Mosaic Making Mature Entrepreneur
Norma Vondee, London, an entrepreneur who set up a Mosaic business after she turned 50
Norma Vondee was a talented and dedicated teacher for many years at tough secondary schools in inner London. Becoming a divorced new mum at 40, she found going back to teach did not suit her, that the hard edge you so often need when teaching, had been lost.
Norma, saw an opportunity to try a different career path and developed her part time hobby into a full time passion, small commissions made with skill and enthusiasm soon became bigger ones. She needed to do an MA in Art and Architecture to be able to compete.
Norma began to make business connections by joining a group called Forward at Fifty. This group allowed Norma to connect with other women in their fifties and she felt “reassured by meeting her peers in the group” that she had made the right decision to leave teaching. It was during this time, that Norma realised she could acquire the necessary business skills to use her ability as a mosaic artist to forge a new, better, sustainable career.
Norma also got in touch with The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) to help her on her journey to self-employment. Norma says, “PRIME was extremely women-friendly, sympathetic and positive and provided me with information on business planning.” Norma eventually got herself a studio and created her own website, paid for through commissions. One was for the award winning British actress Thandi Newton – for whom Norma designed and made a mosaic lined plunge pool and panels.
Norma’s mosaics now appear all over London, from funky mosaic sculptures by Canary Wharf and the Tower of London, classical doves in a garden in Hampstead, and a mosaic revamp of an entire school in Stepney, made with the students. Norma runs mosaic courses and still continues to get impressive commissions. Norma’s latest mosaic has been a large Easter Egg called Phoenix Egg, suitably rising from its own ashes, for the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in London and she has further plans throughout London – so keep your eyes open!