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Funding success story: Nicky Stephenson from NuvoDesigns Ltd

Duport now give 10% of all company profits to the Purple Shoots helping start-ups and ongoing businesses with financial assistance.

Duport have recently teamed up with a business charity Purple Shoots providing loans to entrepreneurs. Duport now give 10% of all company profits to the Purple Shoots helping start-ups and ongoing businesses with financial assistance.

Recently we caught up with Nicky who is using her Purple Shoots loan, funded by Duport, to reopen her high street shop after Covid.

Nicky’s elderly father needed full-time care so, after years working in a variety of roles from First Aid trainer to working in sales and media, Nicky took the decision to give up work and become his full-time carer. At the same time, the police reopened a historic investigation into abuse Nicky had suffered as a child. Understandably, and although she wanted justice, this was a traumatic time for Nicky, exacerbated by her father’s refusal to support her in spite of the sacrifices she and her family were making to care for him.

In the end, Nicky’s husband insisted her father should go into full-time nursing care to enable Nicky time to mend. After a PTSD diagnosis and as part of the recovery process Nicky began making candles and selling them online – this went so well Nicky realised she could make a business from it. Soon she found premises and in September 2020 opened a shop on Newbridge High Street. The shop sold her candles and a range of other personalised and traditional gifts. Nicky’s husband ran the shop, as Nicky’s anxiety meant she couldn’t yet go out, but she continued making products and maintained Facebook sales.

As with many micro-businesses during lockdowns, the husband and wife team did not qualify for any government support. Although Nicky was able to continue with online sales, they lost all shop trade but still had the same business premise overheads and material costs to pay. Eventually Nicky’s husband had to get another job to try to keep the family afloat.

Nicky came to Purple Shoots as the shop began to re-open, the family were at the end of their savings and all their resources had been used up during the periods of lockdown. There were bills to pay and stock to buy to enable it to re-open. Purple Shoots saw her entrepreneurial spirit and her tenacity in keeping going through all the difficulties she and her family have faced – and her previous success with shop sales prior to lockdown and decided to support her. Nicky has now been able to re-open the shop and has overcome her anxiety enough to run it herself.

NuvoDesigns in now open and busy once again on Newbridge High Street and the shop continues on their Facebook page.