February 5, 2019 Creative, Product

Fine art, textiles and stationery.

Guest post from Anthony Rumble at Konekt Employment.

Husband and wife team Josh and Jo Stanes launched the Jo Stanes brand, which offers a range of quality homewares, stationery and lifestyle products through their official Jo Stanes online store.

Jo Stanes was born out of a collaborative vision to merge their creative talents, and built on the belief that fine art is not simply a visual medium but a reflection of the soul. Jo Stanes represents everything that is an expression of the true meaning of art.

As anyone who has launched their own business would know, getting started requires a lot of hard work. It involves sourcing trustworthy suppliers, creating new products, designing to brand, and creating a new website.

It also includes marketing – creating ongoing promotional initiatives, networking and most importantly, nurturing customers to build relationships with. It’s a mammoth task that can involve years of planning before anything tangible begins to materialise.

In the first twelve months, Jo and Josh have transitioned from the NEIS program through Konekt Employment to create the Jo Stanes brand and a premium line of homewares, lifestyle and stationery products. They’ve also launched an online store and set up a busy art school for kids and adults.

It has been an exciting and challenging year, spending countless hours and late nights juggling business and family, while bringing their dream to life. The transition has meant a great deal of adjustment, and the willingness to take a flexible approach to change; to run a successful business while still maintaining and promoting the authenticity of art.

In addition to her original artworks that now grace the walls of many homes across Australia, New Zealand and even the USA, Jo and Josh have created a truly beautiful product line. Their eye for detail and steadfast belief in quality, combined with Jo’s professional training in textiles and passion for fabrics have produced a stunning range of linen cushions, weekender bags, clutch purses, tea towels, journals, cosmetic bags and phone cases that are unique, sturdy and pleasant to touch. The birthplace of each design being the brush in Jo’s hand.

The proof is in the results. Happy customers from all over the world are offering positive feedback of how in love they are with their purchases.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. It has been a tough call making some decisions and saying no to certain opportunities. It has also required some strategic thinking on their part to explore the idea of creating additional services within their business that allow them to open up new revenue streams without stopping them from flourishing in their creativity.

Their art school, Jo Stanes Art Station, has been one such venture. With over 20 years’ experience teaching art, Jo has a proven ability to bring out the artist in practically any student. Running art classes for kids after school and during school holidays at her studio in Point Clare on the NSW Central Coast has resulted in strong interest from the local community and Sydney’s northern beaches. She also runs ladies art, cheese and wine nights as well as art and product parties, where groups of women can connect, laugh and create over an art lesson.

Drawing on his past experience in branding and website design, Josh has not stopped at creating the Jo Stanes brand and building the online store. He has also identified an opportunity to help small businesses create their custom brand and online presence at an affordable price. As they embark on their second year, Josh will be creating another arm to their business called ‘The Identity Forum’, a package based service offering branded identity and website design for small business.

Looking back over the highs and lows of the past year, it hasn’t been an easy move for this couple. They have bid farewell to a corporate career and the security of a regular salary but joining the Konekt Employment NEIS program and starting their business is a decision they wouldn’t change for anything. Beyond the fulfilment of a dream and the satisfaction of working for themselves, they are only just on the cusp of discovering the greatest benefit of their venture; the opportunity to learn what it is to be true to who they really are. From their experience over the past 12 months, if there is one thought they would pass onto others wanting to start their own small business, it would be this: be true to who you are, and let authenticity be your benchmark for success!

Do you have a great idea for a new business? NEIS is an Australian Government sponsored new business training program, to assist with self-employment. Use the postcode finder for your local provider and find out more. 

This story was provided by Konekt Employment, whose mission is to empower more Australians to realise their full potential in their work and communities, through exceptional services, relationships, and innovation. Konekt Employment deliver the NEIS program all around Australia.

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