Meet Vera who runs a hamper and cleaning business. – Celebrate Living History

Meet Vera who runs a hamper and cleaning business.

We are on the quest to interview business owners over the age of 60. This week we visit Perth Australia and chat with Vera Ensor who is founder of Grazie Gift Hampers and Grazie Commercial Cleaning


Can you tell me a little bit about your business and what you do?

I have two businesses
Grazie Gift Hampers is the business I love, every day feels like Christmas. The focus is on SME’s and I conduct the business with a consultative approach keeping our work very personal. Grazie Gift Hampers is predominately gourmet food and wine hampers plus made to order individual gifts. We provide face to face deliveries in Perth Metro area as a point of difference.
Grazie Commercial Cleaning, this was started as a necessity after being made redundant a couple of times. I do 80 percent of the cleaning myself – early mornings and a few evenings.  This business gives me a steady income.
What motivates you to keep working after 60?
I actually don’t think much about my age, I just get up and do what I need to do. I probably pack to much in. I believe your attitude is your altitude
I have supported myself for over 20 years with no help or handouts. At times I worked three jobs in order to pay bills. My businesses allow me to enjoy an annual holiday, support a daughter and my small dogs. I love working and feeling like I accomplished something!

What do you like most about having your own business?

I love the flexibility! I can visit my ageing mum whenever I want, I can go for a run when I want to, I can catch up with friends when I want to. In fact I can do most things most of the time and I don’t need to answer or ask anyone

What have been some of the struggles you have faced with running your own business?

I wish I had learnt from a younger age how to use social media in business.
Basic bookkeeping- I would have done a course
Relying on other people is not my strength.

Because of the two businesses I have a steady flow of income but I have to be careful not to over spend with the Gift hampers as this is easy to do. Sales are not regular enough.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learnt in life?

Always make time for the important people in your life
Always make sure that you are constantly learning and have a backup source of income.
I think I have had a minimum of two jobs most of my life
Never burn your bridges

Find time to exercise

What advice would you give to the younger generation?

Some priorities to consider include the following:
– Make more time for others
– Always try and look at things in a more positive way
– Keep learning – everything and anything
– Invest in property or shares as soon as possible
– Eat your greens

If you could jump into a time machine what era would you visit and why?

I loved the Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy era of beautiful coats and silk dresses. The fashion and style was amazing for both men and women.
Anything else you would like to add?
I think I am a very lucky lady, we came to Australia in 1964 from East Africa and my dad and mum raised us. Five children in a three bed room house.  My  dad worked away from home and to this day I do not know how my mum raised us all.  I have an amazing partner of eight years who I met on the RSVP dating site at the age of 54.
I have a beautiful daughter and now a grandson and soon a son in law. I have travelled to many countries of the world. My health is still relatively ok.I have an awesome circle of friends and I am indeed very lucky