Student business as usual

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As a university with a Management School which is held in high esteem across the globe, Lancaster has a lot to answer for when it comes to entrepreneurial students. Here at SCAN we asked two of Lancaster’s blooming business minds to tell us more about their ventures.

Hannah Fearon, a third year Film Studies and English Literature student tells us about her unique jewellery business.

I’ve always been a rather creative person, making my own jewellery and accessories for myself to wear. I like to create unique and quirky items, things that you don’t find on the high street. Friends and family would often comment on my creations, and ask them to make them something. Eventually, this spread to random strangers asking me about them, and where I purchased them. I realised that there is still a market for handcrafted items, and that if so many people liked my creations, perhaps I should start to sell them.

So, I created my own small business, Marmalade Forest. I started by organising my own craft sales back home in Chester. I decided that I needed to expand and I started selling on eBay and Folksie, before creating my own BigCartel store. My online store, www.marmaladeforest.co.uk, is still very small, but I find that it suits my products.

I concentrate on making jewellery, but also make accessories, bags and even bake delicious cupcakes to order for weddings and other events. All of my products are unique, no two are alike, as I feel that Marmalade Forest is about hand crafted items that you won’t find anywhere else. My most popular items are from my tea party range, which consists of handmade ceramic jewellery such as necklaces with cakes and teacups on them. Along with the items I advertise on my website, I create personal items by request.

At the moment, Marmalade Forest is a small business that I am running alone. I hope to expand it, but keep things small as I like the idea of keeping my items unique, rather than mass produced. I would like to explore the possibility of selling my items somewhere on campus or in Lancaster, so that people become more aware of my products. I believe that the next step in Marmalade Forest would be to get the name out there and advertise for students. My items are all created with great care and imagination, but are very affordable. I find that many high street shops charge a lot for their products, as do many websites selling handmade products. My aim is to keep Marmalade Forest original, unique and affordable.

Marmalade Forest is still something very small, but something that I would like to take further. At the moment, it’s just me, but I’d be interested in talking to people who would be interested in helping me to advertise or expand my website. If you’re interested in Marmalade Forest, whether it’s to take a look at my items or contact me, please check out my website www.marmaladeforest.co.uk or email me at marmaladeforest@hotmail.com”

Kath Embling, Bowland College president and a third year English Language and Literature student has also been getting creative for her business venture, Lick-O-Wrist Allsorts.

“My recent business venture can only be described as a sweet accident, which although started as a bit of a joke, has suddenly blossomed into a real company. I like random and I like jewellery and when I came across a bracelet with liquorice allsort beads in my home town I knew I had to have it. I loved it. Unfortunately someone stole it when I was playing darts at university so upon buying my second bracelet I was extremely fussy when I saw the order of the beads wasn’t as symmetrical as the first. The bracelet was quite expensive too so rather than complaining I bought my own liquorice allsort beads online and started crafting my own, first for myself then for my friends.

After already being helped along by LUSU Involve for other ideas I showed them my bracelet designs after a meeting and it went from there.

Now I will have my own stall on campus where I can sell my bracelets. I have had business cards printed and have aptly named my company Lick-O-Wrist Allsorts. Since planning for my first stall I have gone a bit mad buying loads of stock to make a great variety of confectionary jewellery, including love heart, dolly mixture, percy pig and marshmallow flump beads. I have taken a risk to fund this venture but I am always optimistic and I truly believe there is a gap in the market for something as fun and quirky as my bracelets. If all goes well I am planning on setting up a website by Christmas to take online orders and expand the company. I am so excited about the future of Lick-O-Wrist Allsorts, it may not be my long term life plan but a great adventure for now.”

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