15th May 2013

Graduate Joana Teixeira: the best way to find work after university

by Chenge Dziya

In tough economic times where jobs are few and far between, graduate Joana Teixeira has found a way to use her degree by starting up her own public relations company.

Miss Teixeira attended Birmingham City University where she graduated in 2012 with a second class in the 1st division. Since then she has gone on to establish her business, called ShoutOutPR. Joana also sings and writes music.

Graduation 2012
Graduation 2012

Polka Dots and Potions sat down with Joana, and this what she had say.

PP: I understand you did a degree in Psychology, what made you make the change to Public Relations?

JT: It’s what I’ve actually studied; my degree was in Business Psychology and public Relations.

PP: Where did the idea to start a PR company come from?

After graduating, I found that this job is very competitive, and very hard to get into so my colleague and I, who also studied the same subject at my university, decided to build our own company and see where it would get us, and so far so good. the best way to find work, it to make work


PP: From all the business ventures out there, what made you choose to go into PR?

The money! No I’m only joking. Well for me it’s just the fact that it makes you meet so many different people and have so much responsibility. I love being busy and being overloaded with work.

PP: How are you marketing yourself?

At The Office
At The Office

I’ve mainly been promoting myself and my business via social media, it really helps because I’m not limiting myself – there are companies up and down the country that I’ve managed to get in touch with through the use of social media. I’ve also been out pitching to new or existent clients and also sending out our Press releases and Press Kits to Newspapers amongst others.

PP: What sort of people do you represent?

At the moment because we’ve just started we are representing music artists and small local businesses, In the future our ultimate goal is to work with bigger agencies and organisations.

PP: I understand you’re doing music as well can you tell me a bit about that?


Well music is my passion; it brings out the best of me I get to express all my emotions and feelings. At the moment it’s only a part time hobby. I’m trying to keep focused on the business because PR already takes a lot of my time.

Writing Music
Writing Music

PP: how do you balance the music and the business side?

I only go to the studio and record when I can or on my days off. Most of my time goes to PR.

PP: is the music side of things your hobby or do you view it as work?

I would love it to become more than a hobby as music is my passion. But in this world you can’t have it all and so right now the best decision for me is to develop my business and make it grow. We never know though, maybe in future.

PP: would you say it’s hard for graduates to find jobs?


Yes. The percentage of the graduates who are out of work or trying to find work steadily increasing, quite a few of my colleagues are struggling for work. This is actually the main reason why I thought building up my own company would be more beneficial to me than spending months or even years looking for a job that would suit me. My advice towards this matter for anybody is to look for something before you graduate so at least you’ve got the experience and can carry on with it after graduating.

PP: what advice would you give to young people who have just finished university and want to start a business of their own?

If you put your mind to it then the reward will be amazing. Not only would you make your loved ones proud, it may demonstrate to future employers if you decide to go back to look for work that you have initiative and drive. It will also show you that you are an organised, responsible and capable inidividual.

Read more stories from Chenge here.

7th May 2013

Lisa Hempstock; home-grown designer fashion label ‘Sister,’ charity fashion shows and online global market

Sister boutique on Ecclesshall road in Sheffield

Sister boutique on Ecclesshall road in Sheffield

Lisa Hempstock at her Sheffield store

Lisa Hempstock at her Sheffield store

Lisa Hempstock started as a teen business woman specialising in lingerie and is now a leading fashion entrepreneur for designer clothes with an upcoming charity fashion show. Lisa owns boutiques; ‘Sister’ for ladies designer fashion in Sheffield and Chesterfield and she has built a worldwide customer network through her online retail business. The inspiration for Lisa to own a business spurred from her father’s business. Lisa explained; “I’ve always had a passion to be self-employed and my father had a business in machine and engineering which was seen as a man’s world, so I was not allowed to join it.” Lisa first took to the fashion industry when she decided to set up a brand and build a career rather than undertaking job roles in other people’s companies. Lisa said; “Whilst I worked for others, I put in a lot of hours and always gave 200%. So one day I thought why don’t I put all this effort into something for myself and I have always had a passion for fashion.” Her first trademark in the fashion world was through a lingerie store; ‘Caress’ in Sheffield’s city centre in the 1980s. She sold creative underwear to “fill the gap in the market because M&S started had taken ‘knickerbocker’ concept but it was nothing as creative as people wanted.”‘Caress’ developed into ‘Sister’ when Lisa decided to specifically target professional clientele. Lisa said; “I cater for those who understand good quality clothing.”

Model showing Lisa's latest collection

Model showing Lisa’s latest collection

However just before the first store opening Lisa fell severely ill and ended up in hospital. With the help of her family the store saw its re-launch and is now a popular brand across South Yorkshire. Lisa explains that a successful fashion business should be customer orientated; “we will wrap a £25 tunic in the same nice tissue paper as a £200 dress, because good customer experiences are important to a healthy business.” Locations of fashion businesses are important in its success and Lisa is hoping to branch out her business in southern areas. Lisa added; “ I would love to have a shop further down south because I feel there are more opportunities for new businesses there.” Further Lisa’s recent uptake on the e-business industry through ‘Sister Online’ was a successful move. She explained; “It had a positive effect and it has reached people globally as well as brought people into the store. I should have done it time ago.”

Lisa's fashion leaflet

Lisa’s fashion leaflet

Lisa also established that fashion shows advertising her products are a key marketing device. Her most recent one, held in-store at Sister on Ecclesshall Road, modelled Lisa’s collections and customers were able to purchase items at the end of each show. Lisa said; “I wanted to do a fashion show in-store so people can come in, have a glass of wine, enjoy the show and then are drawn to buying our clothes.” This show is a taster of the big event happening in Chesterfield on Thursday 16th May and all of the proceedings from this, Lisa is donating to the Ash-Gate charity. If you are interested in attending the event, check out Sister’s page for further information.

Check out Lisa’s fashion show exclusively here:


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