Susan opts for a colourful career

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A CITY of Sunderland College employee has discovered an enterprising way to colour her weekends – painting the faces of youngsters at parties and local events.

Susan Myers, who is from Sunderland, decided she may be able to generate extra income after taking her granddaughter to a birthday party in 2009, and being asked to assist a face-painter.

Realising she had a flair for the art, she trained in face painting, with a view to starting a party-based business which would fit in around her primary role at college, as the majority of work would be conducted on weekends.

“I met the North East Business and Innovation Centre’s enterprise talent scout Neil Price at college,” said Susan.

“After telling him about my idea he really helped by encouraging me to attend various courses that are available through the BIC to help and encourage people to set up businesses.”

Susan was assisted by Neil, who works with people in communities across Wearside to encourage grass-roots enterprise, in developing her business plan and applying for financial assistance.

She launched Princess and Dragon Facepainting last year after confirming her first booking for a celebration day at a local primary school.

Since then the business has gone from strength to strength, with Susan’s services being brought in for family and corporate events for Sunderland City Council and other clients.

Susan’s success was proof that running a business did not have to be an all-consuming activity, said Neil.

“People often make the mistake of thinking that if you set up in business, you have to leave your job,” he said.

A successful idea was one which suited the person involved, no matter how much or how little time they wanted to devote.

“The reality is that we work with many people like Susan, who run great small businesses without any problems around their full or part time employment.

“Princess and Dragon Facepainting is a great example of a business where the owner is totally aware of how the enterprise will run and succeed.

“All they need is the right kind of encouragement and coaching. It’s been fantastic to have helped her along on this journey,” said Neil.