Back yourself, business owner says

Georgia O'Malley, Phoebe Begg and Caoimhe Finn work out at Barre Base in Crawford St. PHOTO:...
Georgia O'Malley, Phoebe Begg and Caoimhe Finn work out at Barre Base in Crawford St. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Rosa Anderson-Jones has a message for other budding entrepreneurs - just do it.

Age was not a barrier and so many things could be learned as you went, the University of Otago graduate, who started a fitness business at 21, said.

Barre Base was initially based in old church halls, which were rented, and university spaces. The recent move into Victoria Chambers in Crawford St, amid Dunedin's warehouse precinct, was a "huge shift" and testament to the hard work involved, she said.

Rosa Anderson-Jones
Rosa Anderson-Jones
Miss Anderson-Jones (25) graduated in 2014, having studied film and media and communications and Maori and indigenous studies.

Keen to stay in the city, she applied for various jobs but had no luck, as she had no experience, she said.

Encouraged by her partner to create a business that utilised her skills, she started Barre Base with a business partner whom she had since bought out.

"I am hugely passionate about Dunedin's future and would love to see other young entrepreneurs have the confidence to back themselves in business," she said.

She felt extremely lucky to be based in one of Dunedin's historic buildings. It was great to see Dunedin being transformed and having life injected back into what had been a neglected part of town, she said.

Victoria Chambers had been restored to its original Art Deco state and landlord Ted Daniels was a strong supporter of young entrepreneurs in the city.

"I would love to see more young people in business. We need more people like them, they are our future," he said.

Miss Anderson-Jones said moving into the area had been "just the ticket" to help the business grow.

"We've had an overwhelmingly positive response about our new location, with clients excited to sneak in classes before work and at lunch-time. We're looking forward to creating more classes to cater to people who work close by," she said.

The business was "humming" and the model could be replicated in other areas.

Dunedin's size meant it was an "amazing" place to be a young person in business and there were many people who were willing to help.

As well as having her own business, Miss Anderson-Jones also worked for local tech company TracPlus.

She was fortunate to have a good manager, Caoimhe Finn, at Barre Base, who was keen to do something similar when she returned to Ireland, so it was the perfect opportunity for her to learn.

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