Two North East entrepreneurs are hoping a series of deals with 20 retailers will propel their greetings card and children’s lifestyle business to success.
Amy Clarke and Helen Turner, both 33, established ‘Rosie and Radish’ after pursuing separate careers outside of the region.
The Nottingham Trent University graduates developed their range of greetings cards around two characters: a young girl called Rosie and her pet mouse, Radish.
A number of independent retailers, along with Fenwicks department stores, now stock the cards.
The entrepreneurs have been helped by North Tyneside Council’s The Business Factory advisor, Janice Ross. Now they plan expand the brand with gift wrapping, stationery, clothing and fabrics - and also story books.
Ms Clarke, from Cullercoats, worked as a graphic designer for a book publisher in London prior to establishing the business, while Ms Turner, from Consett, worked as an illustrator on books for Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Egmont.
Ms Clarke explained: “There is so much to consider when establishing your own business and whilst we had each other to bounce ideas off and make sure that we had everything covered,
we really wanted to make sure that when the time came to launch ‘Rosie and Radish’ we had considered all our options thoroughly.
“Janice’s experience was invaluable; she supported us every step of the way and made sure that we thought through every decision as well as offering guidance and advice with our marketing strategy and recommending workshops we should attend on PR, marketing and book-keeping. We found these really useful and it was lovely to meet fellow entrepreneurs who were experiencing the same thing as us.”
Ms Turner said: “We are really pleased with the progress we have made so far and our next big milestone would be to secure an order from a national chain. The support we received from The Business Factory has helped us focus on ensuring we have the foundations in place to achieve our longer term strategy.
“I would advise other entrepreneurs to be patient with their start-ups - it takes time to build up relationships and to establish a brand. For us, seeing our cards in a shop and knowing that we have carved out our own successful business is incredible.”
The Business Factory, funded by North Tyneside Council, offers free advice and professional support to anyone planning to start a business in North Tyneside.
For more information on how to start your own business, contact The Business Factory on (0191) 605 3110.