Walking into Mad Notions in Lady Street, Annan is a crafter’s delight. Laura McMurdo contacted Business Gateway Plus last year when planning her new business and was referred to the CX Project and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Young Entrepreneur Project. The shop boasts a range of goods including wools, beads, papers, haberdashery notions and wooden templates as well as ready-made craft goods. Laura also runs the website www.madnotions.co.uk
Laura said, “I was working as a teacher and decided it wasn’t for me. I had enjoyed crafting for 14 years and decided to try earning a living making my own crafts and selling other people’s. I received lots of support from Business Gateway Plus, CX Project and Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Young Entrepreneur Project including business planning advice and access to funding.
The CX Project funding really helped me get the shop up and running and contributed to the cost of shop-fitting.”
Laura says her love of crafts began at school. “I was inspired by an art project at school and have been making jewellery ever since. The shop opened on 18 October 2014 and since then I have been astonished at the talent there is around Annan. The people who come here to buy craft goods and for the classes give me inspiration for my own work. The most popular items we sell are the wools and all the classes are busy, including jewellery making, crochet and kids classes. The Tuesday night tasters are popular too and have included decoupage and glass painting. In the future I would like to add more product ranges such as fabric and specialist paints and more craft classes, so I would welcome approaches from freelance craft teachers and producers.”
Colin Smyth, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, said, “One of our priorities is to improve the employment chances for young people in Dumfries and Galloway. Self-employment is a good option when people have expertise like Laura and have the vision to see a niche in the market. I would encourage more young entrepreneurs with an idea for a new business to contact the Young Entrepreneur Project and the CX Project where they will receive top class advice and support.”
John Grierson is the Site Manager for Magnox at Chapelcross. He said, “This is exactly the kind of outcome that Magnox was hoping to see as a result of the CX Project and the Council’s Young Entrepreneur Project. Laura is not only making a living for herself, but is also offering other craftspeople opportunities to lead her classes and to sell their work. Laura is correct to say that there is a lot of talent in this area and I am pleased that the CX Project startup grants are helping us to harness that expertise.”
You can hear Laura talk about her business here: http://annandale.tv/story_threads/399-business
Young business owners between the ages of 18 and 30 years can apply to the Young Entrepreneur Project for either a pre-start up grant or a start up grant if their business is in the Dumfries and Galloway postcode areas of DG10 to DG16.
To keep up-to-date with future events and find out about funding opportunities, visit the Inspiring Entrepreneurs Facebook page.
For more information contact Lindsey Mason, Young Entrepreneur Co-ordinator on 01387 260171 or by email at [email protected]
Businesses outside the age limits, but within the same postcode areas can enquire about funding from the CX Project. For more information on the CX project contact [email protected]