Siop Ria is a great story of a self-made entrepreneur developing a bedroom project into a successful business.
Welsh born Ria Thomas graduated from Manchester Metropolitan in 2002 with a first class degree in Contemporary Crafts. Upon returning home to her parents’ house in Bala, North Wales, she found herself unable to find a graduate job in a bleak economic climate. Ria had a passion for making things and didn’t want to lose sight of her dream so she started designing handmade greetings cards from the comfort of her bedroom.
Ria’s talent was obvious and these cards were hugely popular among friends and family. She supplied local shopkeepers who found that her cards would fly off the shelf. Demand was growing. Word spread and soon everyone wanted her crafts. This self-run business grew enough for Ria to move out of her bedroom and open a shop on Bala high street.
In her store: Siop Ria (Welsh for Ria’s shop) she sells a variety of handmade arts and crafts alongside other unique items she has discovered from around the world. Her shop has its own studio allowing her to give full reign to her creative nature and make a variety of bespoke cards, jewellery and personal gifts.
In 2013 Siop Ria expanded even further, this time into the online market. It is often difficult to make the jump from a high street shop to an online retailer but the success of Siop Ria demonstrates how to do things right. There are a lot of obstacles to overcome, not the least of which being taking payments. With online fraud growing year on year it is important for both retailers and consumers to be cautious. Fortunately online payment processors can make taking payments simple and set a business up with everything they need to start selling online.
Nochex were able to set Ria up with a secure payment gateway within a couple of days enabling her to start processing transactions securely in no time. Companies such as Nochex are really helpful in that they take care of the tricky business of handling transactions allowing shop owners to focus on running their business.
When faced with a lack of job opportunities Ria made her own job. Have you or anyone you know had similar success? Do you have a success story like Ria or did your business idea fail to get off the ground?
Tell us about your own entrepreneurial experiences in the comments section below.