Alyssa launched her business, Peach Blossom, in March 2015. She works at the business full-time and currently employs an assistant on a part-time basis.
Prior to starting her business Alyssa worked in a number of retail and office environments which gave her valuable customer service experience, team organisation skills and insight into how a small business runs and can grow from just an idea. Alyssa had always wanted to be involved with event planning and, having organised events in the past, she was seeking further work experience within the industry. Whilst doing research into the products for an event, she couldn’t find the style of products she would want to use. So she began looking for and making products which she would want to decorate a party with.
In her first year, Alyssa made sales of over £120,000 and now, with the help of a Start Up Loan, she plans to expand into a bricks and mortar space.
The biggest challenge Alyssa has had to overcome was her own fears of taking big steps within the business, whether it’s renting a premises or taking on an employee. When it came to securing a store location, Alyssa encountered a lot of competition and had to strike a balance between providing a good deal to the landlord and making sure she came out of the negotiations well too.
Alyssa also trades internationally and sends orders to people all around the world. She has also collaborated with another Start Up Loans recipient, Bluebird Tea Co, helping them to decorate their shop for their birthday tea party. The two businesses have worked alongside each other to create product shots which they have both shared with their audiences on social media, extending the reach of both brands beyond their own followers and fans.
Alyssa’s next step is to open a bricks and mortar location with the Start Up Loan whilst also growing the online side of the business. She plan to expand her existing product range and offer a wider range of party services to her customers; such as balloon inflation, party styling and workshops.
Alyssa received mentoring and said: “It’s been really helpful. I’ve only had two sessions so far but it’s really opened my eyes to topics and areas I didn’t know about. It’s also been great to have someone to share problems with, discover how to overcome them as well as bounce ideas off them.”