Tag Archives: young entrepreneur

Voyage Fairtrade

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!

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Filed under creative, online business, retail, self employment, sleep

One to watch

I am getting married this coming weekend and, just like every other bride ever, I want my wedding to be the biggest and best, personal and unique to us.  I have got lots of little plans for making this happen, but some of the big things that will make our wedding a true reflection of us, will come from Carmen at The Very Vintage Hire Company.  I don’t want to give too much away before the big day, but we will be hiring a whole host of weird and wonderful bits and bobs from the lovely Carmen, who at just 25 has built this business up herself in a year, and is already seeing it go from strength to strength.  She recently opened a beautiful shop on Exeter Quay – The Attic, so that customers can see the hire products, buy some antiques and decorations.  They even do makeover experiences there!  We see big things in the future of this young entrepreneur!  Follow her on Facebook and Pinterest to keep up with all her future developments.

The best thing about running my own business is the raw belief that one day I will make it big and all the hard work with pay off.  It may be hard but its the most exciting, satisfying thing I have ever done. I have met some amazing people, been involved in some great ideas and learnt so much already, and it’s only just the beginning.

You can read our full interview with Carmen here.

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Filed under creative, Inspirational Women, lone parent, work-life balance

The Attic

Back in November, on the Opportunity Plus South West blog, we introduced you to Carmen Croxall, letting you know that she was an young entrepreneur to look out for.  Carmen started a small business making cake stands from vintage crockery, which, during 2012, developed into a vintage hire company, hiring out props to weddings and other events.

Photography by Steve Nuth Photography

Photography by Steve Nuth Photography

Last night, we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch party for Carmen’s new shop, The Attic, based on the very desirable Exeter Quay.  The Attic gives Carmen an opportunity to showcase some of the beautiful and unique products she has available for hire, as well as selling some antiques.  It will also be home to Vevi Graphic Design.

Photography by Steve Nuth Photography

Photography by Steve Nuth Photography

She has also teamed up with Beautiful You Makeover Experiences, offering a makeover experience where a group of friends can come and have a makeover, followed by a photoshoot using all of the lovely props available from The Very Vintage Hire Company.

Beautiful You Makeovers-The Attic

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Filed under creative, hair and beauty, Inspirational Women, lone parent, online business, retail