1. Explain your business in thirty seconds or less

At the Creation Station, we offer award-winning classes, parties and events that will spark children's imaginations and nurture their creativity. We offer creative activities and classes to enjoy for babies and pre-school children, Family fun creative classes at weekends and during holidays for ages 2 – 11 years, Crafty fun for grown-ups and creative well-being classes in the Care Sector. Also, with the squeeze on creativity in the education system, we are proud to support children, parents, teachers and governors with fun and educational after-school Create Clubs, and there is a growing demand for holiday provisions that offer arts and craft activities.

People of all ages love to get involved with hands-on activities and there is growing evidence to support the huge benefits that art and craft activities have for vulnerable groups such as Dementia sufferers, those with Learning Disabilities and the Elderly. We work closely with these groups to ensure that their arts and crafts experience is tailored specifically to their needs and what we offer is absolutely perfect! The great thing about our classes is children and adults enjoying themselves and exploring and celebrating their creativity.

2. Where are you based and why is it a good location for your business?

I am based in Skipton, Grassington, Riddlesden and surrounding areas which have captive markets for creative arts due to an abundance of existing creative communities with a diverse range of people.

3. How did you come up with the idea?

I came across The Creation Station a few years ago when hunting for a career that filled my creative urges and offered flexible working hours. I was impressed with the company’s philosophies and vision for facilitating creativity for all ages and the diverse range of income streams they have developed to enable this. At the time I didn’t feel ready for the commitment and instead trained as a teacher, but the seed had been sown and earlier this year I decided to trust my instincts and just went for it! 

4. What stage was your business at when you applied for the Start Up Loan?

When I applied for the loan I had just finished my training week at the head office. I had written the business plan and worked out the financial forecast with assistance from Fran at head office, so I was just starting out.

5. How have you used it to grow your business?

The loan I was awarded has been used a number of items, from premium products that wow the children to venue hire costs that give me the perfect place to inspire imaginations from.

6. Who is your regional delivery partner and how did they help you get a Virgin StartUp loan?

Airedale Enterprise Services. My Virgin StartUp advisor was Phil Harrison at Airedale Enterprise Services who was a fantastic support throughout the full application process. He guided me through the fine-toothcomb aspects of the application and, in short, ensured no stone was left unturned.

7. Biggest achievement so far?

Slime Workshops during half term! They were all great successes and even led to bookings for Slime Workshops for Beavers and Rainbows, which was fantastic.

8. What’s next for your business?

In the next 12 months I plan to be the go-to person for creative classes, parties & events in Skipton, Grassington, Riddlesden and the surrounding areas. I hope to be running an exciting and profitable business that will enable me to grow year-on-year and offer the North West the absolute best in creativity.

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