Virtual assistant Kelly Cairns is a real-life winner.
Kelly, 36, from Ryhope, has been running her own business, KC Virtual Solutions, since 2007.
I cannot believe I have won – I am so proud of my achievements. I get to run a business that I love and help so many businesses all over the world. I couldn’t have dreamed for anything more … I am excited about what the future brings and already have lots of big plans.Kelly Cairns
Now she been crowned the Virtual Assistant of the Year in the North East, after twice being named runner-up, and will head to London in the autumn to contest the title of VA of the Year for the UK in the national finals.
Kelly started her business by accident while bored on maternity leave.
Looking to make the most of her skills, she soon found herself working as a successful virtual assistant from her dining room table and providing services to businesses globally.
She has built up her client list despite being a mum to two young boys - one of whom has autism - and suffering from postnatal depression in the early days of the business.
“When I returned to work after having my first son, I found the stress of finding financially-viable childcare almost too much to bear,” she said.
“This time around, I decided that I wanted to really take control of my life and find something I could do at home, utilising all the talents I’ve developed over the years.
“Being a Virtual Assistant is perfect – in my time working for the NHS, various Housing Associations and a number of small businesses, I’ve honed my administrative skills to a high standard and now have the confidence to deliver high quality results to businesses of all sizes.
“I cannot believe I have won – I am so proud of my achievements. I get to run a business that I love and help so many businesses all over the world.
“I couldn’t have dreamed for anything more … I am excited about what the future brings and already have lots of big plans.”
A spokesman for award organiser Be My VA said: “Kelly’s qualities centre around how she puts clients at the centre of everything she does. She adds value with a wide range of skills and knowledge.”