We often think that we don’t shout out enough about our amazing clients who achieve incredible success in the face of often quite terrible circumstances and don’t give up even when they come up against multiple setbacks and rejections. A great example of this is Carolyn Grant – known to all her friends as Bo, now the owner and proprietor of a successful Welsh business based in Swansea called Bo Bakes.
Bo is a later clinician and for a number of years owned a salon and cosmetic clinic. The clinic did well but the beauty salon always struggled, although she kept going. In 2012, her son was seriously ill and had to have open heart surgery – she realized in the long hours waiting in hospital that she couldn’t continue with both businesses and be there for her family. She closed the salon and continued with the clinic as her son recovered but then she struggled financially. She had hit a low point both financially and emotionally, exhausted from everything, and gave up the business.
As she recovered herself, she returned to an old interest in the drinks market, particularly smoothies and milk shakes, and decided to start a new business initially from a trailer going round the festivals in the summer season. She sold equipment from her old business to get the trailer and stock but she needed help with the fees for the first few festivals. Because of her by now poor credit score, no funder would help her – but Purple Shoots was able to offer her a small loan so she could get the business off the ground. She was so successful that the loan, which was repayable over 2 years, was fully repaid in 6 months.
Whilst at the festivals, Bo baked her speciality shortbread to her own recipe and sold that alongside the drinks – it was so well received that this sowed the idea for the expansion of her business into a Welsh baking company. She started to sell to cafes and artisan shops in her local area around Swansea and as demand grew, she had another small loan from Purple Shoots to enable her to set the business up fully with good branding and packaging. She now has a premises and staff. Bo Bakes is producing Bo’s Welsh shortbread and selling it right across the UK – a flagship for Welsh produce as well as a successful business in its own right. She supplies hundreds of cafes across Wales and England, as well as hotels, restaurants, artisan and tourist shops and her aim is to get it into Harrods and Fortnam and Masons in London, and to export her products around the world. She also makes bespoke items for weddings, baby showers and other events and although shortbread is the main things, the product range is expanding into various other delicious cakes and biscuits. www.bobakes.co.uk
CASE STUDY – JANE MULLINS
After a period of family illness and her own ill-health, which had left the whole family at a very low point financially, Jane wanted to start again and rebuild her career and her family’s circumstances. She had previously worked in dementia care and seen examples of bad practice, but also some really excellent care which has informed what she has done since. She wanted to establish a training company which would teach people how to care for people with dementia well. Because she hadn’t been working and had no funds to put in, no one would support her until she met Purple Shoots – after that first meeting she said she could see a chink of light beginning to shine at the end of the long dark tunnel she’d been in.
With the loan she established her business and it took off – training people from the public and private sector and becoming recognized as an expert in her field. As a result, she was encouraged to write a book and this has just been published with the help of another small loan from Purple Shoots. The book is called “Finding the Light in Dementia” and is aimed at families and individuals dealing with dementia, a simple and practical guide to the best things to do both to help come to terms with it and to help the person with dementia. It is a great book – everyone should have a copy – and it is a testament to her courage, perseverance and determination and her passion for people with dementia.
https://www.findingthelightindementia.com/ - you can buy the book on Amazon