Back in June, we had a team building day where we all learnt to face paint with Cats Whiskers from Bristol. It was great fun (though unfortunately my boys don’t let me practice on them!) and we now offer this free service to community events. We hope that free face painting will help to keep the kids smiling at your event, and help to promote your community group as well as promoting our services. If you’d like us to attend one of your events, call us on 0800 043 2440.
Category Archives: creative
Sam Birtwistle is a young entrepreneur from South Devon. His business, Voyage Fairtrade, sells fair trade and ethical goods, handmade by artisans from all over the world.
What is Voyage Fairtrade?
Voyage Fairtrade sells a wide range of Fairtrade and ethically handmade goods – from ornaments to practical home items. The huge selection of goods come from all four corners of the globe, not just from the stereotypical Fairtrade countries you may think of, helping as many local economies and artisans as possible. This means that if you buy from Voyage you are not just buying a beautiful, practical item for you, a loved one or your home, you are helping alleviate poverty and helping countries develop: it is a win-win situation.
What are your plans for the future of Voyage Fairtrade?
I am expanding our range of products so they will be 100% unique and buying from more countries. With the name Voyage I wish to be involved in different countries, cultures and societies.
What was your inspiration to start your own business?
I have had a number of inspirations, but my biggest was when I was 16. I was working in my first job, in a shop at a holiday park; the park wasn’t performing very well and I thought ‘I would like to buy the business off the manager and show him how to run it properly!’
What has been your biggest hurdle so far?
My biggest hurdle so far has been marketing and getting my name out there, especially social media: I know that’s important!
What is the best thing about running your own business?
You are your own boss and it is your own life, you can do pretty much anything. You can even have that extra hour of sleep if you need it!
What advantages and disadvantages do you think you have as a young entrepreneur?
I think my biggest strength is my motivation and determination; I haven’t made a success of this yet, but will force myself to make something out of it. My biggest weakness is I should be a bit more organised, as that can make a world of difference!
What advice would you give to young people considering self employment?
Anyone with a good idea, drive and a strong work ethic can start a business, you don’t even need qualifications! I have epilepsy and sometimes I have to stop work and sleep it off. I have other disabilities too, as my balance and coordination is quite bad so it takes me longer to perform tasks for example typing on a keyboard, which isn’t that great if you want to start a business! So if I can start a company then I’m sure you can too!
On Monday, we will be offering free face painting, and giving out free copies of our magazine at this event, see you there!
SUPER MUMS CLUB OPENING EVENT MON 2nd DEC 10-12PM at the COURTENAY CENTRE, NEWTON ABBOT
SUPER MUMS CLUB is a place especially for busy MUMS to get pampered, take a workshop or class, get information from local services and advice on things such as parenting & work options. Mums can try & buy local products, or just relax with a cuppa while your under 5’s play with Pandamonium, our cheeky panda mascot in the play areas! We have some childcare time available for you so you can have a little time to yourself to indulge in a mini treatment, enjoy an activity or watch some demonstrations! Come and join us at the new mums playground! Our Mission is to help mums with small children access all the things that mums may need & enjoy. To give mums a little bit of ME time and to motivate, inspire or just relax them, while at the same time helping promote local small businesses, especially those owned by mums too.
We will be opening Super Mums Club in Newton Abbot, Torbay & Exeter in January. For information about what’s on offer at our OPENING EVENT see our Facebook page. It’s all for you! So come along for a taster of what we will have for you in the new year!
If you have a business that would benefit our Super Mums please get in touch.
£5 per family. Includes a drink & 2 hours Mums & baby/toddlers play. Access to mini treatments/workshops & activities. Discounted shopping & services. Half an hour crèche space for first child. Or 1 hour with a paid workshop/activity. Additional crèche spaces available at £1 extra per child.
This year, we have been awarded funding from Awards for All to create three magazines for Mums, all about improving your confidence and motivation, inspiring you to make choices that will improve your work-life balance. We are very excited to have got the first copy printed – it looks great! It’s packed with inspirational stories from Mums who have started their own business or dealt with the worry of returning to work or training, as well as loads of information that will help you to progress. We’ll be posting some of those stories on this blog, so don’t forget to keep checking back!
If you’d like a FREE copy of the magazine, please give us a call on 0800 043 2440. If you have a story you’d like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch through our Facebook group.
If you’ve got your hands on a magazine already, please let us know what you thought! Comment below, or on Facebook – we’d love your feedback!
Last week, I told you about a photoshoot that I had been a part of, and how much it made me appreciate the incredibly difficult job that wedding photographers have in trying to get hundreds of beautiful photos without impacting too much on the couple’s day. When planning my own wedding, we came across an advert for a photographer looking for experience of wedding photography. Lionel agreed to photograph our wedding for us for free to add to his portfolio, and I think we were really lucky to catch him at this point in his career. Here he tells us about how he got into wedding photography.
How did you get into photography, and when and how did your turn your hobby into a business?
Catt Kinsey is an artist who is just starting her degree. After two failed attempts at college, she thought her life in education was over, but now she is embarking on her degree and even plans to go into further education and possibly teaching later on.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Catt, I’m 20 years old and currently living just outside of Exeter. I am studying an Access course in Art at Exeter College and will be moving on to Study at degree level in Bath in September. I applied to do A Levels when I first left secondary and wasn’t very prepared, at this point being in education just wasn’t where I wanted to be and soon dropped out. The following year I went back to college and tried again but unfortunately due to personal reasons I left after the first year. After the second failed attempt at A Levels I didn’t think much about education as at the time I didn’t realise it would be possible to get back in to it or reach a point where university was possible. I focused on working and gaining my own independence but then I met someone who informed me about Access courses. My life ambitions had taken a back seat but this one year course for over 19 year olds gave me a lot of hope. Everything happened very quickly from then on really. I applied, had an interview, was given a place and made the move up from Plymouth. The support given here was fantastic, not just with the application process but with financial help as well. It completely changed my life direction and I haven’t looked back since.
What inspires your designs?
At the moment my work is very broad, including paintings, photography and 3D pieces. I’m currently working on my final major project based around the human emotion of fear, which I’m finding really interesting. I love looking at other Artists and being inspired by their work, especially in local galleries. It’s wonderful how much the area has to offer with its galleries like the Spacex and Exeter Phoenix, showing their great exhibitions for free most of the time.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
In 5 years time I would have looked to finished my degree, whilst studying I’m hoping to start selling some of my pieces or making greeting cards out of more illustrative work. I’m not certain on what I want to do when I finish my degree but I expect it will involve further education, either specialising in a certain area or to enable me to teach.
Is there any advice you would give to other young people who are struggling to find work or career goals?
I think people are often expected to know exactly what they want to do and how they are going to achieve it but the reality is that people change and ideas grow. Sometimes it isn’t about focusing on one plan or one direction but being more open as a lot of the time you’ll find other ways of success. Don’t let small problems get in the way. If you enjoy something, or are passionate about something then go for it, often with enough effort any obstacles can be overcome and you’ll be amazed at the amount of help and options there are available.
You can find out more about Catt and see some of her work on her website.