It’s hard to believe Stella Kassiotes started her successful catering business from nothing only a few short years ago.
She had escaped an abusive relationship with only her daughter, had no money in the bank and was facing the prospect of joining the unemployment queue.
But she had an idea for a business and the passion to bring it about.
While the level of unemployment in Mandurah has been making headlines, there are still many entrepreneurs willing to take the risks and reap the rewards of starting their own businesses.
“Yes, there is unemployment but there is also a choice; there are lots of things here that people are not seeing, absolutely amazing opportunities if people open their eyes,” Ms Kassiotes said.
Trust me, there are days when I still have to pull myself out of it, but you make the best of what you've got and then you work from there.Stella Kassiotes
She joined a free entrepreneurial education program run by the City of Mandurah called Mumpreneurs, which is designed for mothers who want to start their own businesses.
The decision to start her own business was simple, she said.
“I'm a single mum and there's no way I wanted to not see my daughter, and I'm an older mum and I tried to use the things I have and that is trying to make people comfortable and happy,” she said.
“If you have something but you're not sure, then go with your gut and your passion and it just rides from there.”
Ms Kassiotes started Stella’s Boutique Events & Katering, which caters for events, including pop-up parties she has put together for people on their front lawns and at the beach.
She said her life is much happier “creating a vibe” for her customers than turning up to an ordinary job every day.
“I can totally get it if you're in a rut, I've been there, but there was only one choice for me personally,” she said.
“But I want a happy life, so I made a conscious decision to make the happy, inside and out, and people want to be around you.”
The City of Mandurah runs a number of business training and support courses in addition to Mumpreneurs, which begins again in the new year.
For more information call 9550 3946.