Business owner says 'take the leap' on International Women's Day

Media Shed founder Holly Jean

Media Shed founder Holly Jean - Credit: HOLLY JEAN

A Cambridgeshire entrepreneur who set up her own digital marketing company at just 18-years-old is encouraging other women with a business idea to "take the leap".

Holly Jean, now 21 and of Chatteris, started her digital marketing company Media Shed in 2018, having learned about the worlds of design and marketing from the age of 16.

"When I left school I tried to work for other people and I struggled," she recalls. "I always found myself looking for more and have always dreamed of working for myself."

"I wanted to take the leap and work for myself fully," she added, having also juggled being a barmaid and editor of a local magazine company at the same time.

"And after a while, I did take that leap, believed in myself and started my own business after building up my experience in design."

Originally, she set up 'Holly Jean Designs' but "realised my name kind of sucked".

Inspiration for a brand change came naturally, she remembers.

"I was initially working from a gorgeous shed in my garden... hence the re-brand to Media Shed." 

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Fast forward to 2022 and the business has "gone from strength to strength", with Holly and her team - which also includes two "brilliant" employees - working with clients from all around the world.

As the managing director and head designer at Media Shed Design & Print Ltd, she says she has "an amazing support system around me who help in the day to day running of Media Shed". 

To mark International Women's Day, she wants to encourage other women to follow their passion, too. 

"I think being a woman in business is very similar to being a man in business, as long as you treat it that way," she said. 

"Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times where I’ve been treated differently to how a man may be treated in the business world.

"But if you as a female entrepreneur see yourself on the same level as a male entrepreneur, you’ll set that level and people will see you the same. 

"When you’re confident in yourself, people become confident in you."

And her message to other women looking to start their own business? "100% do it! Take the leap and believe in yourself. 

"There will never be a ‘right time’ to start, so wake up and start! 

“You don’t need to have all the answers to start, you just have to be willing to take the first step.”