Zuné Van Niekerk worked as an accountant in the city of London. Although she had a very well paid job, the drudgery of commuting to and from London each day and being in an office the whole day, became less and less appealing over the years. Zuné recalls sitting on the train, trying to dream up ideas of how she could escape the rat-race and make a living working from home near Wokingham in Surrey.
Zuné started to explore ideas surrounding one of her hobbies which was making pewter plaques. She searched the internet for ideas of displaying these plaques. Zuné decided it would be a great idea to make a simple frame. She put "framing supplies" into the search engine and hit DIYframing.
Zuné said, "The site gave me so much inspiration as I read about the situation Duncan McDonald the owner had been through, and all his thoughts which I could totally relate to. I had completed a framing course when I was in South Africa and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I contacted DIYframing for some advice".
Duncan spoke with Zuné about the pros and cons of starting a business from home. Zuné looked carefully at all the options and decided the market for picture framing was far greater than trying to sell the Pewter plaques. She also really enjoyed the framing course she had completed in South Africa, so she made up her mind to start a Home framing business. First she enrolled on a course at DIYframing in early March 2004, where she learnt the basics of frame making and mount cutting.
Zuné recalls, "I was so excited when I started the course. It was brilliant. The tutor, Linnette, really knew her stuff and I came away from the course with the most beautifully framed print. " She purchased a Series 42 Pro-workshop from DIYframing. The kit which costs £850 and included all the tools to get started with , as well as moulding and mount board samples. She also purchased a special offer moulding pack and some mount board so she could get practising straight away.
"Because there are so many ways of framing artwork," Zuné explains, " I booked up a one to one day course with Duncan to help me build a business plan and show me how to complete a number of different techniques of framing. The day was brilliant. We covered so many different things my head was spinning. The important thing was that I had a blue print business plan that I could now follow to achieve my dreams."
Zuné worked hard over the following months both making frames for herself, family and friends and building the business side up. She had leaflets and business cards printed, making samples cases to take to her clients and arranging things to make her business look as professional as possible. Within 2 months, Zuné handed in her notice: she was ready to go it alone. Her employers were not so enthusiastic and asked that she stay a bit longer until they found adequate cover. Zuné obliged, eventually stopping work in late June.
"My first day was really scary, I wasn't that sure what to do. The realisation that I had to find work hit me, so I just put my best foot forward and did a leaflet drop around the town." It wasn't long before Zuné had her first call: a local butcher had two prints that needed framing.
Zuné said " I took my case and headed off to the client's house, trying to remember everything Duncan had told me. The appointment went really well. Although I was a bit nervous, they gave me two pieces of artwork to frame that were quite large. The cost came to over two hundred pounds: my clear profit would be over £130.00."
Zuné was now in business, the whole process took no longer than 4 months from the initial idea to the very first paying job. Duncan McDonald explains " What Zuné has achieved in such a sort time is marvellous, but her circumstances were such that she could do it. If you are contemplating starting a home business make sure you do it in a way that suits your own personal circumstances, have a real strong plan that you can follow but don't be afraid to change direction if things don't work out at first."
Zuné finally adds, "Duncan gave me the confidence, advice and support to start up my own business. The Staff of DIYfaming are always friendly and willing to help."
All the staff wish Zuné every success in her business, which she has called 33º Framing. For those interested in having something framed by Zuné why not call her now on 01276 855713.