Successful start and 2 new jobs created for North Wales signage company.
North Wales signage and events business, Warehaus Signs, was launched by brother and sister duo, Tashka and Krystn Yeomans, in 2019 with the idea to bring together their artistic and practical skills and offer a range of signage solutions to their customers. They were supported by the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service to start the business and are already building their brand reputation in the local area.
- successful start
- 2 full-time jobs
- advisory support and workshops
Introduction to business
Mochdre-based Warehaus Signs is a family-run signage and events business, founded by brother and sister Tashka and Krystn Yeomans, delivering a modern take on all aspects of vinyl work, including shop signs and van wrappings, amongst others.
Specialising in creating unique signage for both corporate and public customers, designer Tashka and creator Krystn decided to bring together her passion for design and his practical skills to launch Warehaus Signs, offering all aspects of vinyl work, window etching, car and van wrapping, swing boards, pavement signs, light boxes as well as bespoke pieces.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I never had the desire to start my own business. I studied Art and Design in Bangor University and went on to get a degree in Fine Art from Cardiff School of Art and Design. Whilst I was in my final year, my mother passed away suddenly, and I had to come home to look after my 3 younger siblings. It was then that I realised there weren’t many, if any, opportunities to get a job with my degree within the area.
My younger brother, Krystn, and I have always been a good team; I have always come up with designs for items and he has always found a way to create them, starting with items around our own house then moving onto friends and families’ houses, etc.
We were approached by a company called SU CASA who wanted us to design and produce the sets and decor for their festival which was first held in Conwy, where we live, then at Surf in Snowdonia and at Bodlwydden Castle. We absolutely loved every aspect of the process: between us, we found that we could do near enough anything and actually do it well, but we never really had the confidence to push it any further. So, I went back to work, and my brother went to university.
A year or so afterwards, I fell pregnant and had my first baby last August. It was around the same time that Krystn finished his degree in Bangor and was looking for jobs in his field – but again, there weren’t a lot of opportunities. Not many people know that Krystn is actually autistic and has always struggled socially, so finding a job role to fit him has always been almost impossible as he struggles to speak to new people.
So, it was then that we really started thinking about what we both wanted to do career wise. I was making bespoke items for my little boy’s nursery and it seemed that everyone who saw them complimented them, and I soon ended up with a list of people who wanted bespoke items made for their own children.
As my mother had left us a bit of money, we decided that if we were going to try and set up a business, it was now or never. I was on maternity leave so had time to invest into getting the business started.
What challenges did you face?
We faced many challenges from the offset. For a start, neither of us had ever studied business or knew quite what it entailed. We were basically clueless on what we were doing and what we wanted to achieve.
We thought at the time that the best thing for us to do was to get a workshop immediately, so that we could start making the items, but it took us much longer to make it habitable, and we were just forking out money on something that we weren't utilising.
Another big issue that we faced at the beginning was that we could essentially create anything, and really struggled with finding a clear direction for the business. We started off doing events such as baby showers and weddings, but we found that it didn't make any money during the week.
We both struggle with time management and organisation which are essential skills to running a business. Additionally, a big bump on the road was when I broke my ankle back at the beginning of June and was essentially out of action for a long time – 10 weeks in plaster, two operations and months’ worth of physio, and I am still struggling with it to this day.
But above everything else, the main thing I really struggled with was confidence. I really didn’t believe that we could set up our own business, I didn’t think our products were worth anything and I didn’t have the confidence in my own ability. I spent months doubting everything we did and often felt like giving up.
Business Wales support
Tashka and Krystn approached Business Wales as they lacked both the confidence and skills to start and run their own business. Having attended a start-up workshop, they were supported by a business adviser who assisted with business planning, financial forecasting, business registration and legal structure.
Thanks to the assistance, Tashka and Krystn were able to secure funds from the New Enterprise Allowance and the Local Authority to successfully launch the business, create 2 new jobs and develop new networks and opportunities for the business.
- 2 full-time jobs
- funding secured for skills development and start-up costs
Our younger brother was the first one to attend a Business Wales course and he recommended (our adviser]) Lowri (Roberts) to us. We had previously been on another provider’s course in Liverpool, which lasted 3 days, but whilst we enjoyed the sessions, we didn't really get that much out of it as there was no real follow-up.
I personally found all Lowri's presentations very easy to follow, informative and straight to the point. She is extremely good at what she does, and I always feel more confident and knowledgeable after every meeting with her.
Additionally, by having regular contact and guidance meetings with Lowri, she has enabled our business to grow. She has helped us with challenges and problems that have arisen, introduced us to new contacts who have helped with the exposure of our business but most importantly, she has helped us build our confidence by being a patient, supportive and friendly face when we have needed it.
I can honestly say that without Lowri's help, and the help of Business Wales, we would not have managed to get to where we are today.
Future plans and ambitions
We are proud of how much our business has developed over the past 6 months and we are so happy to be able to do what we love every day.
Our vision for Warehaus Signs is to gain a professional reputation within our industry. In order to do this, our plan is to keep developing as designers, creators and business owners to ensure we can provide our clients with the best quality products and services.
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.