Finding purpose

Ex-BresicWhitney staff bringing Sydney homes to life with music, styling and flowers

Much is said about organisational culture these days. More and more, the clock-in clock-out approach is falling by the wayside. People are seeking more purpose in their careers and seeking to align their values with the organisations for which they work.

For contemporary businesses, this means holding a greater purpose beyond profit. It’s about understanding the human needs of staff and meeting them on this level.

At BresicWhitney we’re proud to be able to celebrate three new start-ups that we have fostered within our ranks. Created by three highly inspired ex-employees, each new business working in flowers, music and interiors, shares values in common with BresicWhitney. Each business takes its service deep into the homes of Sydney-siders – and plays a role in bringing Sydney homes to life. That’s why we’re thrilled to share their latest ventures and wish them well in the next stage of their careers. Let’s meet three business owners who are continuing to bring the homes of Sydney-siders to life.

Meet Jen Brown, once a Receptionist in Darlinghurst and now an interior stylist and co-owner of the Vignette Room

The Vignette Room is Jen Brown’s new homewares store on Gurner Street in Paddington. Curated by the mother–daughter team of Tracey and Jen Brown, the eclectic showroom combines vintage and new pieces, with fabulous statement furniture and bold textiles. It will also move into home styling in the near future.

“The concept for The Vignette Room had been something I had been tossing about with my mum for about 3 years, the last 6 months of my employment with BresicWhitney I dropped down to part time work in order to start pursuing further studies and starting the business.”

“We’d spent about 12 months searching for the perfect premise for the shop, so when we decided on our current location in Paddington, that was the moment it all became real for me. Being a receptionist on the front line at BW taught me a lot about how to understand people and their pain points. It taught me how to listen, accommodate and come up with solutions. I think the main thing I can take away from BW is being confident in pushing the boundaries in what’s already pretty well explored territory.”

“An average day now sees me fulfilling online orders in the morning, followed by emails, stock reordering, moving displays, assisting customers, social media updates/content creation and dusting, dusting, dusting. That’s the thing about running your own business is that you become an expert in many things. I’m a window cleaner, social media guru, accountant, product photographer, gardener, Photoshop master, Bunnings VIP member and I’ve achieved expert level in Tetris trying to store excess boxes! The Vignette Room opened in March and has plans to move into offering in home styling services. So hopefully the relationship between BresicWhitney and The Vignette Room will continue to grow.”

Kieran Birchall was once Property Manager in Darlinghurst, now Creative Director at MyFlowerMan

MyFlowerMan is a Chippendale based flower studio owned and operated by Kieran Birchall. Not so long ago Birchall was wielding sets of keys and leases rather than Australian natives and florist wire. Today he creates artistic arrangements and floral styling for homes, weddings and events.

“I started MyFlowerMan as a side hobby really whilst working for BresicWhitney, when it was starting to gain some traction I felt it was time to take a risk and to see if I could make something of it. MyFlowerMan has only been running for just over a year, so over the next year I will continue to build it up and explore where I would like to take it next. But for now, I’m really happy with how it’s going.”

“I had never really thought about doing flowers. It wasn’t until a friend I worked with at BresicWhitney took me to the flower markets one day that I even realised that doing something like that was possible. I learnt heaps at BresicWhitney, but I decided that doing something more creative and hands-on was better suited to me.”

James Speer, once upon a time in property sales at BresicWhitney Balmain is now a music teacher

Owning and operating the James Speer School of Music has always been a long term dream. As an ex-sales agent in Balmain, James is going back to his roots in 2015 by returning to teach violin to young students.

As the son of a violin teacher, he has long dreamt of a life immersed in music. Now he is starting his own small business to give the gift of music to others.

“I teach violin to children and dream of one day opening a music school. I have been playing violin since I was a kid. At BresicWhitney I learned a lot about life. I learned to question everything in front of me. But after 10 years in real estate, I decided I wasn’t getting the same back out of the amount of energy I was putting in. These days my life as a music teacher runs at a much slower than the life of a real estate agent, I go to the gym, practice at home and then teach in the afternoons. It’s great.”

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