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Business Support Success Story - The Wishing Tree, Beaumaris

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

Môn CF's Business Support team has been providing expert guidance to small businesses all across Anglesey!

Kate Woodhouse is the owner of one such business and came to Môn CF looking for support to help secure funding to buy equipment for her terrarium business.

We headed over to Beaumaris to catch up with Kate who told us about the support she received from Môn CF to apply for Welsh Government funding. Here's what we spoke about!

Kate Woodhouse - Owner of The Wishing Tree
Kate Woodhouse - Owner of The Wishing Tree in Beaumaris

Q1. Hi Kate, could you tell us a little about yourself and your business?

Hi, I’m Kate, I run my own business called The Wishing Tree here in Beaumaris.

I’m a craft business, and I specialise in making bespoke terrariums from my workshop. I also sell other craft pieces which include household ornaments, some of my paintings, and gifts.

I do some work alongside other local artists and craftspeople too, giving them a way to promote and showcase their work from my shop.

The terrariums I make are like miniature gardens. Everything is housed in a glass container in a self-sustaining ecosystem where plants can grow.

I moved to North Wales when I was 19 and had been working in the hospitality sector, up until the pandemic which left me without a job.

I’ve always been a hands-on and crafty person and I’ve always been really interested in plants. During lockdown I started to create and paint a lot more, which is when I learned about terrariums.

I’ve always liked things that are a little on the quirky side, and I started making my own terrariums soon after.

Once the lockdowns lifted, I got a space in the Exchange in Beaumaris, which is a shared space for small businesses. Soon after I was offered some space in Bodnant Garden. I now have a shop in Beaumaris. I share the space with the Osteo Origin Clinic! I have to give credit to Robert Richardson, who owns Osteo Origin, for letting me rent the space.

I also owe a huge thanks to Kerry Massey, owner of Soulful Living in Beaumaris, who's supported me throughout my journey. I couldn't have done any of this without her support!

Showcase of Terrariums
Every terrarium is hand crafted and unique!

Q2. How did you initially approach Môn CF? Was it always for Business Support, or did you come to us for a different reason?

When the space in Bodnant Gardens came up I jumped at the opportunity, but it was a much bigger space than I’d had previously, and I didn’t have the equipment I needed to fill it.

I didn’t really know what kind of help was available to a business like mine, so I started looking. I’d been operating for around 10 months which meant I wasn’t eligible for some start-up grants.

I’d seen an advert for an event Môn CF was hosting that was there to support businesses gain access to funding, and thought it’d be worth paying them a visit. I also wanted to meet some other local business owners too.

The event was to help small businesses gain access to funding that could be used to purchase equipment and fixtures – things like shelving, displays, and point of sale.

This was exactly what I needed – there seems to be a bit of a gap when it comes to funding where there’s lots of support if you’re just starting out, but not so much when you’ve been trading for a few months.

I went to the event and there were all these people who wanted to help me grow my business, and there was prosecco too, which was great!

Q3. Could you tell us a bit more about how your business has grown, and how the support you received helped that growth?

A tall bottle terrarium
Kates terrariums come in all sizes

The support I received helped me apply for some equipment funding.

There were some criteria I needed to meet to make sure I could access the funds. I wasn’t allowed to buy stock with it for example, but I could use it to kit out my premises and buy other essentials for my business.

I received around £1,700 from the grant which went towards equipment and shelving for my shop. I also used some of it to buy a laptop and some software so I can take my business online.

Môn CF helped me source the items I needed, and I’ve used them to showcase my terrariums and other products.

The support I received has helped me get my business off the ground. There are so many small things you don’t think of when you’re starting out. The support has helped me provide a quality business from the word go, rather than having to wait to build over time.

I think that’s important, being able to provide quality from the offset.

Q4. Could you tell us about your plans for the future of your business?

The next big step for my business will be selling my terrariums online. The nature of how they’re made, and the fact they’re housed in glass makes them difficult to ship commercially.

I’ve just had a meeting this morning with a courier company, and it looks like they can provide the delivery solution I’ve been looking for.

I’ve been speaking to owners of similar businesses across the UK, and they’ve given me a lot of good advice, like where to source some of the materials I need.

I’m also looking at new products to incorporate into my terrariums – new plants are always a must!

Another area I’m working hard on is my online presence. The website is constantly moving, and I’m growing on social media.

There’s a lot going on and I do it all myself, the sales, the marketing, and running the show – it keeps me busy!

Display of artwork
Kate also showcases the work of other local artists and craftspeople

Q5. One more, if you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting their own business, what would it be?

I’d recommend that you look at what support is available before you start!

There’s a lot more than you’d think, it’s just hard to find sometimes, so don’t lose heart and do plenty of research before you start.

I think there needs to be more in place for people a bit further down the line but start looking as early as possible!

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