia was able to pick up on something she was doing well herself and already helping other people with and transition that into her new business – well done her! I’m glad it’s turned out so positive for her, and gives us a real lesson in being flexible and embracing change!
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.