Blog

Blog posts in the category Business Inspiration

Stoneflower Studio: Turn Your Hobby into a Business with a Create Website

jane Duke in her printmaking studio

Professional painter and printmaker and mum of two, Jane Duke shares the story of Stoneflower Studio, her home business in York.

After exploring several different career paths, Jane went back to the drawing board - literally - and turned her painting and printmaking hobby into a business.

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Eat ROAR: Turn Your Hobby Into a Business with a Website

Simon Harrison with his wife and two young children

Simon Harrison was inspired by his two young children to turn his love of healthy food into his first business - Eat ROAR.

For the past few years, the ‘raw’ food trend has snowballed considerably. For Simon Harrison, father of two and fitness fanatic, it wasn’t about following a trend: he wanted to give his family natural, wholesome food that also tasted delicious.

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10 Reasons Why Working For Yourself Is Awesome

Woman's hands writing in a notebook, coffee and croissant

Do you ever sit at your desk and daydream about working from home, choosing your own hours, and only having yourself to answer to?

Many people are becoming disenchanted with the tedium of a regular 9-5 job. Here are 10 reasons why self-employment is worth the risk.

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6 Small Business Success Stories

A girl at her desk thinking

Are you laying in bed at night, thinking about that new idea and mapping out your future business plans, product launches and eventual world domination? Turn your dream into reality with the inspiration of real entrepreneurs! Read about these 6 successful female business owners who share their stories and top tips on starting out and becoming your own boss.

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Turning Passion Into Profit: A Skincare Success Story

With passion, planning and dedication you can turn your idea into a thriving business, and natural skincare specialist Jessica has done just that. To run her business more productively and profitably, she turned to accounting service Angel Books. Read all about her story and how connecting her Create website with Angel Books has benefitted her growing company.

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Easy Accounting With Angel Books


Want to be more efficient and run your business productively? There's a great service available to manage your stock, make VAT returns easy and determine which of your products are the most profitable - now you can connect this service with your Create website for free! Perfect for any business, read all about Angel Books.

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Top Tips For Starting Your Own Baking Business

Picture of a book, macaroons and wine on a table

Last night marked the penultimate episode of this year’s Great British Bake Off - and we’ve been hooked! There’s even baking fever in the office, and we’ve gone from the most delicious, gooey, chocolate-filled Guinness cake to another slightly boozy Gin and Tonic cake (recipes lie with your Account Manager).

So, if you’re a keen baker and have been inspired to turn your love of cake into a business, we got in touch with local Brighton baker "Buddy's Home Bakery" to find out how they did just that! Read on for their top tips on getting started in the baking industry.

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Meet Rhodesian of Edinburgh - Makers Of Beautiful Leather Bags

Rhodesian of Edinburgh logo with image of model and bags

What can we say about Rhodesian of Edinburgh? This Mother and Daughter team Katrina & Charlotte founded the company in early 2014 and have not looked back!

Their ethos is to make gorgeous leather goods, that last a lifetime. The bags are crafted using traditional skills, and all start life as drawings which are then transferred to paper and stapled together. This detailed way of creating the designs ensures that they're functional as well as beautiful and ... we can't get enough of them!

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Thrashion: Skateboarding To Business Success

Pile of second hand skateboards next to thrashion.com logo

There's nothing better than seeing an innovative idea become a thriving business, and that's just what bespoke jewellers Thrashion have done. Offering unique and interesting pieces that are good for the environment, there isn't anything not to love. Read all about how Thrashion have flourished over the years and their top tips for success.

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Meet The Crafty Calf, Papercutting Extraordinaire.

The Craft Calf logo and papercut product form the website

It is really fantastic seeing what our customers are up to, we love seeing how their businesses evolve and grow online. The all new Customer Showcase is an inside look into the world of the Create customer and a brilliant excuse to pick their brains for their hints, tips and success stories! Starting a business online is both an exciting and nerve wracking time, so for all the Startups out there, read on for a bit of reassurance and a lot of inspiration.

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Site Of The Month: Rock Paper Sisters

RockPaperSisters website

September's Site of the Month is the super stylish rockpapersisters.co.uk, a UK-based, family run t-shirt design company established in 2013. From kids tees to gym vests, there's something for everyone so if you like unique, individual designs then RockPaperSisters is the site for you! I

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Site of the Month: Simply Solids

Site Of The Month: Simply Solids

August's site of the month is the beautiful simplysolids.co.uk, an online shop that sells a huge range of solid and plain fabrics plus pre-cuts of fresh modern designer prints. Their stunning website was built with Create's Web Designer's Kit allowing them to have a custom template that they can manage from their Create account.

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Site of the Month: Cocoa & Heart

Cocoa and Heart logo

In July's site of the month we have been speaking with 'Cocoa & Heart', a business that focuses on providing baking courses for a beautiful array of different delicacies, such as home-baked bread, chocolate truffles and lots more.

Eloquently quoted on their website 'Cocoa & Heart was born out of a real passion for all things handmade and it is the sole work of Magdalena Marsden' (pictured right).

We’ve caught up with Magdalena to talk about all things baking! We also learn about how she put the business together and some of the pleasant surprises she gathered along the way.

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Site of the Month: Elizabeth Ackerley

Elizabeth Ackerley

June's Site of the Month is the fantastic Elizabeth Ackerley, which offers a range of bespoke personalised products, perfect for treasuring any memory.

From Gingerbread families to Tooth Fairy pillows, Forever Letters to bespoke Hearts, Elizabeth's products are perfect for all occasions and capture those moments you want to keep forever.

This month we spoke to Elizabeth about her inspiration for the business and her creations, as well as important design elements for her website and her top tips for other business owners.

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Site of the Month: Red Cherry Prints

Site of the Month: Red Cherry Prints

This time around we've been speaking with Justine Gray, the founding owner of 'Red Cherry Prints' and this months 'Site Of The Month' titleholder!

Red Cherry Prints create unique typographic prints inspired by vintage/retro style and popular culture

We spoke with Justine about

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Mother's Day Showcase

Mother's Day Showcase Banner


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Site of the Month: Lily Luna

Site of the Month: Lily Luna

This month we talked to Lily Luna founder and owner Di Walker about what's important to her business, how she markets the brand and how having a website improves the customer experience and increases sales for her boutique as well as online.

With Valentine's Day on the way there's no better time to showcase a successful business in the wedding industry, and Lily Luna, with its sleek and stylish online shop and a gorgeous boutique in Edinburgh, is the perfect match.

The Lily Luna website and online shop features a bespoke template built with Create's Web Designer's Kit and boasts high quality and varied photography, a handy appointment-booking page and a sneak behind-the-scenes in the form of a cleverly implemented Instagram feed.

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Sharing The Love: Create's Valentine's Day Pinterest Board

Valentine's Day Bag

With a month to go until Valentine's Day, we thought we'd get you in the mood for love by collecting together some of the best gift ideas for him and her on our dedicated Pinterest board.

Everything here is available from Create members' online shops, so by getting something for that special someone you'll also be showing some love to independent businesses. Just click the image below to head over to Pinterest and check out the goods on offer.

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Site of the Month: Mrs L Cards

Mrs L Cards

As Christmas approaches not only is it time for you to gear your online shop up for festivities but you also have to fit in buying gifts for your friends and family!

November's Site of the Month Mrs L Cards can certainly help you out in this regard, with its colourful range of cards and prints for all occassions. We spoke to the titular Mrs L, designer Carol Lewcock, about how her business came to be, what challenges she faced and, of course, CHRISTMAS!!!

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Create Bakers Share Their Recipes For Success

Baking Business Profiles

It's been an exciting National Baking Week so far, with a fun Cake Off Contest and a great graphic summarising some top business tips from baking businesses using Create.

Today we're talking to successful baking businesses about what motivated them to begin their companies, what advice they'd give to business owners, and crucially who they think will win The Great British Bake Off next Tuesday.

Let's hand over to Ella, Brett, Philippa, Sam, Kirsty and Rosalind to get the lowdown on their tasty endeavours and find out the secret recipes to their successes.

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Site of the Month: Little Miss Delicious

Site of the Month Little Miss Delicious

This month we talk to Maxine Johnston about her mouth-watering website Little Miss Delicious and how she connects with her customers to build a strong brand and provide the perfect products to fit their style needs.

What have fries, cookies, ice cream, doughnuts, cupcakes, teeth, thunderclouds and sushi got in common? They're all delicious (teeth must be delicious because otherwise we'd spit them out, and yes, I've tasted a thundercloud and it was yummy!).

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Get Festive With This Christmas Showcase

Christmas Showcase Banner

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Business Mum Profiles: Carolyn Grant & Tracy Clarke

Carolyn Grant (Copyright Cheshire Life)

We're celebrating hardworking women who manage to do it all: run a business, raise children, socialise and even get some sleep somewhere in between!

Yesterday we spoke to the owners of Gumigem and Sarah Petherick Bags. Today it's the turn of CeeGee Jewellery Design's Carolyn Grant and Painted Ghost's Tracy Clarke to share their business mum tips!

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Business Mum Profiles: Sarah Petherick & Jenny McLaughlan

Sarah Petherick

Hot on the heels of our popular graphic sharing the stories of Business Mums who have achieved their work/family balance, here are two interviews with inspirational parents who used Create to help build their successful businesses and who did it all while raising young children.

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Halloween Showcase

Halloween Showcase

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Site of the Month: Thrashion

Thrashion Logo

In September's Site of the Month, we chat to Thrashion founder and skateboarder Nat Rigby about her fantastic online shop, her unique business idea, how she achieved press recognition and worldwide stockists and the work she does with professional skateboarders and charities.

Taking a look at the number of film remakes on at the cinema and how many cover versions and remixes you hear in TV ads these days, it's clear to all that we're now firmly in the age of recycling.

Online business and Create shop Thrashion knows this better than most; but instead of turning broken skateboards (or "thrashed decks", to use the vernacular) into soulless rehashes, this company reincarnates each scrap of wood into stylish and unique homewares and fashion accessories for men and women.

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Site of the Month: Temporary:Secretary Jewellery

Site of the Month Temporary Secretary

It hasn't always been an easy ride for Temporary: Secretary owner Sarah, but with hard work and a passion for fashion she has developed a strong brand, a hugely popular blog and a successful online shop.

One of the factors in her success has been her willingess to engage in social media, and below she shares her tips on building a large, involved online following.

But first let's take a quick look at Sarah's colourful and on-trend online shop.

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Gifts For Little Princes And Princesses

Gifts For Kids banner

Today the nation celebrates another reason to enjoy a tipple in the sunshine with the birth of a royal baby! Congratulations Wills and Kate from the Create team!

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Wedding Showcase

Wedding Gifts, Suppliers and Ideas

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Site of the Month: Downhead Manor Farm

Downhead Manor Farm logo

What sets Downhead Manor Farm's online presence apart from many others is the multitude of ways in which it's used - from showcasing accomodation opportunities for holidaymakers to offering information on its flora and fauna and farm-reared meats.

In this month's Site of the Month, we're talking to Caroline Clark, owner of www.downheadmanorfarm.co.uk, about the family business she helps and what makes a good farming website.

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How You Could Use a Create Shop to Improve Your Business

Innovative Create Checkouts Worth Checking Out

Selling online can provide a lucrative income, but perhaps you feel you are not a traditional ecommerce trader?

In this blog we'll be looking at innovative ways in which the Create Community have used Create's shop checkout to boost their business and give you some ideas for how you could apply this to your own.

Summer might only just have arrived but for many online retailers Christmas is already on its way. Why not start a new adventure and get your Create online shop up and running now? Below are some great examples of Create members who have used their shop in new and exciting ways:

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Site of the Month: Rosalind Miller Cakes

Rosalind Miller Cakes logo

At Create we're always excited to hear amazing news from our customers about their businesses, which is why it gives us great pleasure to present the award-winning Rosalind Miller Cakes as June's Site of the Month.

Here we'll be taking a look at what works on the website, plus hearing Rosalind's top tips on getting those much sought after awards and valuable press coverage.

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Site of the Month: LucyLovesThis

Lucy Loves This

A picture may speak a thousands words, but with May's Create Site of the Month the reverse is true! LucyLovesThis, set up by book cover designer Lucy Stephens and based in Brixton, London, designs and sells typographic prints inspired by things we all love; food, travel, music and more.

The brand is best known for its gastronomy maps of Europe and North America and also for the London Letters series which brings together intricate illustrations of iconic landmarks from across the capital.

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Create Stories - Optimise Energy

Optimise Energy

We at Create pride ourselves on running an ecologically sound company (operating in an office powered by its own wind turbine, among other things), which is why we're so happy to provide our services to people like Matt Hardiman at Optimise Energy, who make saving energy their business. After Matt's great Create Story, check out the amazing offer we have for you at the end of this post!

Hi Matt, tell us what you do at Optimise Energy.

Optimise Energy provides installation, service and maintenance to electrical, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. We are passionate about saving energy with an 'every watt counts' attitude.

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Create Stories - Gabriella Buckingham and Moobaacluck

Gabriella Buckingham We're halfway through our week of Create Stories to celebrate hosting 10,000 websites built with Create, and we're finishing off Week One with the gorgeous designs and illustrations of Gabriella Buckingham, a Jacqueline Gold award-winner who runs both her self-titled business and Moobaacluck with Create. (Psst! Balancing the books of your online business? Today's offer will help make it a doddle - see the end of this post for more info!)

Hi Gabriella, tell us a bit about yourself and your websites.

I'm a freelance illustrator and also the owner of 'Moobaacluck - Handmade Happiness', a business I set up to make personalised children's gifts nearly 5 years ago.

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Create Stories - LK Pilates

LK Pilates

Today we're happy to invite Lara-Kate Jones from LK Pilates to talk about her work and her website. It's the fourth in a series of customer stories that showcase the range of businesses that choose to build and host their websites with Create. (Remember to check the end of this post to see what freebies we have in store for you today!)

Hi Lara-Kate, tell us a bit about your work.

I am a Pilates teacher and run my own business, LK Pilates. Before I had my son, I was a trained dancer and dance teacher, teaching in Secondary schools in and around London. I presumed after I had my son that I would regain my pre-pregnancy fitness level fairly easily and quickly, but this was not the case! It was Pilates that really helped me get back into shape quickly and safely.

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Create Stories - Midnight Society Apparel

Midnight Society

In the first of our 'Create Stories', we talk to Heather Brickley, who runs Midnight Society Apparel with her sister Holly Hardy. (Pssst... remember to log in to Create today to grab a goodie - more details at the end of this post...)

Hi, Heather, why don't you tell us a bit about what you do?

We're a women's fashion label creating quirky designs and teaming them with easy to wear tshirts. All of our prints are unique and our tshirts are made especially for us to meet our exact specifications. We are based in the UK and are completely committed to sourcing our materials and manufacturing our products right here in Britain.

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Feature Focus: Facebook Shop

Facebook Shop Feature Focus Logo

In late 2011 Create launched the Facebook Shop feature, which allows Create users to export their online shop straight into their business's Facebook page in a ridiculously low number of clicks (hint: it's less than three).

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Site of the Month: Lily & Albert

Lily & Albert Logo

If there's ever a Create website that proves that less is more, it's Lily & Albert, seller of gorgeous knitwear with a maritime feel.

This simple, clean website really shows off how important a quality logo design, font choice and good photography are to developing a professional online shop.

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Feature Focus: Drop-Down Menus

Feature Focus Drop-Down Menus

Welcome to Feature Focus - a new, regular article series where we take a look at recently-released Create features and find out how they've helped our customers' businesses.

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Site of the Month: Little Joy Designs

Little Joy Logo

Every month we pick a great Create website to be our Site of the Month. They are carefully-designed websites backed by fantastic stories of people putting their hearts and souls into their businesses.

The first Site of the Month of 2013 is no different - Little Joy Designs uses sparse but colourful design elements to give a wonderful sense of space that really allows the quirky and cute products on sale to shine.

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Business Mums' Spotlight - The Little Lilypad

Donna

The Little Lilypad Company is a website built by parents for parents. Donna has two daughters, one 6 years old and the other only a month old! At the heart of the Lilypad is family, and this is the foundations that the business has been built upon.

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Business Mums' Spotlight - The Organic Toy Company

Organic Toys

The Organic Toy Company is a family run business, founded by Natalie Southgate, to provide parents with a wide choice of Organic, natural toys and gifts for babies and children.

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