Wanting a career which played to her strengths as a mum and businesswoman, Katie Vine took what many might deem as being a courageous step to becoming her own boss.
Running a new branch in Dartford, Kent, for global household appliance maker Vorwerk, Katie joined a brand which puts family first and develops passionate, hard-working and career-driven people.
Unveiling the branch in June 2017 also marked a milestone for Katie as it was the first full-time role she had taken on since taking a step away from working life to focus on raising her children.
Prior to Vorwerk, Katie, who is a qualified Dental Nurse and Oral Health Educator, worked in dental practices in Harley Street and Covent Garden until she had her first child.
For around 18 years, Katie also co-ran a successful building and maintenance company before spending time away so that she could concentrate on her children and getting back to enjoying her family life.
And now, whilst her partner Dean Cowell goes out into the field to demonstrate Vorwerk’s range of high-quality appliances as a Lead Sales Advisor, Katie gets to fulfil everything she has wanted in a career – being her own boss and still being able to take care of her children. The couple have six children between them, aged 12-24.
“I love being in a business setting, and running my own branch is something I’ve always wanted to do – and it’s even better that I get to do so alongside my partner. I love that the flexibility of the job allows us to still be around for our children too because that was such an important factor in me joining Vorwerk,” said Katie, of Gravesend, Kent.
“I decided in 2017 that it was the right time to build a career for myself and help provide for my children better than I could before. It also helped me to regain some identity and I now love my job – it’s given me another lease of life and I’m able to offer my children so much because there’s the time and flexibility in my work to do so.
“My role is generally a 9-5 one where I’m in-and-around the office in Dartford. I often take part in company events and promotional and marketing exercises in other locations too so it’s really varied and very interesting.
“Being back in the work place has helped my confidence and given me a sense of freedom to pave a new path for myself and my family.”
Katie has ambitious plans of creating new Sales Advisor roles and Team Manager roles for local people across the South East with Vorwerk – particularly focusing on people who want to sustain a work-life balance and that are keen to be their own boss and organise their diaries to enjoy the flexibility that direct selling offers.
“We’re really passionate about creating new roles in the region and, with a company like Vorwerk, it means people of all ages and all communities can join us on a full or part-time basis,” said Katie.
“We have numerous roles available for motivated individuals. You could be a full-time mum and looking to get back into work, like I did, or you could be someone craving career progression and the opportunities to work for yourself with training every step of the way. And it is completely free to start.
“With Vorwerk, the hours are flexible, sales advisors get to meet people as much as possible, and they can even do their role to support their regular incomes.
“We had a lot of interest in the area to join us and have advisors on-board from Gravesend, Maidstone, Croydon, North, South and East London, and Royal Tunbridge Wells, so we’ve been really excited about that because it’s giving something back to those areas and helping the local economy.
“We would love more advisors to join us too – it really does suit passionate people from working parents to people wanting to be their own bosses.”
The signature product Vorwerk UK’s sales advisors demonstrate is the Kobold VK200 Ultimate Homecare System – an upright vacuum cleaner that mops and vacuums at the same time and tackles any flooring to cut cleaning time in half.
Other popular products from Vorwerk includes the VR200 Robot Vacuum Cleaner which operates via an app, the VC100 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner that is perfect for pet hair and car interior cleaning and the VG100 Window Cleaner which wets and cleans windows and glass surfaces in one swipe.
Combining German engineering, expertise, and ingenuity, Vorwerk has the products needed to keep the modern home clean, hygienic, and ready for everything that life throws at it. Already found in millions of European homes, its lead vacuum cleaner, the Kobold VK200, is a high-tech solution to deep-clean carpets, hard floors, upholstery, and mattresses.
“The Kobold VK200 really is in a class of its own, we are always happy to showcase the benefits of owning a Kobold in comparison to other brands, by allowing customers to personally test-drive the machine in their own homes, with one of our expert advisors,” added Katie.
“Our motto is ‘Seeing is Believing’ because we don’t expect you to just take our word for it.
“We want Vorwerk to become an established brand in Kent and the surrounding areas. We want people across the South East to join us on our mission and create a real working hub of driven, charismatic and hard-working people.
“I really do understand the dilemmas of being a woman looking to either change her career path, or of parents wanting something they can not only fit in around family commitments, but also really enjoy doing.
“The flexibility of working for Vorwerk allows for reassurance that you can do both – maintain a healthy home life whilst still enjoy and thrive in your work.
“You’re also not on your own with Vorwerk, you’re very much part of the team so you attend branch meetings and training sessions from time to give you a sense of belonging and a sense of identity outside of the home.”
Vorwerk & Co. KG was founded in Wuppertal in 1883. During the course of its 130-year history, the company, originally a carpet manufacturer, has grown into a highly diversified, global corporate group. Vorwerk nevertheless remains a family enterprise to this day.
Since 1930, Vorwerk’s core business has been the direct selling of high-quality products. The Vorwerk product range includes household appliances (the Kobold vacuum cleaner and the Thermomix kitchen appliance) and the first-class JAFRA cosmetics. The akf banking group, the Vorwerk carpet factories and the HECTAS Group as an associate company all belong to the Vorwerk entrepreneurial family. Superior products and a special customer approach are something all divisions have in common, and what makes Vorwerk so special.
Vorwerk provides jobs for 622,000 people worldwide, of whom 40,000 work as sales advisors and representatives in the household appliances segment, 570,000 as JAFRA Cosmetics consultants, and 12,545 as employees. Vorwerk generated a business volume totalling more than 3.1 billion euros in 2013 and operates in 70 countries.
Vorwerk products have been available in the UK market during the last 30 years.