At a crossroads in their careers, two best friends with a passion for sewing and an eye on sustainability have created a unique female focused business platform. Founded in 2018 by Caroline Akselson and Alexandra Bruce, Selkie Patterns design women's sewing patterns and fabrics for home sewing. Their fabrics and patterns are sustainably produced and designed in the U.K.
How a determination to build a business around a young family and shape her own creative direction became a reality for Art Buyer and Producer Emma Alexander. Mother Bran launched in September 2017 as a production company supporting independent photographers through production logistics, consultancy and mentoring. With a business model in place and existing clients on board, Emma joined the Enterprise Steps programme in December 2017, working with her mentor Jo Sealy to help formalise processes; to identify, validate and lock down the Mother Bran offering; and to establish public speaking as part of Emma’s skill set.
Where grandmas’ heritage recipes have turned into a business dream, selling homemade preserves. Meryce Hampsheir grew up with a grandma who always had a pantry full of homemade preserves, bottled fruit and relishes. Taught from an early age how to do it and after a long career in hospitality Meryce gave it up to start her dream of running her own business, selling her own homemade preserves.
A team who launched their new board game in September 2018 is selling nationwide in John Lewis stores following support from the Enterprise Steps programme. Co Founders Ceri Price and Natalie Podd incorporated the company in January 2018 and launched the game the following November with the support of their Enterprise Steps mentor Neil Leslie who worked with them through the process.Read the full story.
868 Cocktail House
Giving up a secure job to start a cocktail bar from scratch has been a leap of faith for Kandana Hamilton. 868 Design House Limited, trading as the 868 Cocktail House, is a brand new pop up cocktail bar experience, hosting events in different areas in South London offering classic and signature cocktails.
Opera Co-Pro is the first global marketplace to trade opera productions and to launch co-production projects for funding matching partners. “The Enterprise Steps programme has been useful in many areas,” says Ambra. “It has been particularly helpful in terms of events, networking, good workshops and really informative materials.”
Trade Show Explorer
Trade Show Explorer enables businesses to carry out bespoke research projects at trade shows, providing companies with valuable consumer product insights and informed sales lead generation.
Founder Jose Tovar has used Enterprise Steps as a guiding hand throughout the set up of his business.
the Enterprise Steps programme has been great, knowing that I have support
while going through start up. It’s also been
reassuring to have a mentor to consult with; I'm not sure if I could have
developed as quickly as I have without the programme.”
Let it Roll Records
An urge to work in the music community coupled with an encyclopedic record knowledge was enough for husband and wife team Janet and Kieran Smyth to review their careers in television to open vinyl record store and coffee shop ‘Let It Roll’ in May 2018.
“We heard about the Enterprise Steps project through Newham College marketing” says Janet.
Wildsuga provides art prints, paintings, colouring books, one off fashion garments, jewellery, and educational workshops in schools & community. Founder, artist and educator Sarina Mantle created the business in 2008 stemming from a deep desire for independence, and a wish for freedom of artistic expression.
One of the obstacles Sarina has been able to overcome as a result of being part of the Enterprise Steps programme has been to be more active with her marketing.
Middle Path Soapery
Inspired by local knowledge and traditional remedies, Middle Path Soapery creates high quality handcrafted soaps with an ethical impact.
Founder Katerina Qabaha Kralova started the business in 2017.
“I really appreciated the help of my Enterprise Steps business adviser in the planning stages, because initially I only knew I liked making soap but had no idea where to start with a business.”
On the button
On the button is a graphic design and branding company specialising in the food & drink, property and publishing sectors.
Founder Nick Button started the company in 2016 having been a graphic designer for over 20 years.
“The best decision I have made to date, was to seek
help from Enterprise Steps, without which I think I would have folded a long
time ago. It helped me focus and set me targets to improve.”
Octemo the Octopus
Octemo the Octopus is a toy for autistic children, uniquely designed to support emotional education for children with autism and other such cognitive impairments.
Sandika Dhawan initially developed the idea as a university project and
started the groundwork for the business in June 2017.
She heard about Enterprise Steps whilst attending a Ravensbourne University focus group, and was keen to take part in the programme to help develop her ideas.Read the full story.