Laura Murphy was one of the award winners at our 25th Anniversary awards last July; we thought we’d catch up with her to see how things were going.
“I couldn’t believe it when I won the Entrepreneur Award last year, I was chuffed to have been nominated, but didn’t think I stood any chance of winning. I’d never won anything at all before and it made me realise how far I’d come”
Laura, who has conditions including epilepsy and dyspraxia, came up with the idea to set up a sweet and chocolate gift and hamper business in 2017 after spotting a gap in the market for personalised gifts.
“I thought that the big companies who sell that sort of thing always decide what goes into them and that you might not always like everything that they put in, so I thought what if I could make them to order with the person buying them telling me what they’d like to put into them?”
Laura initially took orders from friends and family, but word soon got out and other people started placing orders too.
“The first Christmas was really busy and, as I was doing everything by myself, I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done! After a while I got into a better routine and learned how to do things in a more effective way as I went along.”
As the business was starting to grow Laura worked with our employment officer to put together a structured business plan.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without help from the Charity’s employment officer. He’s helped me at every stage and is always available to answer any questions that I have. Other staff and volunteers at the Charity have helped me with things like social media and marketing too.”
Laura, who’s been coming to the Charity for the past 13 years, as both a service user and volunteer, is now in the process of expanding her business to include ‘Candy Cart’ hire.
“I changed the name of the business to ‘Cherish my Sweets” and it’s now a registered company, so a lot has happened in the year since I won my award. My confidence has really grown and I’m in the process of getting additional help from
‘Access to Work’ to help with my accounts and bookkeeping. The employment officer is still helping me and I’m confident that I’ll continue to grow the business and start taking it in new directions over the next year.”
It was great to catch up with Laura and we wish her continued success!