Not many careers take you from Buckingham Palace to Oughterside, near Aspatria, but Tracey Lindsay’s has.
She worked in construction, facilities management and health and safety including five years at Buckingham Palace, seven years at Kew Gardens and three years in Qatar where she ran audits on the living conditions of migrant workers building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup.
Then she embarked on a complete change.
“When we came back to the UK we decided to relocate to Cumbria, which is where my husband is from,” Tracey explained.
“I wanted to have a go at working for myself. I’m 50 this year and thought, if I don’t do it now I never will. After my experience in Qatar, I wanted to do something to support people and make them feel better.”
She trained as a clinical aromatherapist with Neal’s Yard for two years with a view to starting her own business working from home.
One of her fellow trainees advised her to contact her local Chamber of Commerce, which she did, and was enrolled on Cumbria Business Growth Hub’s Business Start-up Support scheme.
This provides free support to people starting a business and those in the crucial first three years of trading.
Tracey received one-to-one advice from Growth Hub adviser Phil Guest, completed a three-day course covering the basics of running a business and a workshop on managing customer expectations.
She said: “When you start a business you have to be an expert on everything and I didn’t have a clue. You don’t know what you don’t know.
“The support from the Growth Hub has been totally invaluable. Without it, I couldn’t have got to where I am now.”
She was full of praise for her Growth Hub adviser.
“Phil was brilliant,” Tracey said. “He was patient and kind. He didn’t tell me what to do but he gave me strong pointers.”
She launched Manor Barn Organics in September 2019.
The business offers aromatherapy treatments and runs practical workshops around aromatherapy and wellness.
Tracey said: “In the workshops we go through exercises where the participants smell aromas and talk about how it makes them feel.
“I love to see that reaction from people. I can rave about essential oils until the end of time but nothing beats the experience of using them.”
A range of handmade products – to include three types of bath salts and four inhaler sticks – was due for launch as this article went to press.
Tracey added: “It’s early days and definitely a case of let’s see how it goes. I’m prepared for the business to grow organically.
“I’m at the point where I’m just starting to get my name out there – I’ve had three new clients in the last week.”
To find out how Cumbria Business Growth Hub can help you start in business, visit the Growth Hub website or call us on 0844 257 84 50.
The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Sellafield Ltd., Carlisle City Council, South Lakeland District Council, Penrith Industrial BID and Cumbria LEP. The BSUS project is receiving up to £1,112,686 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information, click here.