An entrepreneur from Berkhamsted has shared her journey to help inspire others to follow their dreams.
Katie Fuller, of Potten End, started her company, Tarn International Ltd, after leaving her job as a recruitment consultant at the end of last year.
The 27-year-old, who was born in Hemel Hempstead before living in France, hopes that her story will help others who are looking to branch away from corporate and have more independence and better return of investment for their work.
Katie said: “I was born in Hemel and we moved to the Tarn-Et-Garonne region of France when I was five, which is where my company name – Tarn International Ltd – originated from.
“We moved back to the UK when I was 10 due to my father going into business with my eldest sister who had also left the corporate firm she was working for at age 27 to trade independently.
“Even though we have been back in the UK 17 years, I still speak a good level of French which is a skill obtained from an experience I will value for the rest of my life.
“Tarn-Et-Garonne is a place very close to my heart and a trading name that would give me flexibility to widen my specialist areas of expertise in the future.
“My new search and selection business specialises in supply chain technology driven firms and freight forwarding internationally, with a strong network across the US, UK and EMEA regions.
“A large focus of my work is on digitally powered customs compliance software-as-a-service solutions which is a very current topic in supply chain right now.
“Throughout lockdown I focused my attention on any growing markets within my supply chain field and wanted to be one step ahead of the trend with Brexit looming on the horizon.
“I focused on the growth of my network around customs software-as-a-service based firms as I felt the future of customs would not be using the army of brokers that are being hired at present for customs declarations, the future will be in the cloud which will allow firms to do their own declarations instead of using a forwarder.
“I took the risk to leave my job as a recruitment consultant at the end of 2020 and step up Tarn International Ltd in the middle of the global pandemic, using any left-over savings to establish my new limited firm.
“These connections have resulted in a large amount of business interest due to my established connections and relationships that have grown rapidly in the customs market.
“The reason I set up the business was because I wanted to get more out of what I was already doing and be more accountable for my efforts I was putting into my everyday work.
“Recruitment is very fast paced and can be very lengthy hours, something working in this industry is renowned for but can also be very financially rewarding.
“I want to let people know that there are still markets that are busy, and although people are losing jobs, there is still room for markets to grow.
“I wanted to share some positive news.”
Katie, who went to Abbot’s Hill School in Hemel Hempstead, comes from a family of entrepreneurs, and says starting her own business was always the next logical step in her career.
She said: “I am the youngest of two elder sisters who are over 20 years my senior and both have their own firms.
“I felt I had finally found something I really excelled at and felt it was the right time to branch away and venture into the world of being independent.
“My parents Anne and David who are now retired, both owned their own successful businesses in the Hemel area.
“Running a business is something that has been in my blood my whole life and this is definitely the ideal timing to start a business around customs recruitment.
“In 2002, my father and my eldest sister founded what is now operating as one of the leading and longest standing UK based providers of PPE to the NHS from our plot of land in our office units in Potten End. The business has since moved up to the midlands with an established warehouse.
“I have been inspired by those closest to me to create a business that can help make a difference and scale a recruitment market that has so much development potential.”
Over the next five years Katie hopes to open an office and expand her business on a global level.
She said: “I am looking forward to driving my business to rapid growth throughout the next 5 years and hope to be a globally recognised search firm one day.
“I will always offer flexible remote working and feel it is very important to adapt to unprecedented conditions and cater for the needs of any future employees.
“Lockdown has shown me the future of working is most definitely remote, the best talent in the market can be found absolutely anywhere.
“I can’t predict what the future holds but I am ready to grasp this opportunity with both hands and make my new business the best success I can.”