Artisan Aunties is a new company recruiting staff to provide ‘concierge home care services’. The idea is that our ‘Aunties’ and ‘Uncles’ provide help for busy families and offer companionship and support to people who have become socially isolated because of age or limited mobility. As you can imagine, this covers people from all walks of life, and it is hugely important that everyone is treated equitably, whatever their age, gender, race, religion, sexuality or disability.
Our aim is to shake up the market and give it an ‘Artisan hug’. Especially when it comes to diversity. Artisan Aunties has such a strong inclusivity ethic, and for me, this is a fundamental principle of the brand.
Being non-judgemental about difference is essential when it comes to providing support and companionship to the people who need it most. That’s why we only accept Aunties and Uncles who will respect a person for who they are and help them embrace their true selves.
As someone who waves the Pride flag with, well, pride, I’m mindful of the homophobia that the older generation of LGBTQ+ people will undoubtedly have experienced in their lives. They were the ones who fought for the rights that my generation has benefited so much from, and the younger generation can pretty much take for granted.
It’s occurred to me that some of our older LGBTQ+ clients may not even be out. After a lifetime suppressing their sexuality, wouldn’t it be wonderful if they had someone in their lives who made them feel comfortable enough to express their authentic selves, even if it’s just for a couple of hours a week? On a personal level, that’s why diversity and inclusion are so important.
What we’re offering is a bespoke concierge service, so whatever you need an Auntie or Uncle to do, we’ll find someone who can help. For families, this could be a mixture of walking the dog, doing a bit of cleaning or gardening, cooking, babysitting, or doing the school run. For older people, this could be as simple as popping in for a cup of tea and a friendly chat on a regular basis, helping them look after pets, taking them shopping or to appointments, or taking them on trips out for coffee, lunch or to the cinema… whatever helps to make their life a pleasure.
Our Aunties and Uncles are handpicked for their personal qualities as well as their skills and experience. We’re looking for people who’ll treat other people with empathy and respect whatever their circumstances – age, sexuality, disability, race, background or lifestyle.
My business partner, Jo Ashworth, and I run Artisan People, a recruitment agency that specialises in staffing for airport retail, luxury retail, beauty, and museums, galleries and heritage attractions. All people businesses. So when the first lockdown happened in March 2020, Jo and I went from heading up a busy recruitment company to suddenly having no business coming in and no work to offer candidates.
After a frantic few weeks trying to make sense of the world and sort out furlough arrangements, Jo and I got on Zoom to discuss ways of ensuring the company is less susceptible to such dramatic world events in the future.
It wasn’t long before we hit upon the idea of Artisan Aunties, a concierge service for individuals and families who need a bit of extra help around the house. We initially focused our attention on older people who were suffering most from the isolation of lockdown. Both Jo and I had organised care in the home for our own elderly relatives and we’d both had bad experiences. Wouldn’t it have been great, we pondered, if the agencies we’d used had had our own work ethic. We thought about how much better it would have been to have had carers who acted more like a family’s favourite Auntie, rather than someone who barely had enough time to do the bare minimum.
Artisan People deals with many outstanding candidates who have had fantastic customer service training and experience, and who also have the mindset that everyone they interact with is a VIP. As a result of the pandemic lockdowns, these superstars have been made redundant or are considering new career paths. So setting up Artisan Aunties has also enabled us to provide work opportunities for some exceptional candidates who have been so badly affected by the lockdowns.
Thanks to Artisan Aunties, we’re very excited about the future and are looking forward to making a huge difference to people’s lives.
Tim Seyner Harness is one of the Founder Directors of Artisan People and Artisan Aunties.
You can connect with Tim directly via the links below:
Websites: www.artisanaunties.com and www.artisanpeople.com