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The Make Spot

The Make Spot

Former teacher launches a brand-new sewing and crafts studio in Chepstow.

Launched in September 2019, The Make Spot is a sewing studio and creative space in Chepstow, specialising in sewing and craft parties, workshops and events, offering a warm and friendly studio environment to teach and inspire. Owner Lucy Adams turned to the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service for help with building her confidence and knowledge to start her own venture, and has since:

  • successfully launched The Make Spot
  • created 2 jobs
  • secured a start-up loan

Introduction to business

Having left her teaching career, Lucy Adams decided to turn her life-long dream into reality and start her own sewing studio. Opened in September 2019 in Chepstow, The Make Spot offers a range of sewing classes, workshops and crafts events, including hen parties and baby showers, suitable for beginner and advanced sewers of all ages, and covering everything from basic projects to Lucy’s speciality of freehand machine embroidery.

In addition, Lucy has a range of Liberty print fabrics for sale, alongside examples of her own textile artwork.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I took voluntary redundancy from my previous job as a teacher. I have been a qualified Art and Textiles teacher for 20 years, spending the last 18 teaching Textiles in a Secondary School in Bristol. I loved my job immensely but felt it was time for a change. Having the time out gave me the chance to realise my dream of opening my own sewing studio and workshop space.

What challenges did you face?

Having worked in education for most of my adult life, my biggest challenge was having the confidence to go for it. Attending the "Taking the Plunge" workshop with [my Business Wales adviser] Mel gave me the confidence to go for it. Once I got into the right mindset, challenges included finding the right premises, negotiating a lease that worked for us, writing a water-tight business plan, securing funding and getting the studio set up to a high standard within a tight budget.

Business Wales support

To help build her confidence and practical business skills, Lucy attended a Business Wales start-up workshop followed by advisory support from a Business Wales adviser, Melanie Phipps. Mel assisted Lucy with a wealth of start-up issues including business planning, marketing, finding premises, pricing, insurance, tax, NI and cashflow forecasting.

Mel further assisted with the successful application for a start-up loan.

Lucy also signed up to the Business Wales Green Growth and Equality pledges and has committed to ensuring the wellbeing of her staff and the local community as well as delivering an accessible and inclusive service to all.

Outcomes

  • successful launch
  • 2 jobs
  • start-up loan secured

The Business Wales support has been invaluable. From our very first phone call, Mel's knowledge and experience has been relevant and appropriate. The “Taking the Plunge" workshop hosted by her in January 2019 was the real start of my journey. I learned so much on that day, which cemented the fact that I was ready to start my own business. Throughout the whole process, I have benefitted from Mel's calm manner, in-depth knowledge, continual encouragement and words of support. During the process of writing the business plan and applying for a loan, Mel gave me honest and relevant advice.

Plans and ambitions

My immediate plans are to grow The Make Spot into a viable, profitable business with a high reputation as the place to go for sewing lessons, workshops and parties. My 8-year plan is to expand the business enough to open further studios in other towns.

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.

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