I'm Nicky Pasquier and I'm the Owner / Founder of Virtuoso Assistant.
I didn't intend to set up my business in 2013, it just happened. No planning: nothing.
In my 'previous life' I'd gone to University in the City of Exeter, came away with a degree in English Literature and then wondered what on earth I was going to do. So I worked in retail in London for a few years before deciding to up sticks and live in the South West again, starting off in beautiful Bath Spa.
The change was wonderful, if a little amusing at first. In London I'd start the day listening to Capital Radio, getting regular updates on the Tube network and to find out if any mainline rail stations had been closed as a result of IRA terror threats. I was commuting to and living in London at the height of the IRA terror alerts in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Bath was very different: the closest I got to security alerts were warnings of stray cows on the rail lines between Bath and Bristol.
So for the following 16 years I worked at law firms in the South West, ending up back in Reading as a senior legal PA/Paralegal in Civil Litigation. And this is when I had my 'epiphany' on a dull, dark day in January 2013. I realised my career was going nowhere, I was incredibly unhappy so I quit my job. Just like that. I'd never done anything so impulsive: it was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. What was I going to do next?
In retrospect leaving my job was the best decision I'd made for years and I have no regrets.
I began my fledgling business working at home as a legal transcriber, then had a website designed and published in September 2013. This time marked the start of Virtuoso Assistant.
I felt honoured to be selected as a #SmallBiz100 by the Small Business Saturday UK campaign, which resulted in a slightly surreal visit to Downing Street on 6 December 2013.
I continued to support the campaign as a regional champion in Wiltshire, running a breakfast meeting for small businesses at Swindon's beautiful 'STEAM' Museum in December 2016.
Virtuoso Assistant has now been based in Swindon, Wiltshire, for the past 2 years. Swindon has surprised me and it will surprise you, too. Not only is it well placed, within easy commuting distance from London, Oxford, Bristol and Bath, it is also situated right on the edge of the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
I'm proud to say, since January 2013, I have signed up to be an Ambassador with a very proactive business group, Switch on to Swindon, "designed to highlight the strength of Swindon as a great place in which to live, work, invest in and visit".
Find out where we are and what we are doing on our Events page.