After 23 years of retirement a Snitterby woman has launched a new business at the age of 79

Avril Parsons

Avril Parsons

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After 23 years of retirement, Avril Parsons from Snitterby, launched her own business at the age of 79.

JAK Silks was launched in 2015 following a visit to India at the end of 2014.

Avril is on of three business partners alongside Joy and Karen, which is where the JAK comes from as it is all their initials.

Avril said: “The inspiration for JAK Silks was a luxurious silk scarf given to me by Joy, my friend and now business partner, on her return from a trip to India a couple of years ago.

“So many people admired the scarf, which we couldn’t find in the UK, and this gave us the kernel of an idea.

“Could we start a business selling high quality silk scarves at affordable prices?

“We went to India where we did in fact find some suppliers of the very scarves we had dreamed of, and better.

“This convinced us that we should launch our business.”

Avril has never been afraid of new challenges. Widowed at the age of 29 she had to provide for her two young children.

Alongside a full time job as a personal assistant she studied part time for more than five years at the University of Leeds.

A degree in Business Administration and postgraduate diploma in Marketing led to a new career in marketing.

She said: “Following the death of my first husband I was faced with the challenge of bringing up and providing for my children on my own.

“That was the main impetus for my career change. This time it’s very different, it was my choice to take on the challenge.”

Avril turns 80-years-old on April 3, and helieves it is never too late to become an entrepreneur.

She said: “Launching this new business in my eightieth year has brought an added buzz to my life.

“I’m thrilled to be in this exciting and challenging position at my time of life.

“Not only have I been able to use my marketing skills I’ve also acquired new skills, including IT.”

Avril said one of the challenges of her new venture is having the energy she needs.

She said: “I need to muster plenty of both physical and mental energy to fulfil my responsibilities.”

She said other challenges are staying positive, which she said was so important in the early stages of a new business, getting potential customers to know about their professional website and also developing her basic IT skills and learning about social media.

Avril said: “Launching this new business in my eightieth year, after 23 years of retirement, has brought an added buzz to my life.

“I’m thrilled to be in this exciting and challenging position at my time of life.”

Avrial said other rewards have been being able to use her marketing skills again, reading the excellent reviews concerning their products and customer service and the excitement they felt when they started to make sales.

Avril said: “I have never been one to sit around, so when this opportunity presented itself I jumped at it with great enthusiasm and thought it’s about time I got the old grey matter going again.”

Looking to the future Avril says her ambition is to stay healthy and to see JAK Silks become recognised as a national brand over the next decade, and then to become recognised internationally before she reaches 100-years-old.

Avril said: “I just love working among these luxurious scarves that can change a woman’s look from ordinary to glamorous.

“JAK Silks is here to stay.”

In her spare time Avril loves love gardening, going to classical music concerts, opera and speedway racing. She also plays bridge which is where she met her business partners, Joy and Karen.

For more information about JAK Silks visit their website, www.jaksilks.co.uk, or you can follow them on Facebook.