Below are the profiles of two of the businesses we have supported to turn their ideas into reality.
Crafty Cow Creations
Entrepreneur: Kirsten Wiles
Kirsten is in the first year of her A Levels at Barnsley Sixth Form College, where she is studying English Language, Film Studies and Sociology. She is also passionate about crafting and she enjoys using natural materials to create unique products that truly are one of a kind.
Craft Cow Creations was originally created by kirsten’s mum, but Kirsten has since taken over the full running of the business. She regulalrly attends craft fairs, school fairs and other events in order to showcase her products and designs. Her aim is to make each product unique, through either a natural variation in the products she uses or the final design that she creates.
How has iTrust supported Kirsten?
Kirsten approached iTrust in September 2017. Although already successful, Kirsten wanted extra support to grow her business and to help her reach out to a wider customer base. In order to help her achieve this, we have given Kirsten additional selling opportunities, both in and out of college. The grant funding has helped Kirsten to attend larger and busier craft fairs. We have also helped Kirsten to develop links between other craft businesses in Barnsley and South Yorkshire, who can offer support and additional opportunities . Kirsten has also been matched to a mentor who will offer her free and impartial advice on how to grow and develop further.
What Kirsten hopes to achieve in the future:
In the short term, Kirsten is looking to successfully complete her studies, whilst using her business to provide her with a supplementary income. In the future, she would like to attend university, but continue to run her business alongside her studies. In the longer term, Kirsten would love to make Crafty Cow Creation her sole source of income. With the right support and determination, I am sure that Kirsten will make her business a huge success.
Entrepreneur: Connor Padgett
Connor has recently completed a level 2 course in horticulture at Wigfield Farm. From a very early age, Connor has always enjoyed making things and he has always been keen to learn new skills and techniques from friends and family. This inquisitive and exploratory nature has led Connor to the launch his business Padgett Ironworks. Connor’s Entrepreneurial spirit was recently recognised at the end of year student awards where he received the Enterpise Achievement Award from College principal Chris Webb.
The remarkable thing about Connor is that he is a completely self-taught blacksmith. Through watching youtube videos and reading books, Connor has developed the necessary skills to be able to produce fantastic peieces of metalwork. He also developed his own forge by converting a disused barbeque into a fully functioning metal forge. Once Connor was confident in his abilities, he started to use social media to promote what he his products. In a short space of time he has developed a good customer base, selling to as far a field as Beverley Hills and Virginia in America.
How has iTrust supported Connor?
Connor approached iTrust in January 2017 to receive support that would help him develop his business. This has included; business planning support, advice about pricing and registering with HMRC. Connor has also received guidance on the forms of insurance that his business requires. This is essential when selling products such as these. Connor has also been provided with selling opportunities and guidance on how best to promote his products offline as well as online.
What Connor hopes to achieve in the future:
In the short term, Connor is hoping to start a welding or blacksmith apprenticeship, which will allow him to formalise the skills he has developed, through a qualification. Whilst doing this he will continue to develop his own business and develop his blacksmithing skills.
Last updated: 6th August 2018