Today exactly one year ago to the date Positive Parties delivered its very first Positive Party to Derry’s very own Pink Ladies Breast Cancer Support Group, based at Boyside & Brandywell Health Forum. What was only an idea, which was CONCEIVED 9 months earlier on the 18thAugust 2009 was now a reality and happening and was BORN on the 25th May 2010!
For Founder Denise Devlin the past 21 months have been very exciting, at times scary, challenging and overwhelming but there is always the trust that everything is happening in perfect timing.
Denise relflects…‘The idea to form Positive Parties came to me on the evening of the 18thAugust 2009. I was talking to my best friends cousin and she was asking me about my work as a Life Coach. She was curious about the “I believe in me” workshops I was delivering to organizations such as Sure Start and Women’s Centre’s and she asked if I did home parties. I replied no but that I had been asked about them and it was something that I was thinking about developing. Alanda replied, “well I work in hairdressing and woman are always asking me if I‘ll do home hairdressing parties.” “Yes, I could offer life coaching parties” I said. And then honestly, this idea just popped into my head and I added “I‘d call them Positive Parties.” Where the idea came from? …… My only answer to that is Divine inspiration.
Once the seed had been planted I was so excited and passionate about this idea. I truly believe that we are sent signs throughout our lives to tell us when we are on the right path and I have had so many for Positive Parties. The first big one for me was just a week later. Firstly let me take you back. In my twenties, I am now 44, I remember Maeve Binchey being interviewed on tv and she said “I really found my life purpose when I was 43 thats when I wrote ‘Light a Penny Candle’ and my life changed forever.” I said to myself that day, “I have a feelingI am going to be like Maeve Binchey and find my life purpose when I’m 43.” I forgot all about that until an email came in from Women In Enterprise (WIE) inviting people with new and innovative business ideas to put in an application forfunding and support to invest NI’s programme ‘Propel. The closing date for this was the 18th Sept, my 43rd birthday!
I applied to Propel and although the funders liked my idea, it was at such a concept stage and they had to go with applicants who were really ready to export and whose businesses had been running for a while. This didn’t put me off, I went to North West marketing took part in the business start upcourse and my next step was to buy the website which I did in the November.
On the 11thMay 2010 I applied to the Intellectual Property Office to trade mark the name and I announced publicly at the WIE May event that I would be working on my marketing strategy over the summer and have my, brand, website and publicity material ready by the autumn.
It here I want to mention WIE (Women In Enterprise) who help and support women in the North West who are in business or who are just thinking about it. I joined as a member in May 2008 and the committee in Sept 2009 and it has been one of the best things I ever did. I couldn’t have done this without the support, advice and genuine encouragement and enthusiasm of the other members. Being self employed can be so lonely so with these other women with more experience and different skills to offer new members it is priceless plus the networking opportunities are excellent.
Meanwhile I delivered my very first Positive Party to The Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum’s Pink Ladies on the 25th May 2010. The Development Worker Karen Mullen who give me the go ahead to pilot with them, guess when her birthday is, the 18thAugust (The date I got the idea!). No coincidence, just another sign.’
So one year on, but the official 1st birthday of Positive Parties is on the 22nd October 2011 as the website was launched in the Derry City of Culture office on that date. With numerous Parties ‘under our belt’ now to businesses, schools, organisations and homes in counties Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh the summer and autumn indicates Parties happening in Belfast, Dublin and Scotland. And of course the vision is to franchise the Positive Parties brand/service to other Life Coaches and NLP Practitioner when we are good and ready. Easy does it!!