Ex chimney sweep Barrie launches his Ovenu business
Former chimney sweep Barrie Neilon is hoping to stoke up the flames of success in his new business venture, oven cleaning service Ovenu Winchester.
The father-of-three has already been encouraged by the number of clients contacting him in his first few weeks and forecasts that demand will increase in the run-up to Christmas.
A long-held ambition to run his own businesses, combined with a growing reluctance to venture onto house roofs, prompted him to invest in respected franchise operation, Ovenu.
The 40-year-old, who lives with his family on the outskirts of Winchester, said: “I’m really proud to have set up business up and I’ve already received plenty of positive feedback from local people.
“I’m focused on building up my client base, and eventually I’d like to reach the point where I can take on an additional oven technician.
“I’m really enjoying the job and meeting new people, together with the fact that I can keep my feet on the ground!”
He had worked as a HETAS approved chimney sweep since 2018, and also installed biomass and wood burning heating systems. Prior to that, he was a scaffolder for 18 years.
Being his own boss also allows him to structure his work life around family commitments, which includes his partner and children aged 10, seven and five.
“I did think about starting a business a couple of years ago, but it all felt a bit daunting. Being part of a franchise means I not only have the tried and trusted Ovenu brand behind me, but I also have the reassurance of a full training package and ongoing support.”
Barrie is a keen member of Winchester School of Martial Arts, where he practices Brazilian Ju Jitsu. His children are also active participants, with his two eldest competing across the country, with one recently selected for the English Open BJJ Championships in London.
“Barrie is a welcome addition to our network. He already has a great deal of technical ability and is focused on delivering a quality service, all the attributes needed to quickly build a successful business.”
Rik Hellewell, the founder and managing director of Ovenu