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 shop’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.
“Our initial target of 20k was for the move, setting up the space, wiring kilns in and paying the first couple of month’s rent whilst we settled in, in case of any hiccups. We reached target within 2 hours! Our stretch target means we’ll be able to send the team on some glaze courses and also purchase a larger kiln for the space,” 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. “We have a strong social media following and each time I’d mention kiln trouble they were very thoughtful and lots suggested holding a crowdfunder, they’d love to help. It’s been great for us to get our community involved in the process of growing the business,” explained Myfanwy. “The reaction has been utterly overwhelming! We never expected to reach our target in such little time! There were tears in the workshop that day.”
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.