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MAS Helps Fund Women in Business

Posted on Thursday, 08 August 2013 12:50PM by Editor

MAS helps fund women in business

Two female entrepreneurs, Sian Bostwick and Lesley Bassett, both from Kent, have been making the most of support and services available to grow their businesses, with successful results. 

Award winning jewellery designer Sian, owner and founder of Sian Bostwick Jewellery, has reduced the production time on her standard jewellery range dramatically as a result of purchasing a range of new tools part-funded by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS). 

Sian said: “Following a chance meeting with MAS at a local Kent exhibition I have transformed the way my jewellery is produced. A workshop review enabled MAS to provide 50% of the funding required to buy the necessary tools to take production time of my standard jewellery range from three days to two hours. 

“This is truly a significant achievement which has improved productivity levels and shortened lead times whilst providing additional time to concentrate on expanding the business and focus on marketing activities. MAS also introduced me to UKTI which has enabled me to begin early discussions regarding the process of taking my products abroad.” 

Sian hand crafts her jewellery out of a workshop in Kent with delicate detail and beautifully contrasting colours, drawing on a love of treasured myths, fairy tales and literature to create her Wonderland, Springtime and Nautilus collections. 

Lesley, founder of Icinghouse, has taken one of her cake decorating products to market with the help of MAS funding, combined with their industry contacts and design and manufacturing expertise. 

She commented: “As a former wedding cake maker, I have extensive industry knowledge within this area. However, when I started out designing cake decorating products I lacked the necessary funding, links and connections needed to take an initial idea and concept through its many design, production and approval stages required before becoming a reality.  With the help of MAS, I have taken my Press-Ice range of impression tools to market, which is just fantastic. Sales are already in the 10s of 1000s, with more designs due to be launched before the end of the year. 

“I am also currently working on another project involving a wedding cake transportation solution, involving specially designed cardboard boxes with polystyrene inserts – once again I will be calling on the services of MAS, as without them I would never have got this far with my business.” 

There’s help out there for the entrepreneurs of Kent, to keep small, innovative businesses like these thriving.