Sophie Bailey first approached Alt Valley Community Trust in January 2016 for business start-up advice, having been recommended by a colleague who had previously received Business Support Advice on the ERDF Making Business Work programme through AVCT.
Sophie, 21 yrs old, had not long since finished her Art & Design course at City of Liverpool College, having previously had part time employment at a local Garden Centre in Maghull.
Sophie told us “I have always been interested in art but from a standpoint of creating long-lasting and impactful images that are more than just static art form. So the chance to become a self- employed tattoo artist had real appeal, especially as I could get so much free professional business start-up advice.”
Sophie spotted an opportunity in her local community:
“As a long-term resident of Maghull I was aware of a local tattoo salon in Maghull, Studio City Ink run by Michael Seerey, which gave me the thought that I might just have a business opportunity on my doorstep.”
Looking for support to turn her idea into a business Sophie approached AVCT to take advantage of the free support on offer through Enterprise Hub.
“Having signed onto the Enterprise Hub business start-up programme with Alt Valley Community Trust, I was teamed up with one of their Business Advisors Roy Meredith, who arranged for me to attend an initial Business Start Up workshop along with 6 other people who were in a very similar situation to me. I thought it was great – very informative and relaxed, with just the right level of information and participation.”
After this initial workshop, Roy worked on a one-to-one basis with Sophie to help her frame her business plans and develop new skills that will be essential to the future success of the business.
Coincidentally, at around the time Sophie decided to become self- employed, Michael Seerey was re- launching his newly located and expanded salon in Maghull, so Sophie has located into that salon, whilst at the same time developing her own clientele base and creating her own art and style of tattooing.
Since Sophie launched her business in April she has completed over 130 unique tattoos for as many as 98 clients, people mainly in the 30-40 year old age bracket, but also younger and much older!
She said “I get all sorts of people calling in wanting something tattooing which is really different – perhaps to celebrate a newly born child, or remember somebody by. Or people who simply say to themselves ‘WHY NOT?'”
The new Studio City Ink salon is superbly located next to the Coach & Horses Pub in Maghull right by the pedestrian crossing lights which has been great for passing interest.
Reflecting on how far she has come so far Sophie said “My own business progress is really good and with the additional business development skills that the Alt Valley Advisors are now giving me, I’m sure I can do really well. I can’t thank the Enterprise Hub Project enough for their support and encouragement.”
For more information on Enterprise Hub please contact either the central Enterprise Hub Team on 0151 706 8113 or get in touch with Kayleigh Clarke at AVCT on 0151 546 5514.