Onesie Warehouse- Star Business of the Month – May 2015

The Story

Onesie WarehouseHi ūüôā I’m Georgina and Onesie Warehouse started after selling hundreds of the all in¬†one piece suits from my dining room table via Facebay (Groups on facebook selling locally to one another). Whilst this was happening my Sister, Lucy Hall who runs Kent Social Media was building the Onesie Warehouse website. This was all happening when onesies just emerged as a super comfy fashion item worn by many celebrities including One Direction and Brad Pitt. Once the website was launched and passed on to me the competition was rife – however sales were still pouring in. Therefore I made the decision to transform my garage into a Warehouse and continue to increase stock levels in order to market a wider range of designs and styles.

I knew for the business to keep going amongst big competitors such as New Look, boohoo.com, Marks & Spencers, Next and many more I needed to create partnerships. I have always liked the idea of doing business and giving back. I read Richard Branson’s ‚ÄėScrew Business as Usual‚Äô and this inspired me to¬†start partnering with charities.

Onesie WarehouseMy first charity partnership was JDRF a large Type 1 Diabetes Charity which offers support and research to cure those diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. I provided their official Onesie and gave £5 from each sale to the charity as well as going the extra mile to improve awareness of the charity. I helped with their competitions providing a onesie as a prize and held a large campaign around World Diabetes day when JDRF put on a huge walk which they do every year. I also gained my first celebrity endorser, Simon King of The Hairy Bikers. Over 150 sales of the onesie came just from the charity and raised over £750 in a few months.

I am now partnered with Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, The Children’s Air Ambulance and will soon be partnering with a cause for animals, to utilise this we will make use of our fleece animal onesies. I believe Onesie Warehouse growth will be centred around developing strong partnerships and giving back to great charities.

Why start a business?

I have always wanted to run my own successful business; after university studying Media, Communication and Cultural studies I travelled to South America and returned becoming part owner of a woman’s clothing boutique. It was great fun and such a learning curve but I wanted something more and went on to travel again for a year to Asia and Australasia.

Team OnesieOn return I started managing music artists. This combined my two passions, the first being music and the second, selling, which was brought on by years as a market trader for my family’s business. I became part of a new digital music start up company which allowed me to be involved in music projects and come up with creative ideas on a daily basis. Two years on and I am now COO for the company and have since started a new music business alongside this with a great passionate team.

Onesie Warehouse and the music management both came to fruition at the same time. I really do consider myself lucky that I have a business with low costs that is growing and at the same time building a successful career in the music industry – two completely different businesses that provides an equal amount of passion. I will continue to grow Onesie Warehouse and hopefully pass the business to either family or other passionate people who believe in the brand and its partnerships. I would love to continue to run both businesses, however managing my time between the two can prove difficult at times.

Finally, I feel I must use my selling skills to plug the Business Mentoring on offer from Kent Foundation. My Mentor Jo, has not only been a great guide but she has offered fantastic support, which when times have got stressful has made me feel at ease to create strategies and take a new approach to combating problems that have arisen in the business.

Business Tip:

Its hard for me to give just one business tip so here is a few for those early on in their business.

“Keep moving forward, think of new ways to grow everyday and start that plan as soon as possible. Don‚Äôt sit on things or procrastinate.”

“Partnering with those more experienced or those that can help you grow is important.”

“Finally give back where you can because you can.”

Get In Touch with Onesie Warehouse:

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Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs a proud Finalist at Kent Charity Awards

Kent Charity Awards Finalist:

Community Charity of the Year Award

We are pleased to announce that we were crowned a Finalist in the first ever Kent Charity Awards. The awards received almost 160 entries, so we were mightily pleased to be one of the final three to be short-listed in the Community Category.

Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs Finalist Kent Charity AwardsKent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs Finalist Kent Charity AwardsKCA14_15_FinalistKent Charity Awards

Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs Finalist Kent Charity Awards

About us and our work:

The Kent Foundation is a business support charity that is dedicated to promoting, encouraging and supporting business start-up and growth amongst Kent’s young people.  We actively engage with all your people who seek business support and specifically target young people in the area of Kent with the highest levels of youth unemployment.

All of our business support services are provided free of charge to Kent’s young people. We are privileged that the business community of Kent is so willing to invest their time in to the future development of Kent’s young business people through volunteering, networking and sponsoring. In the past 4 years we have gained the support of over 100 Volunteers who have completed our training to become Business Mentors.

Support us:

To donate, just click below, and don’t forget to include Gift-Aid, it gives us that little bit extra ūüėČ
Donate Now Button

To sponsor us head over to our Contact Us page to send us a message

To become a Volunteer Business Mentor, check this out…

French Work Experience Student Supports Kent’s Young Business Owners

Myriam CompressedHello I’m Myriam

I am¬†17 years old and enjoy¬†singing, shopping, listening to music, sport, going out at night to restaurants, cinema, etc…

Tell us about where you are from in France?

I‚Äôm from Marseille, a¬†big city in the south of France. Previously¬†the name of the city was Massilia, don’t ask me why, I really don’t remember ūüėĬ†Here’s¬†something important to know about it? It¬†is very sunny! In Maidstone the ‚Äúmust have‚ÄĚ is an umbrella, but in Marseille it‚Äôs definitely the sunglasses!

beachesI think two of the most important aspects of life in my city are ‚ÄúThe Summer‚ÄĚ (we have beautiful beaches) and ‚ÄúThe Football‚ÄĚ (our team is Olympic de Marseille).¬†We have¬†many places to visits, many malls for shopping, and a lot of beaches to tan.

The ‚ÄúMarseillais‚ÄĚ (people who live in Marseille) are proud of our accent which is unique to the¬†South of France, so much so that a lot of French people from other regions in the country can¬†have trouble¬†understanding us.

Plus the foods are totally better than England.

Why did you come to England for your work experience?

Since I was 11 years old, I have loved English and am really interested in the English and American singers.

I started my studies in a College General and my English¬†was really good so they put me in the European section¬†but this didn’t interest me enough so I decided to change to Professional Studies.¬†I am currently study Admin Work in the vocational High School Frederic Mistral and this is my last year.

There are 5 periods of work experience that I have had to complete during my 3 years studying Admin and 1 period is in England because I’m in European section.  Not all students in my class have the chance to do this work experience in England, you have to be responsible and good at English.

To complete work experience in England allows me to improve my English and discover a new way of working in a different culture.

What does Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs do? What was your role?

Kent Foundation is a charity enterprise that helps young peoples to start their own business. They find a Volunteer Business Mentor for each young business person to support them.

Myriam MazeThe Mentor meets the young business person and they work together on business problems. The Mentors have attended training to be prepared for this experience.

Some tasks that I completed were:
– Participated and engaged with young people and business owners at exhibitions.
– Create documents such as minutes of meetings, posters, risk assessments, organisation charts etc
– Participate in meetings with Mentors, Mentees and Volunteers.
– Redesign the notice board at the entrance.

Where did you go and what did you see on your stay to England?

During my 3 weeks in Maidstone, I went to London visiting Camden Town where you can find a bargain so I bought some clothes, I also went to Oxford Street via Piccadilly Circus. I went just the once to London because the train from Maidstone to London is expensive…

We also celebrated the birthday of a boy in my class by having a night out bowling.

When I was with my teachers in October, we visited Leeds Castle, Historic Dockyard in Chatham and Madame Tussaud’s in London and of course I went in to Maidstone Town for some shopping and souvenirs…

What have you learnt from your experience?

During my work experience I learnt to:

– Develop my language skills
– Discover a new culture, a new way of life
– Be more mature, be independent
– Be aware about the clothes i’m wearing e.g. formal/informal
– Listen and respond
I will always keep a good souvenir about this work experience in my memory, it was exceptional for me to do it in England and with great people. I met so many¬†people during meetings and events, all the things that I did were really interesting.¬†It was a one off chance for me to work in this enterprise with Paul and Liam, they are¬†so passionate about their jobs ūüôā

THANK YOU FOR THE EXPERIENCE

Ten & Bourne – Star Business of the Month – January 2015

Ten and Bourne Digital Creative Agency‚ÄúWe‚Äôre a small digital creative agency who use creative and strategic thinking to help our clients create engaging¬†experiences throughout their online marketing and web platforms.”

Ten & Bourne was founded in 2013 with a vision of a highly flexible agency that creates teams around clients in order to deliver the best possible web solutions.

Chris Mead & Anthony Bliss, both from Sittingbourne have been working together on various projects together for the last 5 years after meeting whilst working at a fast growing web agency in Maidstone and were both educated at the former Maidstone, Kent Institute of Art & Design or UCA in specialisms across Interactive Design. Each wanted to create a business for themselves since leaving full time education but knew that to maximise their chances they would benefit from real industry experience.

anthony-blissAfter leaving our full time positions we managed to secure investment for our first company together and take part in a 13 week intensive business accelerator program. The idea for the business was not strong enough to survive but still gave us an important experience and insight into the work and effort involved in starting something for ourselves. We knew from that point to play to our strengths in creative design, digital marketing and digital products as a core part of our company DNA. We have big plans to grow from being a service company to developing our own web products that will see us grow significantly as a company.

The last year has seen us provide web based solutions for some really successful UK and Global brands as more businesses begin to understand how important the internet is to their survival.

chris-meadWe have been busy enough to establish an office in Sweden with a team that reflects our values and supported us by creating new opportunities with a range of Swedish clients. As far as trade routes go, as a business we live online, we can operate from anywhere and work with clients around the world, we have clients in America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Our biggest barrier we have faced is being able to keep moving forward fast enough to serve our clients whilst dealing with a huge surge in new business, being able to stay in contact with existing clients and keep projects on track. We have grown increasingly towards full capacity which has been a struggle but fortunately we have been able to meet the demand and keep our customers happy.

We have just celebrated our first year in business and this coming year we are looking to expand our team in the UK, move to¬†a new office and launch our new web services division, Brave Little Tank‚ĄĘ. This will form the new brand of our¬†agency as we begin to invest in developing our own web platforms.

We are planning to launch a crowdfunding project in the new year to help us fund the first year of a creative office space in a local town that will allow us to bring in young people for work experience and provide a placement for internships to the local area.

We’ve Re-Branded – Brave Little Tank

Ten & Bourne have rebranded to Brave Little Tank. A digital marketing agency specialising in marking digital efforts more effective. Identifying & reducing the obstacles in design and user experience often overlooked by others, improving online sales and conversions.

Brave Little Tank digital strategy and marketing

Our top tip is:

“Remember to stay as best informed as possible, but trust your instincts. This isn’t us saying make rash¬†decisions, simply don’t compromise your own judgement without having a good reason, and learn to tell the difference¬†between feeling out of your comfort zone and having a bad feeling about a decision.”

“You are the ones in control of your business and that is double edged sword at best.”

Get In Touch With Ten and Bourne:

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Runway Training – Star Business of the Month – November 2014

About Runway Training Runway Training and Apprenticeships

Founded in 2008, Runway Training was born out of a need for a more flexible and accessible way for adult learners to gain level 2 English and maths qualifications. Today the Tonbridge based company employs 15 people and offers blended and online learning solutions, as well as a range of professional development courses and high quality apprenticeships to employers including AXA PPP Healthcare, Hospice in The Weald and DFDS Seaways.

About Oliver

Oliver Trailor - Runway Training and Apprenticeships

Having completed a History degree at the University of Kent, Managing Director Oliver Trailor spent six months at a local Further Education College. Working within the Student Services team, Oliver spoke with individuals on a daily basis wanting to complete English and Maths qualifications to support their personal and professional development. For many the provision on offer was not accessible, busy home lives and work commitments meant travelling to college or attending evening classes was not possible. Having discussed a potential solution with a local Headmaster, who was becoming frustrated at constantly releasing staff for a whole day, the concept of offering an online course was developed.

‚ÄúDuring the early days I used to just work on a laptop and had no fixed office.¬†A¬†day‚Äôs work consisted of travelling around various employers to visit learners and then making use of free wifi at local cafes to complete admin and check e-mails‚ÄĚ.

A finalist for the 2012 West Kent Young Entrepreneur of the year award, Oliver has significantly grown the business and in 2013, launched the Runway Apprenticeships brand which delivers high quality apprenticeships across the Hospitality & Catering, Accountancy, Business and Health & Social Care sectors.

‚ÄúWe are very proud of our apprenticeship division and the high success rates of those apprentices gaining long term employment following completion of their programme. Our aim is to listen to employers and provide the very best service that meets the needs of their business, rather than a¬†‚Äėone size fits all‚Äô¬†approach‚ÄĚ.

Having helped over 7,000 learners achieve nationally recognised qualifications, Runway Training have learners all over the country and even some overseas. Away from work Oliver has a keen interest in Rugby and enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.

Oliver’s plans for the future are to continue to grow Runway’s range of apprenticeship programmes and to develop an online English and maths GCSE course. He is also developing a shadowing programme with aspiring principal Nikki Gilbey to ensure that future FE leaders are able to learn from those currently in leadership roles.

Oliver’s Business Tip:

‚ÄúDon‚Äôt be afraid to try new things and learn from your mistakes.¬†Not everything will work, but it‚Äôs about how you learn from those experiences and move forward. I also try and look to those with more knowledge for advice and to discuss business ideas. If you constantly find yourself in a room full of people who know less than you, then you‚Äôre in the wrong room!‚ÄĚ

Get in touch with Runway Training:

Website Facebook Twitter

Better Body Group – Star Business of the Month – October 2014

Better Body Group

About the Better Body Group

The Better Body Group was set up to solve a problem. People looking to lose weight or improve fitness were not getting the results they desired. This was down to two reasons; firstly their environment. All of the big gyms seemed to lack the right atmosphere. These chains were set up for profit only, the floor space was packed full of useless yet complex machines, the sales team seemed to be the only members of staff that cared (and that was only until you signed a 12 month contract!) and there was no extra care provided for those with special requirements.

Secondly the trainers were simply not qualified or experienced enough. There was (and still is) no governing body for personal trainers. That meant that anyone could become a personal trainer or therapist in a matter of weeks. Suddenly every man and his dog were becoming ‚Äėfitness experts‚Äô or ‚Äėweight loss gurus‚Äô. This led to a huge rise in misinformation. Instead of trainers keeping their training methods based around science they simply started training their clients in the same way they would train themselves.

The combination of the two made it near on impossible for clients to achieve their goals quickly or safely. Cue the Better Body Group!

The Better Body Group Team has improved the lives of over 10,000 people in the south east. Our team of 30+ personal trainers and physiotherapists provide professionally guided exercise and nutrition solutions whatever your age, weight or goal.

About Director Chris Wharton

Chris Wharton - Better Body Group

After graduating in 2007 with an exercise science degree, Chris knew he wanted to run his own business. He first met his business partner Jason Crow by chance¬†stumbling across his personal training company in Sevenoaks. It was just 12 months later that Jason and Chris decided on a partnership to open a bigger and better facility. Over the next 4 years they built the biggest and most qualified team of personal trainers and physiotherapists in the country in one of Europe‚Äôs biggest personal training facilities based in Sevenoaks. A second site has recently opened in Blackheath with a third due to open in Wimbledon village at the end of the month. The team are always looking for ways to better other people so they launched ‚ÄėBetter Body Institute‚Äô. An education company working in conjunction with universities across the UK.

In his spare time Chris is keen to help other young entrepreneurs achieve their potential. He recently became a Volunteer Business Mentor for Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs and is a supporting entrepreneur for 7billionideas.com. The recent 2014 Kent Excellence In Business Awards brought success as a Finalist in two categories the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’, and ‘Customer Service and Commitment’.

Chris’ Business TipBetter Body Group

‚ÄėSurround yourself with the right people. I am lucky enough to have an amazing team of staff and clients to work with every day. What‚Äôs more I have been lucky enough to have a great business partner in Jason Crow who has helped support me through some tough times.¬†Finding yourself a mentor or someone that has already made the journey you are taking can save you a lot of time‚Ķand money!‚Äô

Connect with the Better Body Group:

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