Published by: K@ren on Tuesday, 07 September
Meet Poonam – Our Interview with a Microenterprise Owner
Our interviews with Microenterprise owners aim to showcase the diverse nature of Microenterprise – each one totally unique in the product or service they offer, their motivations and the stage of their business, yet all working towards creating a sustainable Microenterprise aligned to their skills, passions and interests.
Last week, we met with Poonam to discuss her experience starting a Microenterprise and going through discovery and business planning with her Advisor. Poonam is a talented multimedia artist who recently joined our Project as a Microenterprise owner – she sells unique custom pieces, prints and more, taking inspiration from nature and her travelling experiences.
Poonam, could you tell us about your business?
Poonam: My business is bits and bobs of everything art – I do what I feel like doing when I wake up, however, I specialise in my pyrography! (Pyrography is the free handed art of decorating wood with burn marks, also known as wood burning.)
How does your Microenterprise Advisor/Innovative Employment Advisor help you?
Poonam: By understanding me – during business planning, she made me learn things about me that I didn’t know about myself. The business planning process is hard! Plus, some of the tips she gave me came in handy.
Valued Lives also gives me the chance to get my name out there!
Where can people purchase your products?
Poonam: People can get in touch with me on Instagram and Facebook and in the Fremantle Hub’s Microenterprise Shop. I’ll also be at the Perth Makers Markets.
I’m now available for commissions – I just got my first commission from Danny Green, the boxing champion!
What made you want to start a business? What’s your favourite thing about owning a business?
Poonam: I wanted to start a business after becoming unemployed and realising that my creativity was still there. No one was willing to give me a job, so I needed to use my talent to earn a fulfilling income.
My favourite thing about owning a Microenterprise is the freedom to do whatever I want to do. It allows me to learn more about myself and gives me the freedom to know I’ll be able to succeed in something, living with disability.
Who else supports you with your business?
Poonam: My Mum. Mum helps with everything! She gives me advice and assists me with my pyrography preparation. She helps with anything I need my left hand for – she’s my left hand!
My Dad also gives me advice and my sister helps me with creating art – they’re my three assistants!
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
If it’s good weather, I like to stay out walking, or sometimes I’ll just watch tv. When I’m not working, I enjoy thinking about what I’ll create next.
I also like to help with cooking – usually I’ll chop veggies and clean utensils – anything that keeps me active!
I love going to my physiotherapists too. They’re all beautiful people.
What’s one goal you have for the future?
Poonam: In the future, I’d like to attend more markets to sell more products and understand more about what customers want and need. I hope to earn a good amount of money, so I can continue to make donations to charity (50% of Poonam’s sales are donated to Telethon).
What is something you wish people understood about disability and business ownership?
Poonam: One thing I wish people knew is that owning a business with a disability is not easy. A lot of heart and soul goes into our work – sometimes people need to be more understanding and aware of that!
You can find Poonam’s products in our Fremantle Hub, or keep up with her on Facebook here.