Jo Stanes start their fine art business with the help of NEIS


The Jo Stanes brand is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Josh & Jo Stanes.

Born out of a collaborative vision to merge their creative talents and built on the belief that fine art is not simply a visual medium, but a reflection of the soul. 

Jo Stanes represents everything that is an expression of the true meaning of art.

The NEIS program has been delivered by APM Employment Services since February 2020. It was previously delivered by Konekt Employment.

From 1 July 2022, Self-Employment Assistance replaced the NEIS program.

As anyone who has started their own business would know, setting up everything you need to get going is no mean feat. There’s trustworthy suppliers to source, products to create, branding to design, a website to build.

Not to mention ongoing marketing initiatives, networking to engage in and most importantly, customers to build relationship with.

It’s a mammoth task, one that can sometimes take years of planning before anything tangible begins to materialise.

In the first twelve months, Jo and Josh have transitioned from their NEIS studies to create the Jo Stanes brand and a premium line of homewares, lifestyle and stationery products, launch an online store and set up a busy art school for kids and adults.

It’s been an exciting and challenging year, spending countless hours and late nights juggling business and family dynamics, while trying to bring a dream to life.

The transition has meant a great deal of adjustment, and the willingness to take an organic approach to change in order to run a successful business while still maintaining and promoting the authenticity of art.

In addition to her original artworks which now grace the walls of many homes across Australia, New Zealand and even the USA, Jo and Josh have created a truly beautiful product line.

Their eye for detail and steadfast belief in quality, combined with Jo’s professional training in textiles and passion for fabrics have produced a stunning range of linen cushions, weekender bags, clutch purses, tea towels, journals, cosmetic bags and phone cases that are unique, sturdy and pleasant to touch. The birth place of each design being the brush in Jo’s hand.

And the proof is in the pudding. Happy customers from all over the globe are offering positive feedback of how in love they are with their purchases.

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing

It’s been a tough call making some decisions and saying no to certain opportunities. It has also required some strategic thinking on their part to explore the idea of creating additional services within their business that allow them to open up new revenue streams without stopping them from flourishing in their creative gifting.

The art school, ‘Jo Stanes Art Station’, has been one such venture.

With over 20 years experience in teaching art, Jo has a proven ability to bring out the artist in practically any student.

Opening up art classes for kids after school and during school holidays at her studio in Point Clare on the Central Coast of NSW has resulted in strong interest from the local community and Sydney’s northern beaches.

She also runs Ladies Art, cheese and wine nights as well as art and product parties, where groups of women get to connect, laugh and create over an art lesson, snacks and wine, followed by an opportunity to shop from the Jo Stanes product range.

Drawing on his past experience in branding and website design, Josh has not stopped at creating the Jo Stanes brand and building the online store. In doing so, he has identified a need in the market to help small businesses create their custom brand and online presence at an affordable price.

As they embark on their second year, Josh will be creating another arm to their business called ‘Cachet One’, a package based service offering branded identity and website design for small business.

Looking back at the highs and lows over the past year, it hasn’t proven to be an easy move for this couple, saying farewell to a corporate career and the security of a regular salary.

But joining the Konekt Employment NEIS program and starting their business is a decision they wouldn’t change for anything.

Beyond the fulfilment of a dream and the satisfaction of working for themselves, they are only just on the cusp of discovering the greatest benefit of their venture; the opportunity to learn what it is to be true to who they really are.

From their experience over the past 12 months, if there is one thought they would pass onto others wanting to start their own small business, it would be this… be true to who you are. Let authenticity be your benchmark for success!