Story by Chloe Smee

Budding entrepreneurs around the country are queuing up to join the Jamie at Home team as consultants and hosts. Whether they’re mums looking for a business opportunity where they can earn a good income and work around the children, people who need an extra income to supplement an existing job, or just those who are passionate about lovely products, the Jamie at Home business opportunity is open to everyone. Since Jamie at Home launched in March 2009, more than 2,400 Consultants around the UK have signed up to sell the stylish and exclusive range of Jme homeware products.

When 41 year old Donna Coleman took the plunge and joined Jamie at Home in July 2009, little did she realise how much it would change her life. Thanks to the support and encouragement she received from her family and friends, Jamie at Home has helped Donna regain her confidence and independence. Donna shares her incredible and inspirational story of how, after several difficult years, she has managed to turn her life around.

“It was the late 80s soon after my son was born and I’d returned to work at a local banking company, when I found out I had cervical cancer. I was later made redundant. Added to this my husband lost his job, the interest rates went through the roof, and so we had to move out of the area after losing our home. We moved to Northamptonshire to rebuild our lives. It was a tough time and the impact of all this unhinged me a great deal but I pulled myself back together and my daughter was born a couple of years later. To make ends meet I began working opposing shifts to my husband in a local business, but then came the next hit. My son contracted chickenpox, gave it to me and my daughter, one of the side effects meant I was left deaf in one ear, having permanent tinnitus. This caused me to start losing my balance and passing out at work and I started getting panic attacks too.

Within a short period of time I became a recluse, tied to the home. My husband was very understanding and spent years trying to get me out. Just a visit to the shops would have me nervously clutching to him. The slightest things could set me off – escalators, crowds even air-conditioning in a shop. Years passed and I became determined to make an effort to rebuild my confidence. With the help of a friend I started going to Weight Watchers and made new friends and lost over 50 pounds in weight.

One of these friends, Chantelle, invited me to a Jamie at Home Party in July last year. Both my husband and I have always been massive fans of Jamie Oliver. The Consultant at the Party noticed my Jamie enthusiasm and convinced me to have a party myself; she thought that I would make a good consultant. I was both thrilled and very, very nervous of the idea. At my party she continued with the pressure, the seed was planted and with my husband's encouragement I agreed.

My first parties turned me into a nervous wreck! But I felt supported with a great circle of family and friends behind me all the way. I have slowly widened my circle and while I still get nervous in new groups, my enthusiasm for Jamie and the great products carry me through.

My husband always says a belief in what you sell is the most important tool for selling, I now know this to be true. The little achievements I have made are so important to me, hitting targets and reaching goals all drive me on.

I believe that Jamie at Home has pulled me from that dark place I was in, and of course I could never have done it without the support of my husband, children, friends and the Jamie at Home staff. I doubt if anything else other than this magical combination could have had the same affect on me.”

About the author: Chloe Smee is the Communications Assistant for Jamie at Home.

If you’ve been inspired by Donna’s story, please call 0844 871 2010 or visit the Jamie at Home website for more information.