Sustainable, eco-friendly womenswear
Graphic design created with mind, heart & soul
Swimwear & lingerie
Musician, producer and songwriter
Bespoke, homemade homewares
Premium fashion brand
Computer games development
Empowering musicians through independence
Independent clothing brand
Sustainable materials design & innovation studio
Sustainable fashion and upcycling
Luxury equestrian subscription and gift boxes
Sustainable marketing services
Video production and motion filming
Independent VR games developer
Personal training and boot camps
Craft and sewing workshops
Craft and tutorial business
Surface pattern design
Professional audio production
Creative design and motion graphics
Indie games company
Health, safety and environmental risk management consultancy
Mental health social enterprise
Textile crafts and art
Computer games development
Takeaway ordering app
Software development, website design and mobile apps
Independent clothing brand
Azonic Films knows no bounds when it comes to video production and motion filming, an ethos that founder Joe Warnes abides by when creating bespoke films for his clients. Using drone technology and high quality cameras to capture different perspectives for a three-dimensional finish, Joe’s unique productions have already attracted some big names to his client list.
While still studying at the University of Huddersfield, Joe landed his first project for Cannonball 2000, which kicked off his career in video production and saw him travel all over the world. As well as working on Redline247, his work has also seen him produce numerous promotional and music videos.
His biggest achievement is setting up his own business straight out of university, growing it and sustaining it. Joe plans to build a ‘team’ to help drive the business forward over the next few years.
Joe had support from the Enterprise Team when he first set up his business during his degree. As a graduate, he still taps into the support when he needs advice, whether it’s input on marketing and branding or business growth.
Discovering the potential of virtual reality (VR) and how it can enhance the gaming experience, Louis Hughes set up Bad Imp Studios, and is now on the verge of publishing his first game.
Already an avid games developer having studied it at college, Louis fell in love with VR when he deferred his mechanical engineering degree. Playing around with 3D animation and modelling sparked a bigger interest and led him to study games development at the University of Huddersfield. He established the company in 2017 as part of his Enterprise Placement Year.
Putting the final touches to his game requires him to check its progress using VR equipment, which he can do both at home using his own headset, as well as having access to one through the DOYYEC.
Finding a publisher to market his game is next on the agenda. Louis also wants to support the games development teaching staff at the local college, alongside running his own business.
Through his Enterprise Placement Year in 2017/18, Louis received Proof of Concept grants enabling him to purchase 3D models and sound effects from other placement students. Having access to technology, a professional environment to meet people, as well as business-related workshops have also been of great benefit.
Barnsley Barbell Ltd was built from a shared passion to help people achieve weight loss, strength and confidence-building goals, by keen weightlifter Peter Shaw and his business partner Ashley Beaumont.
Based in Barnsley Town Centre, the private training facility has gone from strength to strength since it launched in February 2016. Financial backing from various funding resources has enabled them to invest in equipment and move to bigger premises. The business has seen over 100 beginners and fitness enthusiasts alike through its doors, 80% of which are women.
Specialising in private personal training, Olympic weightlifting coaching and bootcamps, future plans for the innovative gym are to become bigger and better. Barnsley Barbell is already embracing the increasing popularity of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting sports with the training they provide. A second gym may also be on the cards as the business continues to grow over the years.
Peter accessed the support from the Enterprise Team during his degree and still benefits from advice from the business advisors. Peter is appreciative of the opportunities the Team has provided, from business support to forming relationships with other student businesses.
Rebecca Rose founded Becca Buttons back in 2012 before starting at The University of Huddersfield studying Textiles with Surface Design.
During her time at University and completing her Enterprise Placement Year in 2014/15, within the past five years Becca Buttons has developed into teaching crafts, sewing and much, much more!
Becca Buttons runs craft clubs and sewing classes for both adults and children in her home town of Liverpool. Alongside Becca Buttons workshops, Becca also holds a range of themed craft fun days for children and children’s craft parties, hen do events and baby shower parties.
Becca Buttons is also available for commissioned projects such as personalised cushions, bunting, Christmas decorations and memory cushions, all finished at a high quality.
Warrior by name, warrior by nature, social enterprise Betty Virago was created through owner Joy Pocock’s passion for supporting those in vulnerable situations to upskill them and earn money to survive.
Growing up with parents in the craft industry and both Salvation Army officers, Joy’s business is in her blood. Profits from the sales of her crafts go straight to running workshops for vulnerable people, such as the homeless and those in prostitution, to build their confidence and help them develop craft skills they can use to generate their own income.
Joy undertook Enterprise Placement Year 2016/17 to realise her passion for running her own business. She won a place at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), using the pitching skills that she picked up during EPY. She also secured a contract to produce a craft kit for children suffering from bereavement which goes to every hospice and hospital in the UK.
Talented artist Chloe Baxter found her passion for surface pattern design during a workshop as part of her arts degree at the University of Huddersfield.
Focusing on nature, her hand-drawn, colourful patterns and illustrations contain a hidden element, such as cats or turtles, which is Chloe’s USP and one she hopes will help her stand out among other designers to carve out a long career in pattern design and merchandise.
Selling at craft markets and online on Etsy, her collection includes tea towels, cushions, aprons and bags, with future plans to create prints as artwork and larger commissions for customers. Chloe has dreams to open her own studio that enables her to have creative license over her own designs.
Taking part in Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18 helped boost Chloe’s confidence enabling her to present in front of people. Chloe has secured numerous funding that has helped get her business off the ground, as well as accessing business support.
Daniel Hamer specialises in audio services within industries involved with moving image, including film, tv, animation, and videogames. Daniel’s mantra ‘Poor sound can make a good picture look bad, but good sound can make a poor picture look good’ epitomises his audio production business model.
Daniel set up the business whilst studying a Masters at University of Huddersfield. Since then he has worked on many UK and American independent films, repairing and enhancing audio in post production. He also creates a series of ‘how to’ webinars, and breakdown videos on the use of sound behind popular video games, film, and animation to share his expertise across a wider audience within the industry and make people aware of the power of good sound.
Daniel plans to build up a network within the industry, with the long-term aim to start his own social enterprise, providing year-long placement opportunities to help students gain valuable real work experience, giving them a step up into the industry and their independent careers whilst working alongside him.
Dechell Vontee is a premium clothing brand primarily aimed at 18 to 24-year olds. The idea behind the business is to bridge a gap between the luxury and high street market.
International Fashion by Management student, Devonte Brown, recognised that there is currently no brand that sits in the middle of that market opportunity offering luxury clothing at a more affordable price. With a strong interest in fashion, in 2015 Devonte started on the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy programme studying business at Kirklees College. It was there that he combined his interest in fashion and his business name together to create Dechell Vontee.
During Enterprise Placement Year 2019/20, Devonte focused on market research to see what the public think to his business idea. Devonte conducted surveys that validated the name and logo for his business. He worked towards producing a sample product and allowing customers to see and get a feel of the products, and will be launching his products very soon.
Sharing a passion for creativity, couple Matthew Jones and Nicole Rawson set up graphic and motion design company Ink in 2015 while undertaking Enterprise Placement Year, to gain an insight into self-employment under the safety net of the University’s Enterprise Team.
Invaluable business support from the Enterprise Team helped them secure work with big names such as the NHS, NUS and universities across the UK. Proof of Concept grants allowed the company to gain traction in its early stages, and winning Santander’s 60 Second Pitch competition enabled them to buy powerful computer hardware, an essential tool for their animation work.
Long term plans are to grow the business over the next few years. Matthew and Nicole hope to continue their freelance work alongside an industry pathway, gaining valuable experience and credibility to strengthen their business portfolio.
During Enterprise Placement Year 2015/16, Matthew and Nicole learnt the basics of running a business and they still access support from the Enterprise Team as graduates.
Eve Cunningham is the brilliant mind behind Eve Poppy Swim, a handmade, sustainable and upcycled swimwear clothing brand. Eve began her business venture in May 2020 and sought further support with her business by joining Enterprise Placement Year 2020/21.
Since November, the brand has branched out and now sells lingerie clothing. Eve explained how she has closed her orders for Christmas 2020 in response to a high demand of her new lingerie items, to ensure that her customers receive their products on time by Christmas. This is great to see!
Three months into her Enterprise Placement Year, Eve states that her experience so far has been great. “It’s been really good and really supportive”. Eve has received support on managing her social media channels and re-branding. Eve has been to every Pitch Club session, an insightful workshop run by our Business Advisor, Sarah Agar-Brennan, which has has allowed for her to be pushed out of her comfort zone and become more confident.
Eve described that she loves the benefit of being her own boss but finds the responsibility that comes along with this to be a challenge. Eve explained how being your own boss restricts you from having only one job role, because there is so much to do, but continues to keep her head up and stay dedicated to make her business the best it can be during EPY. The future is looking bright for Eve and her business and in the new year 2021 she plans to focus more on her re-branding by creating Valentines Day designs. We can’t wait to see Eve’s transformation for the remainder of her EPY journey.
Forelock and Fringe is a luxury equestrian and lifestyle monthly subscription box created by Emma Hartshorne. The only equine subscription box available worldwide, the boxes contain several products for both horse and rider. Offering products such as horse treats, food supplements and extra alternatives, Forelock and Fringe are currently the UK’s largest equestrian subscription box.
Emma’s passion for horses and beauty started way before her business was established in 2018. From frequent visits to horse shows around the country during her teenage years, Emma learnt that many horse owners spend more time caring for themselves instead of their own horses. And this is when she noticed a gap in the market to provide a service that treats equestrians directly.
Enterprise Placement Year 2018/19 allowed Emma to kick-start her idea and build the foundations of Forelock and Fringe whilst developing her confidence through networking events and meeting new faces. Since then, Forelock and Fringe has gone on to attract many customers worldwide and continues to grow its presence digitally and in print with positive social media reviews and magazine appearances.
Golem Games is the brainchild of Peter Sutherland, a games enthusiast with aspirations to make a long career out of doing something he loves.
Studying Computer Games Design at the University of Huddersfield, he came across the Enterprise Placement Year as an option for his third year placement during 2017/18. Running his own businesses had never crossed his mind, however, being given the opportunity to work for himself and the funding to do it appealed to him.
Peter’s flagship game is Cyber Stealth, a first-person stealth shooter game set in a cyber world with espionage missions to accomplish, designed for PCs. The concept of the game was developed as a project during his second year of University and was encouraged by his tutors to develop it further.
With ambitions to design, make and sell games, Peter hopes to join or collaborate with a games design company once he leaves University. Until then he will continue to run Golem Games to gain experience and build up a reputation within the industry.
The Enterprise Team helped Peter set up his business and access funding such as a Proof of Concept grant, which he put towards marketing his business.
Applying her 14 years’ experience working with leading international companies in China, overseas post-graduate and risk management expert, Sandy Lu, set up Horizon Risk Consultancy Ltd in January 2017 to support UK businesses.
Sandy provides integrated and practical risk management solutions to UK businesses, helping them access and grow in the Chinese market, as well as reduce business risks and improve efficiency.
Sandy’s ever-growing contact list has enabled her to establish strong links with UK leading awarding bodies such as NEBOSH and HABC (Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance), and academic institutions such as the University of Huddersfield, to name a few.
Continually updating her CPD, Sandy achieved the National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with distinction and was awarded Technical Member of IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health). She is also a HABC accredited training provider across a wide range of subjects, such as Health and Safety, Fire Safety, Food Safety and Business Improvement and Lean.
Sandy was on the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa programme; a Home Office initiative for international graduates wishing to establish a business in the UK following completion of their studies. She has full access to The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre and on-going support from the Enterprise Team that assists her through the challenges of setting up a business as an overseas professional.
Romanian-born Cezar Floroiu set up his sound design business, HUDsound, during Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18.
Using the latest technological trends, Cezar provides a range of tailor-made audio services to create original sound assets, from the recording stage to editing, mastering and sound synthesis, as well as the creation and marketing of sound libraries for those wanting ready-made assets.
Cezar’s niche is creating bespoke sound design solutions for the gaming industry, in particular virtual reality, including recording and creating ambiences, dialogue, Foley and environment interactions, as well as sound effects, such as impacts, explosions, weapon sounds and spot effects.
Cezar benefitted from the weekly workshops and 1-2-1 meetings provided by The Enterprise Team. Start-up grant funding enabled him to invest in his own recording equipment, as well as having access to hired equipment to support his work.
Indie-Shark Games was founded by four students from the University of Huddersfield; Nat Waterworth, Adam Fautley, Ross Smith and Dean Holland. With Adam and Ross coming from a Games Design degree, and Dean and Nat bringing in their Games Programming knowledge, both parties consolidate their expertise together to establish themselves as the brilliant minds behind this indie Games Development Team.
The inspiration behind Indie-Shark Games follows a theme that like-minded gamers might relate to. Adam and Ross spoke about watching their older brothers play video games like Super Mario at an early age and beating challenging levels. This inspiration has manifested into a life-long passion, staying true to Indie-Shark’s authentic gaming persona.
Undertaking Enterprise Placement Year 2019/20, the team used the first two months to focus on planning to ensure they got the most out of their placement year. This time allowed for them to bring Project Outbreak into the works, a top-down perspective shooter with the aim of escaping from a lab to prevent your DNA being tested on by a mad scientist. Indie-Shark are worked hard to make sure that the demo was ready by the end of EPY, with plans for a full release in 2021.
The team took part in Jamfuser at the end of February 2020, a 72-hour game jam where you focus on creating a game to be uploaded for others to play. With no real prizes involved except for the joyous experience, Indie-Shark created Dodge n’ Leap, where you take control of a robot trying to escape a spaceship that is plummeting to its doom.
Indie Shark Games also took part in the Tranzfuser 2020 competition.
Infinite Vibrations is a music marketing agency brought to life in March 2018 by Product Design student Lewis Daggers-Smith and Music Journalism student Josh Murphy, who met at Storthes Hall accommodation during their first year at University. Their passion for music brought them together to form Infinite Vibrations.
Empowering musicians through independence, the idea behind the agency came from something that Josh and Lewis could strongly relate to. They both realised that there is not enough support out there for upcoming musicians, which they found frustrating. This led to the drive of wanting to create a business that gives a voice and a platform to these musicians to help them become successful. In order for Infinite Vibrations to promote upcoming independent musicians, they aim to provide them with knowledge and resources to have a successful career.
During Enterprise Placement Year 2019/20, Josh and Lewis undetook market research to better and properly understand their market. The duo launch their services in February 2020 at an event held at the Parish Pub in Huddersfield. The launch event was an opportunity for Josh and Lewis to showcase what they had been doing during EPY, to network in their industry and announce their services.
Josh and Lewis stated how EPY let them understand market research more, and understand how to communicate with their audience in order to be relatable. Lewis says “Without EPY, we wouldn’t be as successful.” Josh described the support from the team to be “invaluable”.
Isaac Saierre, a musician from the University of Huddersfield is a jack of all trades, specializing in singing, producing, performing and songwriting.
Creativity is in Isaacs nature and heritage, with his father a former dancer and his mother being a music advocate, Isaac first got into music at the age of nine, where his musical journey began with the trumpet. “Music was a massive part of my life. It was my parents who got me into it. They were the initial inspiration. After that, I took my own journey into music.” What began as a hobby would transferred into a career in 2019 for Isaac, where he voiced his talent through live gigs, shows and Spotify streams.
Although Covid-19 has been challenging for Isaac’s musical endeavour due to the cancellation of live venues, he has committed to transitioning his work online, where his Spotify streams continue to rise. When asking Isaac about the benefits of what doing what he does, he simply replied that he gets to do what he loves and be fortunate to make a living from it.
Isaac worked closely with our Business Advisor, Sarah; “she’s been great for helping me find what motivates me. I’m quite a laid-back person, so there’s not always the push I need”. Along with this, Isaac said that the Enterprise Team have helped him with understanding finances and how to advertise himself and the music he produces. He took advantage of Pitch Club, where he has learnt to find an effective way to attract new listeners to his music.
Isaac continues to set new highs. He continues to network and collaborate on projects and is working hard behind the scenes to consistently create the music he loves.
Keep Real, a registered social enterprise, was set up by Kimberley Robinson following her own experiences with anxiety at University. Already a campaigner for mental health, she featured on BBC Radio 4 about her blog on mental health while studying Counselling at the University of Huddersfield.
With ambitions to become an art therapist, it soon became evident that waiting lists for mental health services were too long. Kimberley wanted to be able to support people quicker at the point of need, as well as combine her passion for art. Doing her dissertation in her third year was the catalyst to setting up Keep Real and following conversations with The Enterprise Team, her social enterprise was born in July 2017.
Originally creating merchandise such as mugs, t-shirts and bags and 10% of the profits going to mental health charities, the business has evolved to provide workshops and events and a mental health magazine with collaborations from other artists. Keep Real’s first live event in Leeds featured live bands, with mental health support on-hand, and attracted over 100 people. Its website also has a live chat that people can access for help and support.
With plans to open-up a community hub in Leeds with a shop floor and another level to host workshops and events, as well as provide access to a counsellor, Kimberley’s vision is to have a Keep Real centre in every city enabling easier and quicker access to mental health support.
The Enterprise Team helped Kimberley receive Proof of Concept Grants, as well as supported with legalities over a trademark battle with another similar named company. The team also nominated her for the Yorkshire Young Achiever award in Enterprise and Management.
Lokum is Turkish for Turkish delight, a sweet little thing.
Lokum Handmade offers individually handmade, hand painted, unique and colourful jewellery, with earrings being made from polymer clay. The business is authentic and personal to Helena Tavaci, who projects her love for her practice into the jewellery by hand decorating each product.
The idea flourished in Helena’s mind not long before she undertook Enterprise Placement Year 2019/20, and she found a community on Instagram of people who make hand crafted items. Helena utilised the help and support from the Enterprise Team's Business Advisors to figure out how to put her idea into practice and express her creativity. Helena enjoyed her Enterprise Placement Year, and said “It’s been amazing to go and see the Enterprise Team whenever I want. Before EPY, I didn’t have much business knowledge about how to set up a business”.
Helena has showcased Lokum Handmade at various stalls on campus to receive customer feedback and sell her products. Helena’s main priority for the future of Lokum Handmade is to see it grow. She wishes to do more market events as a result of the success around her stalls at University.
Lorna Ellen Design provides large scale design and making services for both individuals and organisations, through unique installations, sets and visual displays using mixed media textile techniques.
Lorna’s business has allowed her to create an art and design discipline unique to her, using her passion for different materials and skills learnt through studying textiles at university. Her work aims to improve lives through activism and social enterprise, whilst advocating for mental health, environmental issues and autistic individuals. She works closely with many local community groups and has a NCFE qualification in understanding autism.
Alongside her predominantly commission-based work, she also creates theatre and retail displays, that highlight important global topics through the use of craftivism and her skills as a textile practitioner. She regularly attends networking events to learn more about her target industries, such as the Visual Merchandising and Display Show, and continuously aims to improve her skills repertoire.
She hopes to set up her own workshop that will allow her to create larger scale work and take on more clients, as well as venture into the world of social enterprise.
Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18 taught Lorna valuable business skills such as protecting her intellectual property and business finance. She still receives support through regular catch ups, funding opportunities and networking events.
Describing his laptop as ‘his orchestra’ and ‘second half of his brain’, Polish-born Michal Czerniak has high ambitions to use his self-taught distinct music ability to compose arrangements and sound effects for films.
Michal is no stranger to the business world, having been self-employed since he was 14. He funded his first Macbook through a paper round and founded the University of Huddersfield’s first film society HudTV (now HudMotion), where he still leads a 20-strong video production team.
Attracted to the University of Huddersfield at a young age for its music reputation, Michal set up his business during his Enterprise Placement Year in 2016/17. His film-making skills formed his current core business to initially generate income.
His long-term plans are to set up a digital media production agency in Huddersfield, given its links to major Northern cities.
Ocean Spark Studios Ltd takes you on a journey through a fantasy island world in its flagship game Tetra: Element Awakening. Standing shoulder to shoulder with key players in the industry at prestigious gaming events and already forming links with publishers in China, the biggest gaming market in the world, are just some of the highlights in what was an explosive first year for the business. Proving their cynics wrong, top gaming bloggers and vloggers are already naming them as the next big thing in the industry.
Undertaking Enterprise Placement Year during 2016/17 enabled Ocean Spark Studios Ltd to understand how a business works, creating a viable business strategy, as well as provided access to funding opportunities, including £23,000 which they secured from Creative England.
A sustainable eco-friendly womenswear brand, Ocre is unique in its own right. Founded by Fashion Design with Textiles graduate Kayleigh Davis, the authenticity behind Ocre is apparent, as Kayleigh dyes all of her materials from natural plants and does not use any plastics. This process comes together to produce products such as scarfs, facemasks, ribbons and scrunchies to name a few.
Established in February 2020, Kayleigh’s inspiration for Ocre came during her time at University where, despite feeling a disconnect with her course, she developed a passion for print design and long walks outside to improve her mental health. Putting these together built the foundations for Ocre.
Kayleigh explained how, despite how strange it can feel starting a business, she enjoys being a creator. However, she finds that trying to tailor her products to fit customer needs and turning this into a sellable format can be a challenge. Kayleigh explains that things blew up quickly for her “I wasn’t ready for the influx of orders. I had under calculated how much things would cost and struggled with time management”. The Enterprise Team were able to provide support for Kayleigh with this, and she also receieved an Enterprise Grant to aid her business finances.
The future for Kayleigh is a busy one; being accepted onto a PhD path and changing her business model to optimize her time to work on two things at once has been at the forefront of her mind. Kayleigh is in the process of developing a website for Ocre and her amazing work can be seen at https://www.instagram.com/ocre.uk
BA Popular Music Product student, Braddan Everett, is the mastermind behind the unique brand Sharks Circle. Sharks Circle sells branded clothing from screen printed to embroidered products for a variety of different clothing accessories like t-shirts, hoodies, joggers, caps, beanies, and bags. Braddan often collaborates with a brand or music festival to produce an exclusive garment that is only available through his website.
The impact of Covid-19 was the biggest challenge for Braddan and his business to tackle during Enterprise Placement Year 2019/20. Braddan expressed that EPY abled him to spend productive time with his business, allowing him to focus on improving the quality of future releases and dedicate hours researching different styles, artists, and working on honing his own graphic design skills. As a result of this, Braddan released two drops of clothing which were his most successful releases, enabling him to bring his brand to new audiences.
Braddan says “Covid-19 affected the business in many ways, the main being ease of posting things at the post office. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was even unsure if I was even allowed to travel to the post office”. Despite facing these unpredictable changes, Braddan still created an awarding placement year for himself and his business by shipping his stylish garments to countries like Australia, Germany, and the United States of America.
The future for Sharks Circle looks bright. Braddan plans to continue releasing new products to gradually build his brand and a devoted and loyal community that supports his business at every turn.
Skate it Yourself provides skateboard lessons and parties for 5-19 year olds at venues in Huddersfield and Halifax. Set up by keen skateboarder Kierhardy Ansell, SIY inspires young people to take up skateboarding and improve skills in a fun and engaging way.
Creating the idea for the business in his late teens, Hardy took the plunge in his second year at the University of Huddersfield and applied for Enterprise Placement Year 2018/19 which allowed him to turn his dreams into a reality. A start-up grant allowed him to purchase skateboards and further funding enabled him to acquire pads, helmets and ramps.
Hardy was runner-up in the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2019 and received £15,000 seed funding and a fully paid intern.
Opening up his own skatepark where he can host classes and provide access to the public for extra revenue is part of his future ambitions for the business. Plans also include opening up a shop selling skateboarding gear, as well as his own bespoke merchandise.
As an extreme sport, complying with regulations and achieving the right credentials proved challenging, but the support of the Enterprise Team ensured Kierhardy is fully compliant, insured and qualified.
Smart Takeaways Limited was set up by Iranian-born software engineer Mohammad Sheikholeslami to offer a more cost-effective alternative, providing takeaways with the right tools to take back control of their customer base, while benefitting from around-the-clock support to maximise use of the app.
Mohammad moved to the UK with his family in 2013 to study an MBE at the University of Huddersfield and kick started his business in 2014. The business now has a team of six staff and approximately 130 clients across the UK.
Smart Takeaways Limited is placed within the top ten providers of takeaway support apps. Mohammad plans to expand the consultancy side of the business to provide a range of support services from marketing consultation to accounting services and negotiating energy and phone contracts.
Mohammad received invaluable advice from The Enterprise Team when he set up his business enabling him to make informed decisions.
Meet Holly Ramsay, the Founder of The Neighbourhood Threat. Specialising in bespoke homemade homeware such as cushions, lamps and kitchen mugs to name a few, Holly's unique brand offers everything you need to satisfy the comforts of home life.
The Neighbourhood Threat was established in 2017 when Holly began by reselling vintage clothing during her studies at college. Since then her business has taken a new direction and she is doing a pretty good job of it too!
The Enterprise Team were aided Holly and her business venture with starting an e-commerce site, providing financial support and obtaining useful equipment like banners and business cards. Holly explained that "it all keeps getting better" and that she is "getting more sales which keep going up and up."
We're extremely proud of Holly, and we're even happier to share stories like these to stress the importance of supporting smaller independent businesses during Covid-19.
Formed by two aspiring student entrepreneurs attracted to the University of Huddersfield for its Enterprise Placement Year opportunity, Torchbearer Interactive Ltd is a software development house making apps that solve problems and make customers happier.
Torchbearer won the Shooting Star Award from Huddersfield Town Football Club in 2016 and secured £15k from Creative England. Now based in the Media Centre, the firm provides website design, games development and mobile apps.
Through their Enterprise Placement Year in 2016/17, Jon and Pete grasped the business world, collectively developing a solid business plan and a streamlined way of working. The team continues to benefit from support from the Enterprise Team and regularly contributes to the Enterprise Workshop programme by sharing their journey and experiences with future business owners.
Uncommon Alchemy was formed by Fashion Brand Marketing student Anna Watkins. A sustainable materials design and innovation studio, Anna’s business is brought to life through experimentation with different natural, discarded or everyday materials to try and find ways that they can be repurposed, to be redefined through fashion or home accessories. Anna has worked with industrial textile waste from the local Huddersfield area, recycling it into a leather alternative and using seaweed extract to produce a high-shine bioplastic.
Undertaking Enterprise Placement Year 2019/20, Anna identified three ways to kick start her business venture. EPY let her understand what she doesn’t want for her career, what she does want, and ultimately, where to go from there with her business. Anna was challenged by her indecisiveness during the start of her EPY journey. She knew that she didn’t want to do fashion design, but she didn’t know what to do instead. EPY was a unique opportunity to explore the things that interested Anna, discover new things and generate room for creativity. “Having the support of the Enterprise Team was brilliant when I was feeling lost”.
Currently, Anna is focusing on product development. She’s improving prototypes and conducting market research in preperation for her business launch, to ensure that her business and her products will be the best that they can be. For the future, Anna wants to be a part of the bigger sustainable movement, helping consumers to see that sustainable solutions are all around us.
Focusing on sustainability, Upcycily reduces textile waste by upcycling unwanted clothing pieces from the Oxfam Wastesaver Warehouse, which would otherwise end up destroyed. By slowly developing a better sustainable solution to repurpose unwanted clothes without using any unnecessary resources, the products aim to encourage customers to embrace their own personal styles rather than following trends.
Upcycily is run by Virag Erdelyi, who runs a variety of workshops including ‘Jazz it up’, which focuses on hand embroidery. Another of her workshops is called Keep Sale Crafting and is primarily aimed at mums, where they encourage their kids to bring unworn clothes and turn them into a piece of keep safe wall art piece.
By discovering Enterprise Placement Year at an Open Day at the University, Virag jumped on board during 2019/20 and was able to research and grow her business with help from the Enterprise Team. Virag has learnt to not be afraid to make changes to the business if necessary, no matter how scary it can be. EPY enabled Virag to enter a competition that resulted in her winning the opportunity to establish her brand with support from creative digital marketing agency The Bigger Boat.
Having been a keen knitter since she was 7, knitting and selling scarves to friends at school, Emily Warburton is now weaving out a knitting career through her business YAM Knitwear, inspired by the Cumbrian countryside where she grew up on a dairy farm.
Emily takes photos of Cumbrian hills, lakes and valleys and then cleverly knits them into garments, such as scarves and jumpers. Using a knitting machine for her intricate designs she can create products quicker and sell them at more competitive prices. A short scarf can take up to 13 hours, including design, measuring, knit time, sewing ends, and wet blocking.
Emily launched YAM Knitwear in September 2020. Using wool from the Romney sheep that she rears on the farm, mixed with Alpaca wool, to make her garments, she hopes to eventually run her own company full-time with a small team.
Undertaking Enterprise Placement Year in 2017/18 enabled Emily to find out if working for herself would be a success, learn how to make garments, but more importantly get constructive criticism from potential customers. She gained lots of transferrable skills that will be of benefit when she goes self-employed.
Young Boy Hustle (YBH) is an independent online clothing brand, launched in 2016, set out to remove the stigma of mental health.
Known as ‘The Black and White Brand’, it was created by University of Huddersfield marketing graduate and fashion designer Ibrar Ahmad Razaq, who designs the distinctive black and white apparel. The brand is targeted at 18-24-year olds who struggle to speak out on their personal issues with a fear of being judged or singled out.
Starting out through a series of sketches, the designs have been transformed into a clothing and accessories line that Ibrar sells through his website www.youngboyhustle.com with one of his first sales being in New York City. Through Enterprise Placement Year 2017/18 (EPY), Ibrar received funding from Santander which he put towards operational costs, such as keeping his website up and running.
Ibrar’s plan is to pursue a career in Marketing and expand the YBH brand and grow its blog, YBH Entertainment, as well as expand his product selection to poetry books, vintage music CDs and paintings. He hopes to launch stores in the UK and New York and has ambitions to create ‘YBH Productions’, a filming service that writes and creates its own short films.