Hornchurch mum-of-two, 37, launches PR firm Just Jenny
Life’s beautiful for the Hornchurch mum-of-two who’s launched her own marketing business – but it’s been far from smooth sailing.
Jenny Townsend, 37, saw her firm Just Jenny Marketing and PR go live this week, after months of doing “favours for favours” to get her name known.
“I was made redundant while I was pregnant with my second baby and on maternity leave – that really knocked me sideways,” said Jenny.
“After my baby was born he was pretty ill. That sent me into a really bad depression and it just went on and on.
“So I decided to do something by myself to get out of a rut.”
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In October last year, Jenny began offering her services as a model to beauty students and trainees.
In the process, she picked up free or discounted makeup, haircuts, botox, manicures and eyelash extensions as payment.
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Then, as a hobby, she decided to blog on the treatment she was getting – but Jenny quickly found people were offering her more than just cosmetics for her work.
“I was getting all sorts of ‘favours for favours’,” she said. “I blog on the children’s entertainer Captain Fantastic, and they give me free shows for my kids.
“I thought: ‘I could do something with this.’”
Jenny enlisted the skills of friend Ruth Mills of Megtek, who designs websites for beauty salons, to help her turn blogging into business.
And this week Just Jenny launched with a contract signed by clothing company Essexy.
The business model is simple – Jenny uses social media and free ad sites to drum up interest in her clients. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
“It’s all based on hard graft and talent,” said Jenny.
“I put in so many hours of my own time. It’s hard work but if you put the effort in you get results.”
For Jenny, who has two young children and suffered a back injury during childbirth, working from home is ideal.
“It balances,” she said. “I can just sit at home and do it.”
As well as Essexy, Jenny’s first clients include Schmooze Events and hair firm Millionhaire.
So does the new entrepreneur have any tips for people like her considering stepping out on their own?
“The first thing you have to do is work really hard,” she said. “Focus on getting your reputation out there.
“Don’t worry about the money until later on.”