Beverley’s Story

Beverley is approaching 60 years of age and believes that age should be no barrier when it comes to learning something new and following your dreams!

Beverley has always worked in office or retail positions, but this wasn’t where her passions lay with qualifications in adult teaching and a City & Guilds Creative Embroidery and Decorative Painting Techniques award.

“I once worked for an interior design company and I absolutely loved it, I love colour, textures and prints and this has ultimately inspired me to take my passion for textiles forwards into a sustainable business venture with an ethical vision!”, says Beverley.

Beverley found herself wanting a better income in July of this year and was referred through the Jobcentre to the Positive People project to start looking at ways she could boost her employability skills. “Because of my age and gaps in my work history and the fact I didn’t really know how to sell myself in a good CV, the Jobcentre thought it would be beneficial for me to work with the Positive People project to develop in these areas”, explains Beverley.

David and Chloe, Change Coaches for Positive People Plymouth were able to direct Beverley to the Pop-Up Business School to develop her upcycling business ideas and help her look for more immediate work that would provide the income she desired in the short-term but still allowing her to look at becoming self-employed doing what she loves.

“There are so many things I didn’t know when I attended the Pop-Up Business School – you think you know most things, but it was really insightful and a fantastic positive experience for everyone who attended”, says Beverley.

“Positive People were able to help me in so many ways, I really don’t know where I would have been if I hadn’t made the phone call that day to the project. Positive People supported me with my CV and interview skills where I attended a three-day course, I then applied for a few jobs, and as luck had it, the first one where I was invited to interview I got the job as a retail assistant at a jeweller!”. This was just what Beverley needed to boost her confidence and her income whilst the Pop-Up Business School enabled her to network with like-minded entrepreneurs to start learning the necessary business skills to take her venture forward.

“I look at old things, whether that be unloved fabrics or vintage items that could be used for a different purpose as diamonds in the rough”. With disposability in the consumer marketplace ever-increasing, Positive People champion business ventures such as Beverley’s as sustainability and recyclability are important for us all and our environments!

Positive People were able to support Beverley with the funding for a new laptop to enable her to work on her website and branding whilst attending the Pop-Up Business School and when away from home and with an izettle card reader to ensure she can take instant payments at trade shows and craft fayres when she takes her recycled products to market.

“My ultimate goal is to have a set-up like that of Hope & Elvis, who run creative workshops for like-minded people in a warm, positive and inspirational setting. For me, it’s not just about creating items to sell, I would like to provide people with the skills and knowledge to be able to create for themselves and recycle previously loved items into something that can be cherished such as memory blankets, cushions, lampshades, aprons and other textiles”, says Beverley.

The dream would involve finding suitable premises to host workshops that anyone could attend for a small fee where Beverley would provide the resources for people to create their own keepsakes being taught by artists and makers. “It would be something that could be great for the sense of community, especially for the elderly and could even act as a therapy for people who have been through tough life experiences or recovering from abuse or addiction”, says Beverley.

“There is inspiration in everything for me. Have you ever cut open a tomato puree tube and turned it inside out and looked at how beautiful the colour and texture are inside the inner tube? The material is suitable for sewing, and you can make it into jewellery! Materials can be sourced for nothing, and it just goes to show how versatile packaging we throw in the bin can be! Sharing knowledge like this with would-be creatives is important to me”.

Attending the Pop-Up Business School has enabled Beverley to promote her items through her own website, Instagram and Etsy store, create her own branding with the help of fellow attendee and entrepreneur Simon, who is a graphic designer. “We’ve formed a dream team, we share our knowledge and skills, we’ve really connected, it’s fantastic!”, says Beverley.

Beverley is now working part-time at a jeweller with the support of Positive People and hopes to take her creative workshop dream to the next level in the new year, Positive People wish her all the best of luck on her entrepreneurial journey!

Visit Etsy: @ragamuffinstuffshop