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ETC’s New Business Assistance with NEIS Program gives creative florist the tools to start her own successful small business

With a lifelong passion for creativity, Kim began working as a florist when she was only 16 years old.

“I’m someone who needs to do a job where I can be creative, I couldn’t do one that wasn’t. I just need to keep making and designing,” explained Kim.

Throughout her career, Kim had worked for various small businesses, before deciding she wanted to venture out on her own.

“No other businesses in the area were offering what I wanted to offer, and I believed that I had a great service to offer people.”

“Plus, if I didn’t give it a go, I think I would always regret it,” said Kim.

Her employment services provider Tursa then referred Kim to ETC’s New Business Assistance with NEIS Program (now known as the Self-Employment Assistance program as of 1 July 2022) for business start-up support.

Starting the NEIS Program

The NEIS Program offers accredited small business training and personalised support to help those wanting to become a small business owner.

Given her extensive background in floristry, Kim knew she wanted to launch a creative business that encompassed her experience and vision.

ETC’s NEIS Business Coach Kim Hastings was able to assist with this vision becoming a reality.

“Kim’s artistic flair came shining through, her passion for her business was infectious,” said Ms Hastings.

During the Program, participants learn about topics including business planning, business structure, legal requirements, finances, sales, marketing, and networking.

“You learn all the aspects of small business – it’s really enlightening. They cover everything you need to know in the NEIS Program,” said Kim.

“The support has been phenomenal – it comes at you from all angles,” she continued.

Launching a floristry business – Ivy Lane Floral Creations

While completing her NEIS training, Kim was also looking for locations to open her business.

“She was originally focusing on finding premises in Bellingen, however as Covid hit, the space she had planned on was no longer available,” explained Ms Hastings.

This made Kim refocus and rethink her options.

She considered opening a home-based operation, but was then approached to share a space with an already operational vegan food business – which she gladly took up!

Kim began sharing a bright and winsome space with @chocdaisy and her organic plant-based business, the Raw Bar.

Here she was finally able to launch her boutique floristry business, Ivy Lane Floral Creations, which sells beautiful indoor plants, designer pots, and on-trend dried and preserved flowers.

Ivy Lane and Raw Bar’s services and aesthetics complement each other perfectly – and their gorgeous and thoughtfully designed décor gives secret garden vibes on entry.

Kim also creates made-to-order bouquets and arrangements for weddings, events and gifts.

“I love my business and really enjoy the flexibility of being able to offer customers what I want to offer,” said Kim.

She is now flourishing and enjoying the challenge and creative freedom of running her very own business.

“Navigating through the pandemic has had many challenges – but Kim persevered. Her success is a combination of focus, determination and self-belief,” said Ms Hastings.

Have you ever considered starting your own business?

Self-Employment Assistance helps eligible job seekers to start and run their own business. Find out more about Self-Employment Assistance >



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