Kent’s Small Businesses: September
Jess Marshall gets arty and crafty with this month’s county-based small business entrepreneurs.
It was a meeting designed by fate that brought Amy Fleuriot-Reade and Bee Friedmann together on what they thought was an innocuous dog walk. Amy had just graduated from London College of Fashion and Bee owned a women’s clothing store along with a stall on Broadway Market selling African crafts, many of which came from Bee’s childhood home of South Africa. As two people with intertwining passions, they decided to team up. After embarking on a 5 week mission to Kenya on a product development trip, the friends saw a gap in the market for authentic artisan goods from crafters all over the world; blossoming Artisans & Adventurers into existence. Now known as AARVEN, Amy and Bee started 2022 by deciding to focus on their brick and mortar shop in Margate as well as their online business, hoping to make the company a household name for ‘authentic, ethically made homeware and jewellery with a beautiful story.’ The business partners also have plans to increase the already extensive charitable arm of AARVEN, vowing to help the rural communities they work with. When explaining their seemingly unending passion for their business the women commented; ‘We are just so lucky that we get to do what we love!’
Instagram/ Facebook @aarvengoods
Stitches and Daughters
With extensive experience in high-powered roles in retail it seems that Joanne Wynn-Carter was always meant to run her own business. From working with well known highstreet fashion brands to town centre regeneration, to specialising in communications and assisting start-ups, this successful business woman has done it all. That is until she decided to blend her expertise in business and love of fashion to set up Stitches and Daughters in 2007. Since its inception it has cycled through a few incarnations, but after Jo relocated to Kent the business found its ultimate home online, selling beautiful vintage handbags and accessories. Sustainability is of incredible importance to Jo and is a key pillar of what Stitches and Daughters stands for; ‘We all have a responsibility to try to reuse, rewear and relove… so this is why when someone purchases one of our handbags they are creating their own little piece of history.’ As Jo is somewhat of an expert at the retail game, we asked her what advice she would give to other budding small business owners; ‘Start doing your competitor research early, also business and financial planning to see how things stack up!’
It was a crisp Christmas market that inspired Daria Razmahovs’s love of decoupage candles; the flickering lights and ensnaring scents that filled her nose with smells of rich fruits, heady spices and delicious sweets, sparked a ‘love at first sight’ moment. Having a background in visual merchandising, Daria’s creative antennae pricked up and she spent the rest of the festive season decorating her and husband Guntis’s home with a multitude of pillar candles, and started dabbling in making some herself. To say it was an overnight success would be an understatement, as less that 24 hours after posting an Instagram picture of her beautiful work, she had friends and work colleagues asking if they could place orders for last minute Christmas presents! Fast forward to a move to the seaside town of Folkestone, Daria and Guntis decided to throw themselves into small business life starting Lux Art in 2021, specialising in selling spectacular scented and moulded soy candles to the people of Kent and beyond. With goals to continue growing and expanding their collection of candles, the couple have some sage words of advice for other budding business owners; ‘TRY! This is only your experience, trust only yourself and your intuition.’
Instagram: TikTok: @lux_art_uk