Jess Pearson – Shimnix Films

Why did you become self-employed?

During 2012 and 2013 I had been working part-time for a couple of local businesses but due to a health condition, I found the 9am-5pm difficult. Stress was a major factor and this led to ill health and the need to leave work and sign on. During my time signing on I looked for work but also started to set up my own film business. I had great support from Pluss. Pluss is a community interest company that helps people with disabilities and difficulties with health back into work. They do amazing work and were super helpful! Over the next couple of months, I reached out to The Princes Trust and The Bideford Bridge Trust. I went on to secure a mentor through the Princes Trust and gained a start-up grant from The Bideford Bridge Trust. These were crucial at the beginning of my business. My film business has developed slowly and I have learnt a lot along the way, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I thoroughly love working for myself and making a living through a passion.

Have there been any challenges that you have faced whilst being self-employed and how have you overcome these?

I think getting a balance between filming for others and myself can be a challenge. I do offer my skills for free occasionally and for the most part, this is OK, however, in the past, I have said yes too often and found myself working long hours. This has taken me away from working on my own passion projects. I don’t regret anything I have worked on, however, I have now learnt to protect my time.

How do you make it work?

I have never wanted to put pressure on my filming, so I always have had other part-time work whilst building up my film business. This part-time freelance work has allowed me to create a lifestyle balance that suits me, with a little bit of stability but also enough flexibility. I also get bored easily, so having a range of jobs really suits me!

Do you have one piece of advice you would like to share about self-employment?

Get support, surround yourself with people who have knowledge in the areas where you have weaknesses, know your weaknesses and be open to learning.


(If you have more questions or want to get in contact with Jess, she is happy for people to contact her via her email.)