Andrea Rivero didn’t quite know what she wanted when she first landed in Jane Simmonds’ office – NEIS consultant at Konekt Employment Gosford. After a difficult few years overcoming struggles with her physical and mental health, as well as battling some personal demons that found her exhausted and struggling financially, Andrea was ready to give up on herself.

It was a frustrated cry of “I don’t want to work for someone else anymore – I want to follow my creative dreams!” to her jobactive worker that saw the Konekt Employment staff direct her to the NEIS office. The timing was perfect; a new class was starting and she had just enough time to get an application in.

“Looking back, I didn’t quite know what I was going to do,” Andrea explains, now almost having completed her NEIS training. “I had years of marketing, web design, art, graphic design and illustration experience as well as a flair for digital marketing and social media, and I also wanted to give back to the Central Coast community,” she said. “I could see a pattern of conscious, creative people that were changing the face of the Central Coast, and as I learned more in my NEIS course, a really clear picture of how I was going to contribute to that community and still meet my own creative and financial needs began to emerge.”

Building a solid foundation for her multi-skilled design business Vix Volante Creative, Andrea began to see how what was previously a moniker for her illustration hobby could become a business and a brand. Vix Volante Creative began to take shape and present itself as a one-stop shop for business clients.

The concept of The Announcer Magazine – the Central Coast’s newest community-based magazine covering what’s new in business, events, community, culture and lifestyle on the Coast- was actually born out of one of Andrea’s initial mentoring sessions. “I really have my mentor Jane Simmonds to thank for the concept of The Announcer magazine.  She was able to identify the skills I had and help me tie in different ideas to create not just a print publication, but also a voice for connecting the community.  Here was a way I could not only help other small business owners like me succeed by advertising their work in a really good-looking, high-quality print-and-web publication at affordable rates- but also, I was able to help people gain pride and confidence in their own business. It also gave me the room to highlight community activities and organisations that otherwise might not have had the opportunity to be in print.”

The Announcer is gaining local recognition, with more and more businesses and residents contacting Andrea, which bodes well for the expansion of The Announcer Magazine. Preparing for her one year anniversary issue in Winter 2018, Andrea is excited to be approaching potential sponsors in the hopes The Announcer can now grow to broaden its distribution on the Coast. The Announcer is also a building block for Vix Volante, as it is a channel for clients that require branding, websites etc.

“It’s really exciting to see people embrace the hard work I put in to each quarterly issue,” says Andrea.  “I’m hoping that eventually it becomes THE face of the Central Coast Community and showcases all the amazing creative entrepreneurs we have living and studying here!”

To read current and previous issues of The Announcer visit https://www.theannouncer.com.au/current-issue