We ask our members to share a few thoughts: to introduce themselves to fellow members, and those who are interested in our community.

In this installment, we interview Kirsty Hunter of Teen Vitality.

Tell us about your business:
I work with teenagers who are suffering with their mental health and/or need a little extra help and guidance to get through certain situations.

What 5 words would you choose to describe your business?
Empowering, compassionate, non-judgemental, safe & enlightening

What are your most popular products or services?
Counselling teenagers

What do you like best about owning a business?
I love that I can manage my own time, that my clients don’t have to be one in one out, I can dedicate the extra time to them if needed.

What or who inspired you to start your business?
As a teenager once myself (a long time ago) I was not in a great space, growing up with one amazing parent in social housing and dropping out of school with no qualifications, made believing in my own abilities difficult. I joined the army and soon realised that I in fact was a capable human being, so I left the Army and went back to school, retook my GCSE’s, went to college, went to University and got accepted into Cambridge University to become a teacher – something my 14 year old self could never have imagined. I quickly became passionate about the pastoral side of teaching, about trying to inspire and give hope to those who never felt good enough. I came to the Netherlands with my husband (then my boyfriend) over 20 years ago. My only option to teach was in a private school, something that went against what I believed in because I didn’t believe my skills were needed there, they had great starts in life, they didn’t need championing! But yes you guessed it, I was so wrong, their challenges were just as difficult as mine and of those who I’d been teaching in inner city schools. As head of pastoral at the British School in Amsterdam I soon saw the need for a counsellor, me being me and always up for a challenge I embarked on a course to qualify myself to be a counsellor – to better help the students in my care. It became quickly apparent that I couldn’t wear multiple hats within school, there was a lack of mental health care for CCKs & TCKs in the Netherlands and I didn’t have enough time or resources in school to really make an impact. So I decided to embark on another challenge and start my own company where I believed I could give better time and attention to those who needed it most.

What makes your products/services special?
Because I am passionate about what I do and I care about empowering teenagers to be the best version of themselves, I put a lot of effort into understanding who they are, where their strengths lie and how they can make a positive impact within their community or wider society.

Who is your role model or mentor?
Easy, my mother – the strongest, toughest woman I have ever known. Someone who truly embodied and was the epitome of feminism without even realising it!

What is your biggest fear?
That I won’t reach the potential I have in me. I won’t lead the rest of my life with purpose and impact.

What motivates you on a daily basis?
Me – to want to be better and do better. To be the role model for my children that inspires them and motivates them to want to be the best version of themselves and to show them that what you put in you get out.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
At the age of 12 me, my siblings and my mum were homeless for 6 months – my mum’s whole life was in 6 Sainsbury’s carrier bags – on the day I was pulled out of school by my mum to be told that we were leaving my step dad and had no where to live, I promised myself that my life would be more than 6 Sainsbury’s carrier bags and I would always aspire to be better – it’s a day that never leaves me, but empowers me to face all challenges without fear and work through them to come out the other side a better person.

What advice would you give women who are starting a business?
Expect to make mistakes, expect to fail, expect to question why you did this all in the first place, but most of all expect that your drive, your abilities and your tenacity will get you through every rocky situation.

What is your favourite business book?
I am a huge fan of Simon Sinek (He is my academic crush) so any book by him, but particularly ‘Start With Why’.

What are your top tips for networking?
Oh goodness this is what I’m not good at – I’m looking for tips from others! Any advice would be gratefully received.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I start each working day with an intensive 45 minute workout, I plan for regular breaks in my day and during the months – like going away for a weekend each month. I do not do social media, I read extensively: trash, academic and powerful books depending on my mood and what I need. I have a healthy diet, but allow myself treats – everything is about balance and not denying myself what my body is telling me I need. I surround myself with things that bring me joy, which in turn gives me peace. I make ‘to do’ lists every day and ‘eat that frog’ (another great book) that is, I do the worst thing on the list first so I don’t spend my whole day with negative thoughts taking up space in my head about the tough thing that I have to do – aka procrastinating.

What is your motto or theme song?
Improvise, adapt & overcome Mary J Blige ‘Don’t need no hateration in this dancery’ My most used emoji is 💪🏻

How do you relax?
I try to get a massage once every couple of weeks – go out for dinners with interesting, inspiring people – read a trashy book – watch a trashy film – play spider solitaire.

What place inspires you and why?
My home, cause it was built with love and raised a wonderful family.

What do you care most about, as a business owner?
That the teenagers who I consult with feel like they have gone a little bit towards taking that monkey of their back.

What are your future plans?
I would love to see Teen Vitality as a youth hub where kids can come and work out, study, talk with others, play games and have counselling sessions. Providing parent workshops, group therapy for vulnerable groups and those going through similar struggles. Basically a safe space where you can be yourself with no judgment, hang with people who are going through similar things to you and have expert compassionate adults on hand to guide you.

What gets me through a tough day?
A good sense of humour 🙂

Thank you Kirsty!

For more information about about Kirsty Hunter visit Teen Vitality.

We ask our members to share a few thoughts: to introduce themselves to fellow members, and those who are interested in our community.

In this installment, we interview Kirsty Hunter of Teen Vitality.

Tell us about your business:
I work with teenagers who are suffering with their mental health and/or need a little extra help and guidance to get through certain situations.

What 5 words would you choose to describe your business?
Empowering, compassionate, non-judgemental, safe & enlightening

What are your most popular products or services?
Counselling teenagers

What do you like best about owning a business?
I love that I can manage my own time, that my clients don’t have to be one in one out, I can dedicate the extra time to them if needed.

What or who inspired you to start your business?
As a teenager once myself (a long time ago) I was not in a great space, growing up with one amazing parent in social housing and dropping out of school with no qualifications, made believing in my own abilities difficult. I joined the army and soon realised that I in fact was a capable human being, so I left the Army and went back to school, retook my GCSE’s, went to college, went to University and got accepted into Cambridge University to become a teacher – something my 14 year old self could never have imagined. I quickly became passionate about the pastoral side of teaching, about trying to inspire and give hope to those who never felt good enough. I came to the Netherlands with my husband (then my boyfriend) over 20 years ago. My only option to teach was in a private school, something that went against what I believed in because I didn’t believe my skills were needed there, they had great starts in life, they didn’t need championing! But yes you guessed it, I was so wrong, their challenges were just as difficult as mine and of those who I’d been teaching in inner city schools. As head of pastoral at the British School in Amsterdam I soon saw the need for a counsellor, me being me and always up for a challenge I embarked on a course to qualify myself to be a counsellor – to better help the students in my care. It became quickly apparent that I couldn’t wear multiple hats within school, there was a lack of mental health care for CCKs & TCKs in the Netherlands and I didn’t have enough time or resources in school to really make an impact. So I decided to embark on another challenge and start my own company where I believed I could give better time and attention to those who needed it most.

What makes your products/services special?
Because I am passionate about what I do and I care about empowering teenagers to be the best version of themselves, I put a lot of effort into understanding who they are, where their strengths lie and how they can make a positive impact within their community or wider society.

Who is your role model or mentor?
Easy, my mother – the strongest, toughest woman I have ever known. Someone who truly embodied and was the epitome of feminism without even realising it!

What is your biggest fear?
That I won’t reach the potential I have in me. I won’t lead the rest of my life with purpose and impact.

What motivates you on a daily basis?
Me – to want to be better and do better. To be the role model for my children that inspires them and motivates them to want to be the best version of themselves and to show them that what you put in you get out.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
At the age of 12 me, my siblings and my mum were homeless for 6 months – my mum’s whole life was in 6 Sainsbury’s carrier bags – on the day I was pulled out of school by my mum to be told that we were leaving my step dad and had no where to live, I promised myself that my life would be more than 6 Sainsbury’s carrier bags and I would always aspire to be better – it’s a day that never leaves me, but empowers me to face all challenges without fear and work through them to come out the other side a better person.

What advice would you give women who are starting a business?
Expect to make mistakes, expect to fail, expect to question why you did this all in the first place, but most of all expect that your drive, your abilities and your tenacity will get you through every rocky situation.

What is your favourite business book?
I am a huge fan of Simon Sinek (He is my academic crush) so any book by him, but particularly ‘Start With Why’.

What are your top tips for networking?
Oh goodness this is what I’m not good at – I’m looking for tips from others! Any advice would be gratefully received.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I start each working day with an intensive 45 minute workout, I plan for regular breaks in my day and during the months – like going away for a weekend each month. I do not do social media, I read extensively: trash, academic and powerful books depending on my mood and what I need. I have a healthy diet, but allow myself treats – everything is about balance and not denying myself what my body is telling me I need. I surround myself with things that bring me joy, which in turn gives me peace. I make ‘to do’ lists every day and ‘eat that frog’ (another great book) that is, I do the worst thing on the list first so I don’t spend my whole day with negative thoughts taking up space in my head about the tough thing that I have to do – aka procrastinating.

What is your motto or theme song?
Improvise, adapt & overcome Mary J Blige ‘Don’t need no hateration in this dancery’ My most used emoji is 💪🏻

How do you relax?
I try to get a massage once every couple of weeks – go out for dinners with interesting, inspiring people – read a trashy book – watch a trashy film – play spider solitaire.

What place inspires you and why?
My home, cause it was built with love and raised a wonderful family.

What do you care most about, as a business owner?
That the teenagers who I consult with feel like they have gone a little bit towards taking that monkey of their back.

What are your future plans?
I would love to see Teen Vitality as a youth hub where kids can come and work out, study, talk with others, play games and have counselling sessions. Providing parent workshops, group therapy for vulnerable groups and those going through similar struggles. Basically a safe space where you can be yourself with no judgment, hang with people who are going through similar things to you and have expert compassionate adults on hand to guide you.

What gets me through a tough day?
A good sense of humour 🙂

Thank you Kirsty!

For more information about about Kirsty Hunter visit Teen Vitality.