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Steve Taylor: Taylors Free From
Our products are vegan: savoury pies free from the top 14 allergies
Steve and his wife, Toni went vegan when she realised she was pregnant. Their ethical reason was to do their bit to safeguard their new life and the world around: in helping animals they’re also protecting the environment. As a former publican working all over the UK they were aware of hard work to achieve something they believed in and were completely customer focussed.
Taylor’s Free From started with their own favourites: new products evolved trial, test, research (and error(!)) just with the idea of developing their products as a cruelty free version of their favourites and setting prices in a realistic and ethical way.
They use (and are very happy with the Square payment system) and were referred by another trader.
It’s all about friendships, networks and service.
With no formal training Jules started the business in 2018 after making vegan chocolates many years ago for a friend called Sophie and a friend referred her to a chocolatier where over time, she learned the techniques. Everything is done from scratch with support from the vegan community- the vegan events are a great opportunity to network and share. Annie’s hand made Belgian chocolates are priced as low as possible so there’s ethical access.
Jules lost her baby Annie at twenty one months to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The business has been developed in memory of her daughter. Annie’s Vegan Treats also supports Pudz Animal Sanctuary.
They supported Pudz at the Hull Vegan Festival (29th May)
Upcycled vintage art: Gail Smith came from Manchester, went to Lincoln Art College then Epsom College to study Fashion Design HND and Manufacture.
Gail was really interested in making wedding dresses in the 1980’s and still does wedding work if asked….Uses Square to make payments: it’s great.
Gail’s mum was an accountant who bought an established florist business and they worked together on wedding dresses and providing flowers. The business grew through recommendation and networking built around ethics, family and neighbourhood. Gail loves the markets and while working has developed skills and a degree level qualification in holistic therapies. Learning is central to Gail’s approach.
Coco Cheesecakes was set up 5 years ago. Danny and Hayley have been making cheesecakes for nine years because they couldn’t find nice vegan cheesecakes.
The vegan markets are fantastic and have been growing business confidence for vegan entrepreneurs through networks. For example Coco Cheesecakes are now in No Homers the new deli on Market Street (Nottingham city centre)
Hayley does all the digital content Instagram, Facebook, Twitter e-commerce site and postal (now uses postal for special occasions). Hayley loves markets and now the pattern they work to is that Danny, her partner (and chef) focusses on making cheesecakes (and childcare with their three year old). Hayley thought up and designed the original recipes.
Hello@cococheesecakes.com They use Sum Up (looked into it, there was a special offer and thought, this is very good….
Luna Tree Clare McCormack Handmade Silver Jewellery
Claire has been in business for 15 years. She used to be a buyer for an ethical company textiles Cumbria but always wanted her own business that would lean towards a more creative path after studying photography. With a great energy and interest in learning and people, Claire did lots of jobs… then…..amazingly, she was invited to go on her company’s buying team to go to Asia and Africa.
Fifteen years on she’s developed Luna Tree and working with a hill tribe of silversmiths in Northern Thailand is just…well part of the nine to five.
She was very impressed by the community group making philosophy and remembers how ethics were becoming a thing 1990’s. (if you look at the bio of Anita Roddick, although she and her husband had been making and had been increasingly successful since the 1970’s it wasn’t until the 1990’s that western ethical businesses really began to see the importance of ethics as a marketing tool. Anita was notable in that she founded Children On The Edge which worked with vulnerable children in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe)
Claire made a really strong contact with the interpreter she worked with in Thailand. They became friends. Years later as she developed Luna Tree she asked interpreter to named Ought(oot) to work with her again. Claire travelled back to Thailand on her own, knew she had to manage everything including production and distribution timelines. Her dad lent Claire four thousand pounds (Claire had two thousand). Everything went into stock- she knocked on doors, created a presence and became the energy and ambassador of a process she knew was ethical.
For Claire planning is everything, don’t try to do too much at once- she’s always open to find new ways of selling new outlets….
Luna Tree has evolved its own ethical side hustle and sells art work from trips.
As she got to know the area and the people really well she began to volunteer at an elephant sanctuary. Volunteering became such a part of what she felt is important that she wanted to support the effort. On one of trips met an artist: Lertsark who produces artwork for the sanctuary. Lertsark only paints elephants. 50 percent of takings go to the sanctuary. Everything about the business is on social media, her website and the main source of work, opportunity, new contacts are fairs and wholesale.
Claire’s advice to new entrepreneurs is you’ve got to follow your heart to help you keep your focus. Member of BAFTs: (British Association of Fair Trade Suppliers).
Live well and prosper!
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