Business begins to bloom for Jo
WHEN Jo Dennis found herself out of work she decided she didn't want to end up as just another part of the furniture – she wanted to decorate it.
The 42-year-old, from Plymstock, used her art and design training to set up Kitty Rose Interiors.
Now she has contracts and commissions to "up-cycle", hand paint and bespoke furniture.
Some pieces are bought by Miss Dennis, others donated, some commissioned by owners, some sought on behalf of clients.
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Then Miss Dennis works her magic, decorating and enhancing the furniture. She's even working with the community enterprise Regenerate, which sells restored furniture through its shop in New George Street.
Miss Dennis, who has two teenage sons, found herself out of work for a whole year after leaving her job in customer service for an insurance firm.
But she had originally trained in art and design, and said: "I decided to use my skills. I'd always used them at home, painted bits for family and friends.
"I can do restorations, if something is an antique, or smart repairs, anything with a chip or hole in it."
She said Kitty Rose Interiors specialises in new "vintage-style" furniture and accessories, while its sister company Kitty Rose Revamp works with Regenerate.
Miss Dennis formed her business with the help of start-up support organisation Outset Plymouth.
"Working for myself is brilliant," she said. "I'd recommend anyone to go for it.
"I used to go to the Jobcentre every week and look for a job. There was nothing that required my skills and I found hundreds of people going for one job.
"So I developed this business idea. The Jobcentre sent me to Business Link, then to Outset Plymouth.
"If people are having a problem finding a job, they should think about what their skills are and incorporating that into a business.
"Working for yourself is the best thing. It has its ups and downs but you have your say in everything."