Welsh independent retailer, Glosters, successfully crowd funds to expand business
Independent retailers and makers, Glosters, located in Porthmadog, Wales took the unusual step of setting up a crowdfunding campaign to secure the viability of their business and expand to a larger premises.
The husband and wife team of Tom and Myfanwy run a small ceramics workshop above their giftware, greeting card and pottery business but were struggling to operate the equipment with the shopâ€™s domestic electricity supply. Investigations revealed that installing a commercial supply was expensive and logistically challenging so they decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the expense. Lockdown shelved those plans, but as their online business grew it became apparent they needed to move to a larger premises, and soon, so a different campaign was launched.
â€œOur initial target of 20k was for the move, setting up the space, wiring kilns in and paying the first couple of monthâ€™s rent whilst we settled in, in case of any hiccups. We reached target within 2 hours! Our stretch target means weâ€™ll be able to send the team on some glaze courses and also purchase a larger kiln for the space,â€ said Myfanwy.
As part of the campaign, the team have created some one-off pieces, an exclusive glaze and in essence, supporters are pre-ordering pieces that will be shipped to them in the coming months.
Being amidst lockdown and a global pandemic may not seem like the optimum time to launch a crowd fund to expand a business but it has been the right time for Glosters. â€œWe have a strong social media following and each time Iâ€™d mention kiln trouble they were very thoughtful and lots suggested holding a crowdfunder, theyâ€™d love to help. Itâ€™s been great for us to get our community involved in the process of growing the business,â€ explained Myfanwy. â€œThe reaction has been utterly overwhelming! We never expected to reach our target in such little time! There were tears in the workshop that day.â€
The team hope to move to the new premises just a short walk from their store in the coming months with plans to expand production in time for the Christmas rush.