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Cool Liquid: Sarah Walmsley

In the second of our young entrepreneur profiles, we gaze into Sarah Walmsley's glassware business

Sarah Warmsley, who graduated in 2003 from UCLAN, now designs and produces hot glassware (blown and graal) and is interested in expanding her glassware enterprise and potentially developing an arts centre in Preston. Can you please explain a little about how you went about starting your business After my degree I realised there was nowhere for me to be employed in the field of glass blowing, so I decided to create a market for my own work. I have networked every minute I can and tell people constantly about my work – it is only through hard work and perseverance it pays off.

What made you decide to start up this sort of business? An interest in art, design and interiors, and a love of learning.

Have you always wanted to be your own boss and do your own thing? Yes, I have.

Where did you find funding for your business? Through my parents and through selling my possessions! I also embarked on a scheme called NES which taught me an awful lot.

What was the most difficult part of starting up the business? Knowing who to trust and where to find customers, and also knowing how much to charge.

Did you encounter any negative attitudes due to your age or experience? Yes, all the time, but I am a firm believer that if you believe in yourself and work hard enough towards a realistic goal it’s achievable!

How is the business faring? Due to my laptop being stolen I have lost some important orders and contacts, but really it gives back the effort I put in.

What are your future plans for the business? To have my own studio and teach the dying art of glass blowing, as well as my own gallery and shop.

What do you think of the UK as a place to start up as a young entrepreneur? I feel the attitude is there, especially with organisations like the NCGE and programmes like Flying Start, but the funding is not or, if it is, we don’t know where to find it.

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