Emma Evelyn Stone worked as a Transport Secretary before deciding to return to university and study a science degree.
Horses had been a huge part of her life since she was 4 years old and, besides wanting to prove to others that she was smart enough to study for a degree, she really wanted to follow her passion and work with horses. In Emma’s third year of study, she sadly lost her Father but also became a Mother to her son.
Emma originally started a small business creating rosettes while on maternity leave after sciatica prevented her from moving around too much. After the birth of her son, Emma looked into the cost of childcare and realised that she would be financially better off if she worked for herself.
After receiving large numbers of requests for rosettes from friends and family, then by word of mouth, Emma decided to look at other options of products to sell and moved onto rugs and horse and rider clothing, most recently branching into embroidered clothing. Her business now has an estimated turnover of around £25,000 per year. She has been trading now for around 18 months and mostly sells her products in Europe but has shipped internationally, as far afield as Las Vegas.
Emma found her biggest challenge when starting up was keeping her nerve and being motivated to carry on when things don’t go to plan. She is looking to grow over the next few years, with a view to open a showroom, expand her workshop and take on staff (at present Emma works full-time on her own). Emma has just purchased a new embroidery machine, one of only 6 in the UK, and hopes that this will help her to extend her line of clothing even further.
Emma has really taken advantage of the mentoring offered with her Start Up Loan, which she found to be very helpful. She is still in regular contact with her mentor, Alan, and they have a great relationship.