Local entrepreneur ‘up styles’ her career with successful hand painting furniture business

Local entrepreneur ‘up styles’ her career with successful hand painting furniture business

Pictured with Jennifer (right) is Martin Clark, Business Development Manager at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council (centre) and Gillian McDaid, Business Advisor at Roe Valley Enterprises (left).

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A LIMAVADY-based entrepreneur has turned her passion for up styling and hand painting furniture into a successful business thanks to support from the Go For It Programme, in association with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

The Go For It Programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) programme.

Jennifer McCullagh, from Drumsurn on the outskirts of Limavady, launched Upainted in February 2020 after deciding to turn her 20-year-old hobby for painting and up styling furniture for family and friends into a small business venture.

Upainted specialises in hand painting and up styling client furniture into unique statement pieces for their homes that reflect their style and personality. The business also sells vintage furniture that has been bought and transformed using a selection of transfers, moulds and painting techniques. 

Talking about launching her business, Jennifer McCullagh, said; “I used to work as a Staff Nurse, but always enjoyed painting and up styling furniture in my spare time. I found it relaxing and therapeutic. My family and friends were always asking me to help them transform their old and worn furniture into something bright and beautiful.”

“I had always daydreamed of having my own business, and now that my son is a little older, I decided to take the plunge and launch Upainted, which allows me to take advantage of my skills and passion for hand painting furniture.

“It has been really exciting journey so far. It’s a dream to be doing something I really love and have a genuine passion for. I love that clients trust me to take an out of date piece of furniture, that often holds great sentimental value to them, and transform it into a revamped piece that takes pride of place in their home again. 

Jennifer turned her hobby and passion into a real life business after taking part in the Go For It Programme, which is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies.

The Go For It Programme provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.

Jennifer said: “I’d been struggling along wanting to make the shift from hobby to a business, but didn’t know how to go about it, and that’s when I contacted the Go For It Programme. I had a meeting with my business advisor who helped me to develop a robust business plan that covered everything I needed to know about starting a business.

“The business plan helped me to make the mental shift from having a hobby to running a viable business. The breakdown of my fixed costs and disposable costs helped me to price my commissions competitively. It has also given me a plan for my business growth over the next two years.”

Martin Clark, Business Development Manager at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said: “The Go For It Programme provides accessible, free, expert business support - giving people the confidence, connections and the information they need at the start up stage of their business. I wish Jennifer every continued success with Upainted and encourage anyone thinking about starting their own business to go for it and get in touch!”

Martin Devlin, Business Advisor at Roe Valley Enterprises, said; “Jennifer has a real eye for transforming a tired piece of furniture into something beautiful and fresh, and it was clear she had a real passion for her craft. We were able to offer the assistance she needed, by helping her to write a business plan that gave her the confidence she needed to launch Upainted.

If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business contact the Go For It Programme on 0800 027 0639 or visit: www.goforitni.com.

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