Business Profile: Serenity Sparks Joy

Name: Sharon Mc Nulty
Company: Serenity Sparks Joy
Facebook: serenitysparksjoy
Instagram: @serenitysparksjoy

Can you describe your business?

My name is Sharon Mc Nulty and I am the founder of Serenity Sparks Joy and the only KonMari Consultant in Northern Ireland. I trained under the Japanese tidying guru, Marie Kondo and I support clients to organise and streamline their homes and businesses.

Most of us have too much stuff and we don’t know where to start in order to reduce the amount. Clients tell me they spend precious time searching for items each day, their home never stays tidy or, they often re-buy what they already have. 

The KonMari method is different, the client will only ever have to tidy once in their lifetime. We tidy by category and not location and, we keep only those items that spark joy and discard the rest. 

As a result of KonMari, client’s businesses are streamlined leading to increased productivity; their homes filled only with items that spark joy and, they will have more time to enjoy with family and friends. 

Why did you start your own business?

When my children were young, I seemed to spend most of my time  tidying. I frequently felt exasperated and frustrated I would tidy my home and within short time it would be cluttered and would need tidied again. I would squeeze the laundry into full drawers but never had anything to wear. In 2014, I ordered Marie Kondo’s book “The life changing magic of tidying”. I read it the day it was delivered and started my KonMari journey the following day. It was life changing. As a result of the KonMari process Everything in my home now sparks joy. It is easy to keep tidy and, every item I love now has its place-it’s forever home. 

I helped friends and family KonMari their homes and could see the transformation it made to their lives too and, I loved it so much that I applied to become a consultant.

What are the best things about running your own business?

I am doing something I am passionate about and therefore enjoying every moment. The change it makes to clients is life-changing and the results are visible by the end of each session; I never tire of that “WOW” factor.  The nearest KonMari consultant is in Cork so I cover from Donegal and Northern Ireland down to Dublin and Galway and I get to enjoy beautiful scenery as I commute to work. 

What are the main challenges facing the business?

There have been two challenges for me; the first one has been social media. I am new to social media and set myself a 31 day challenge in August where I posted on facebook and instagram every day and explained step by step how to KonMari your home. My photos were cut in half or out of focus initially, it’s a steep learning curve and I’m learning to navigate it however I persevered and slowly but surely I’m getting there.

The second challenge I found was that initially few people knew what KonMari was and therefore didn’t know they needed the service. The KonMari concept has taken off in America and Europe but is quite new in Northern Ireland. Initially most of my interactions with people were explaining the process. However in January 2019, Netflix brought out a series, “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” and, from then my business gained momentum. With the result I have now a waiting list of clients. 

What advice would you give to someone starting a business?

1. Surround yourself with people who believe in your business as much as you do.

2. Find yourself a good mentor.

3. Enrol in a service that will support and advise you, “Women in Business” have been such a tremendous support to me. 

Can you describe your experience of running a business in three words or less?

EXCITING at the prospect  NERVE-RACKING at the thought of it and EMPOWERING as a result of it.