First applicant to benefit from the Connecting Somerset project
Kaye Parmenter – Crafty Gift Company
A Somerton artist and mother-of-two is to create a on-line craft and gift shop thanks to a £900 grant from ‘Connecting Somerset’, the county’s one stop shop for advice and funding support on the broadband and the IT Revolution.
Kaye Parmenter of Ivy Leaf Road is the first applicant to benefit from the ‘Connecting Somerset’ project which was launched at the start of the year to encourage small and medium sized businesses to realise the benefits of broadband and IT.
Kaye set up the Crafty Gift Company whilst juggling caring for her two young boys with design work in the spare evenings at her home in Somerton. She first unearthed her talents at a watercolour painting course at Flatford Mill in Suffolk where she found her miniature sketches and watercolours were very popular as greetings cards. Kaye’s unique, quirky and offbeat designs proved a big hit with friends and family and before long she was hosting monthly ‘card parties’ where others could sample her work.
“As each and every card is unique many of my customers were asking to see my designs on-line,” said Kaye, “which is why I decided to find out more about broadband and IT.
“My aim is to create a fantastic on-line craft and gift shop selling many items such as knitted scarves and textiles, bags, felted toddler shoes and painted furniture. Having a fully e-commerce website will broaden my customer base and enable me to improve my service for existing customers.”
Kaye’s website is being designed and constructed by Juice in Glastonbury.
She was put in touch with Juice by Business Link Somerset who administers the £2.3 million ‘Connecting Somerset’ project. Specialist advisers are on hand to visit companies to offer practical advice and recommend tailor-made ways in which individual business can use broadband to help improve competitiveness, productivity, sales and customer service. Vouchers are available to subsidise the cost of a variety of initiatives which could make a step change to their business, including website development, broadband access and staff training.
Connecting Somerset is funded by the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Somerset County Council, Somerset’s five district councils, the European Social Fund and Business Link.
Dave Cornish, Somerset County Council’s Connecting Somerset Project Manager said: “Broadband can transform businesses, saving significant time and money as well as opening up new markets. We are delighted Kaye’s business is the first in Somerset to benefit from the ‘Connecting Somerset’ project. She has shown that making the most of IT can make a big difference to small businesses in rural Somerset.”
If you run a business in Somerset and would like to know more about how Connecting Somerset could help you, please call the Connecting Somerset team on 08457 211 112 or email [email protected]
Contact Us : 0845 130 1595 | [email protected]