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Benita Bray – Designed with Love 4U

The impact of Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) on Blatchcombe resident Benita’s health meant that she was unable to continue her 17-year nursing career. She wanted to find a more flexible alternative – with less structured hours – which she could manage with her illness.

Benita decided to take the leap to follow her passion of making handmade jewellery and crafts, but knew she needed to build her confidence and skills before she could turn her hobby into a viable business.The impact of Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) on Blatchcombe resident Benita’s health meant that she was unable to continue her 17-year nursing career. She wanted to find a more flexible alternative – with less structured hours – which she could manage with her illness.

She found out about Outset Torbay’s free business start-up support from an advert on Palm FM and went on to join the Introduction to Enterprise, and later Business Start-up workshops, at Paignton Library.

“I’m quite a shy person,” says Benita, “but the Outset programme helped me realise I could start a business from scratch. I found the whole programme very rewarding. Through the group workshops and one-to-one coaching from my advisors, I was able to develop my ideas and confidence.”

Benita went on to start her business called Designed with Love 4 U, providing personalised, high quality, affordable crafts, jewellery, wedding stationery and accessories.

“I am now building up my business, selling my products at local craft fairs and markets, which has been great for building my profile. Longer term, I hope to open up a small shop and start craft workshops where I can use my training qualifications.”

Although Benita has completed the programme of workshops, she continues to receive one-to-one coaching and support as her business develops.

“My advisors, Ali and Nikki, have been such a great source of ongoing support. The monthly Outset Torbay networking events have been really useful too, giving me the opportunity to meet others on the Outset programme and make new business contacts.”

For more information on Designed with Love 4 U visit www.designedwithlove4u.co.uk.

Outset Torbay has been funded by the ERDF Competitiveness and Employment programme, South West Regional Development Agency and Torbay Development Agency which invests in activities that will have a long-term impact on the growth and development of the local economy.

For more information on how Outset Torbay could help you develop your business idea into a reality, please call us on 0800 032 2905, email us on info@outsettorbay.co.uk or visit www.outsettorbay.co.uk