A Co Armagh mother has went from indulging a hobby of making bath bombs, soaps and candles to selling her handmake products from her own very shop with the support of the Go For It Programme, in association with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.
Michelle Crossey from Lurgan reveals that she started off making bath bombs and scented gifts for presents for friends and family a few Christmases ago.
“It just sort of took off and I started making more and then decided to turn it into a business venture,” Michelle explains.
Michelle decided to start researching natural products and developing her own range. Along with products from other local supplies. This culminated earlier this year when she established Michelle’s Melt and More, a shop in Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation in Lurgan.
“The shop stocks, bath bombs, melts, candles, frames and gift ideas,” a proud Michelle reveals.
“I had a real passion for making the products, but it was The Go For it Programme helped me turn it into a reality. My business advisor, Kirsty, helped me with all the financial planning which I needed to do to begin manufacturing and retailing my range.
“She helped me work out a business plan which has been fundamental to the business. So far things have been going really well and I have exceeded my expectations. I have the Go For It programme to thank for getting me started and helping me on the right path,” she explains.
The Go For It programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies. It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.
Kirsty Watson, Business Advisor with Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation on behalf of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council, said: “It has been a genuine pleasure guiding Michelle through the Go For It programme that has culminated in the launch of her very own shop.
“Michelle is a very talented craft person and came to the Go For It Programme with an excellent range of products that had all the female staff in CIDO making numerous orders, so we knew she had the products for a successful business venture.
“We worked with Michelle to develop a business plan, focusing on her goals and aspirations, as well as defining her service provision and marketing. We also developed a two-year financial forecast for her business, as well as finding suitable premises in our Business Complex in Lurgan.
“It’s great to see Michelle’s Melt and More doing so well, and I look forward to seeing the business go from strength to strength as Michelle expands her product range and builds on her excellent reputation across the town for top quality hand-crafted products.”
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business call 0800 027 0639 or visit: visit www.goforitni.com