What did you do before setting up your business?
I did a little bit of everything, mainly customer service roles in call centres. I actually also used to have a different business where I organised craft fairs.
What inspired you to set up your business?
I loved organising the craft fairs, and I did so to support local businesses. I loved the extra platform I gave them to reach new customers. However, the fairs were very time consuming and I wanted to do something a bit more sustainable.
I noticed that many small businesses can't afford websites, and if they do they struggle to get their name out there. So I decided I could help do this for people, I wanted to support local businesses and offer their products direct to the public.
What makes this business different?
There are already lots of gift stores online. However, most of them ask the maker srtists to sign over their rights to design. Meaning they could potentially take the design and mass
produce it of their own. My USP is I would never ask a designer maker to sign over their designs. I believe that would be highly unfair.
What inspired you to enter the If We Can You Can Challenge?
I’d like to show that you dont have to have been established years and years to make a
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
I’d like it to be my full time job - and I'd love to have a member of staff to help with all the painting!
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
Every customer has loved their products, and its great to get such good feedback.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Building the website and learning how to do everything myself.
Who/what gave you support or advice?
I have joined the enterprise place at Sunderland uni. They help me to focus on my goals and keep going.
What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own business?
Follow your heart, and make friends with people that can help you. Also don’t be scared to ask for help!
The competition is now open to all pre-start business ideas or start-ups established in the North East within the last 3 years, regardless of the business leader’s age or experience.
For information on how to apply, the competition and its benefits please visitwww.ifwecanyoucan.co.uk Deadline for entries is 16th of October 2016.
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