Workshops to boost success of creative businesses
Beginning on Wednesday 8 February, from 10am to 12pm, the first event will be a Creative Product Launch Workshop, led by Lianne Coates of Bingley-based sales and marketing consultancy, Anise Development. The practical workshop is free and aimed at businesses looking to develop a strategy and plan for launching new products or taking existing products into new market sectors.
The course, held at AW Hainsworth in Stanningley, will talk business owners through an analysis of their customers’ requirements and the methods of reaching them, before developing plans for sales and marketing activities. It will also be an opportunity for sharing ideas around what has worked for the businesses in attendance and, equally importantly, what has not been successful.
Following this will be a hands-on writing workshop on Thursday 23 February, led by professional copywriter, Nick Copland. Running from 9am – 12pm at AW Hainsworth, the course will show attendees how to write more effectively for their business and how to use words to deliver success.
The writing workshop costs £50 or £30 for clients of Leeds Beckett’s Enterprise and Innovation Hub. For more information and to book a place, please click here.
The Creative Fashion and Textile Hub was launched in September 2016 to provide a dynamic and supportive co-working environment for new and growing creative, fashion and textile companies within AW Hainsworth’s historic textile mill.
Adam Hainsworth, Company Director at AW Hainsworth, Fran Parkinson, Operations Manager at Leeds Beckett, and Simon Baldwin, Acting Head of Enterprise at Leeds Beckett.
Fran Parkinson, Operations Manager at Leeds Beckett University, said: “We were delighted to launch the Creative, Fashion and Textile Hub with AW Hainsworth last year and we have already received so much interest in this new space. We have been delighted to welcome in our first businesses, all of whom are excited to be based in such an inspirational creative setting. To help support them we are hosting a Product Launch Workshop and Writing Workshop next month which will help them take their businesses to the next level. Our open day is also a great opportunity for anyone wanting to find out more, or to trial the space, to come and take a look around.”
Rhian Kempadoo Millar (pictured top), Owner of Kempadoo Millar Headwear which boasts clients including actor Idris Elba, moved into the Creative, Fashion and Textile Hub in October 2016. She explained: “My company started trading in 2013 after being conceived in 2010 while I was studying Millinery at Leeds College of Art part-time. As part of a module I began exploring ethical fashion and the decline of the textile industry in Yorkshire. From this developed a ‘pet project’ to see if you can still make a flat cap in Yorkshire from 100% locally sourced materials.
“I decided to set up Kempadoo Millar: creating honest headwear and specialising in locally manufactured hats made from luxury local tweeds and fabrics. Our signature style is the flat cap which we have reinvented with bright tweeds, silk bows and quirky details.
“I was running KM Headwear from my spare room, affectionately known as ‘Flat Cap Towers’ to friends, but fast running out of space for stock as orders grew. I heard about the Creative Fashion and Textile Hub and, after a visit, just loved the character of the mill. It was perfect for the next step forward.
“Having access to sewing machines, a cutting table, fast Wi-fi and being alongside other creative businesses has transformed the business. Things are going from strength to strength with new stockists coming on board and new opportunities developing weekly. I think this is down to having a more professional workspace, accessing support from the Leeds Beckett team and having the ability to invite clients to an office at AW Hainsworth, which has a worldwide reputation in the textiles industry.
“I would highly recommend the Creative, Fashion and Textile Hub to any small businesses as it’s the perfect way to move to the next level, getting support and working alongside fellow creatives and designers. There is a great atmosphere and often opportunities for collaboration too.
“Recently some of our caps were used in a feature for House of Solo, a high fashion magazine also based at the Hub. There’s always creative things happening somewhere!”
Rhian working in the Creative, Fashion and Textile Hub.
Rhian has signed up for the product launch workshop in preparation for launching her new lines in 2017/18.
She added: “KM Headwear have lots of new collaborations in the pipeline for 2017, including one with Yorkshire County Cricket; new stockists, including Singapore and New York; and lots of national press and marketing coming up. We are delighted to be part of the Creative, Fashion and Textile Hub for the next exciting stage of our journey.”
Creative Fashion and Textile Hub clients benefit from collaborative co-working opportunities, access to AW Hainsworth’s luxury fabrics and meeting space, access to sewing machines and cutting tables, a year’s free membership of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, business mentoring and training through Leeds Beckett’s Enterprise and Innovation Hub, regular breakfast networking events, and more For more information, please visit the website.
Fran added: “We are currently looking for specialist mentors with expertise in the creative industry and fashion contacts who might be interested in getting involved in the project and would encourage anyone with experience in this field to get in touch by contacting the Enterprise and Innovation Hub by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0113 281 6770.”