Asuria Self-Employment Assistance participant, Sigrid, has been telling stories her whole life.
From the moment her hands could hold a paintbrush; Sigrid was dragging colours across a page. For Sigrid, painting has always felt innate; even as a child, she dreamt of being an artist.
As she matured, Sigrid's paintings improved, and in high school, she found new ways of expressing herself, which included poetry and creative writing.
Sigrid was undoubtedly talented, but like many young artists, she was unsure how to make something of it. That was until she reached her early 20s, and her life suddenly changed. Sigrid started suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks, which became relentless and almost unbearable over the next few years.
Sigrid tried all the typical anxiety management strategies but never found any that genuinely grounded her. After much trial and error, Sigrid finally learnt to manage her anxiety and panic attacks through her art and poetry.
"Through the turbulence of my 20s, anxiety was my unwelcome companion. But with each passing year, I discovered the power of spiritual and somatic grounding tools. Now in my 30s, I stand tall and proud, having triumphed over my fears and emerged stronger than ever before," said Sigrid.
Alongside her dreams of painting, Sigrid also wanted to help others, and she figured her art could support others struggling with mental health. Inspired by famous authors like Rupi Kaur, Sigrid knew there was a unique opportunity for her art and poetry to enter that chat.
At Tafe, Sigrid completed her Fine Arts Diploma and did a Double Degree in Fine Arts and Visual Culture at Curtin University, which empowered her to write her first poetry book, 'Carving the Path'.
After successfully releasing her first poetry book, Sigrid found the purpose she was looking for in a career, which motivated her to take her poetry to the next level.
Although already highly educated, Sigrid needed to become familiar with the business side of things. If Sigrid wanted to elevate her name and brand, she would need to recruit business experts to help her get there.
While searching for potential business mentors online, Sigrid found Asuria's services for the Workforce Australia's Self-Employment Assistance program.
"I chose to work with Asuria because I was seeking to regain my independence as a business owner. I wanted to have the support and expertise to help me succeed in this endeavour."
Enrolling in Asuria's Small Business Training, as part of the Self-Employment Assistance program, Sigrid joined several other pioneering participants, keen to gain more skills and knowledge to progress their small business dreams further.
Sigrid started Small Business Training, which focussed on developing a detailed business plan. The eight-week training program included four weeks of online live training webinars and local Asuria Business Mentor support, coordinated by Asuria’s National Self-Employment Assistance Trainer and Assessor, Marloes.
Throughout the training, Sigrid learnt all aspects of creating a detailed business plan, from business structures, marketing, legal and compliance, business finances, risks, and goal setting.
"Starting a business can feel overwhelming and isolating, but having access to workshops, mentorship, and networking opportunities has provided me with the support I need to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.”
"This community has not only boosted my confidence but also provided me with the motivation to keep pushing forward, even when faced with obstacles. Being part of this network has truly been an invaluable resource that has helped me succeed in my entrepreneurial journey," said Sigrid.
Sigrid's confidence in her brand and business skills grew after completing her Small Business Training, allowing her to create Sowelu Studios which specialises in the intersection of healing, art, and poetry.
And if that wasn't impressive enough, whilst in the program, Sigrid released her second poetry book, 'Nectar flow', which on the 12th of January 2023, became a best seller in Australia’s Amazon's poetry category.
"Seeing my hard work and dedication pay off was an incredible feeling. I couldn't help but check my ranking on Amazon repeatedly, thrilled to see it climb higher and higher. It was a reminder that anything is possible with determination and persistence. Seeing my book succeed has given me the motivation to continue writing and pursuing my passion," said Sigrid.
Sigrid with her book, Nectar Flow.
Sigrid is now entering our 12-month Business Coaching phase of the Self-employment Assistance program, where Asuria Business Mentors will be right by Sigrid's side, offering business advice and support for the next year for Sigrid’s business, Sowelu Studios.
Looking to the future, Sigrid hopes to be a household name in the business of healing through art. Sigrid also wishes to donate a percentage of her book sales to the Black Dog Institute which helps thousands of Australians with mental illness annually.
"Asuria offered me the tools and resources I needed to take control of my business and make it thrive. With their guidance, I was able to develop a strategic plan that aligned with my vision and goals and implement it successfully. As a result, I now have a blooming business and a renewed sense of confidence in my abilities."
Speaking to Marloes, she says that Sigrid made the most of the program and that it’s been a pleasure to watch Sigrid grow.
“Sigrid is one of those delightful people who fully embraced the process. She took active part in the marketing research and strategy aspects which had an excellent and well-deserved result. I have every confidence that she will do very well as her business blossoms," said Marloes.
We are overjoyed to have supported Sigrid on her mission to heal others through her art, and we're proud to have worked with a businesswoman with intentions to make the world a better place. We look forward to continuing to provide Sigrid with any support she needs to reach her business dreams.
Asuria's decade-long delivery of the Self-Employment Assistance program (formerly New Business Assistance with NEIS program) has helped hundreds of people turn their passions into careers. If you have a business idea or an existing small business and would like to learn more about how our Business Mentors through the Self-Employment Assistance can help turn your business dreams into a reality, click here to learn more.