Kerry crafts out on new ven­ture

The Oban Times - - Business -

A SCI­ENCE grad­u­ate with a child­hood love of art has set up her own busi­ness mak­ing jew­ellery and crafts.

Kerry MacKay, 24, from Oban set up Selkie Crafts www.face­ ear­lier this year af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a Masters in Ecol­ogy in 2013.

Through work­ing in a lo­cal craft shop, she re­dis­cov­ered her love of draw­ing and be­gan cre­at­ing her own jew­ellery which was a hit with cus­tomers.

With ad­vice from Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s Busi­ness Gate­way, Kerry de­cided to set up her own craft busi­ness sell­ing on web­sites Etsy, Folksy and at var­i­ous mar­kets through­out the re­gion.

Kerry said: ‘I have al­ways loved art and de­sign and al­though it was my favourite and best sub­ject at school, when it came to choos­ing a ca­reer I picked a sci­ence de­gree as I felt there would be more job op­por­tu­ni­ties. But hav­ing lim­ited luck in find­ing an ecol­ogy-re­lated job, I be­gan work­ing in a lo­cal shop, Crafty Ewe, where my love for crafts was reignited.

‘Now, I’m mak­ing a va­ri­ety of crafts but I par­tic­u­larly en­joy mak­ing jew­ellery with wire and beads and hand­made dream catch­ers. I have a range of prod­ucts on sale in Crafty Ewe and I also sell through var­i­ous craft web­sites. The sup­port I’ve had from Crafty Ewe has been fan­tas­tic and the feed­back from cus­tomers has been such a con­fi­dence boost.’

Kerry de­signs and cre­ates ear­rings, brace- lets, neck­laces, dream catch­ers and var­i­ous other crafts and has al­ready be­gan work on her Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tion ideas. With ap­pear­ances al­ready booked at the Oban Win­ter fes­ti­val craft mar­ket and Ar­gyll An­i­mal Aid Christ­mas mar­ket, she is hop­ing to in­crease her cus­tomer base and get her prod­ucts known to a wider au­di­ence.

She added: ‘ My aim is to es­tab­lish Selkie Crafts as a friendly, lo­cal busi­ness and that ev­ery­one who re­ceives one of my cre­ations feels like they have some­thing spe­cial. I first ap­proached Busi­ness Gate­way on the ad­vice of my boss at Crafty Ewe and I ten­ta­tively at­tended a busi­ness plan­ning work­shop last sum­mer.

‘Af­ter mulling over my plans I de­cided to set up the busi­ness and since then Busi­ness Gate­way have con­tin­ued to sup­port and ad­vise me. As well as hav­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced ad­viser to dis­cuss my ideas with, I have at­tended more work­shops which have all been a great help.’

An­gela Ver­nel, the Busi­ness Gate­way ad­viser who sup­ported Kerry said; ‘Kerry is an am­bi­tious young busi­ness owner with her heart firmly in this area. She recog­nises the op­por­tu­ni­ties that the re­gion can pro­vide and with our sup­port she has cre­ated an en­ter­prise that of­fers a fan­tas­tic range of lo­cally pro­duced crafts.’

To find out more about how Busi­ness Gate­way can help you set up and de­velop your own busi­ness call 01546 808 363 or visit www. bgate­­gyll-and-bute

Kerry MacKay, 24, from Oban set up Selkie Crafts www.face­

selkiecrafts ear­lier this year.

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