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Gemma Rawlinson

Gemma Rawlinson

Box and Cox Vintage Hire

Thanks to Outset Cornwall, I’ve got the confidence and knowledge behind me, plus additional support from them if I need it, to give my new business the best possible chance of success.

Gemma’s story

For many individuals, major life events like starting a family make it necessary to change priorities – and for some, career – in order to refocus their time around what matters most. Fortunately, Outset presents an opportunity to explore self-employment as an option and is flexible enough to meet everyone’s needs.

After having her first child, Gemma Rawlinson knew her priorities would need to change to accommodate her new arrival. Realising she would prefer to work from home to spend time with her new baby, Gemma gave up pursuing a career in PR to focus on more flexible options that would fit in around her new lifestyle.

Watching emerging trends within the wedding industry, Gemma saw an opportunity to start her own props and décor hire company, and approached Outset Cornwall to find out about available business support.

“Having a baby changed everything for me and I wanted to focus on my new family as much as possible,” says Gemma. “I knew attending the Outset group sessions wouldn’t be easy, so when one of the advisors introduced me to Outset Online, I thought it would be exactly what I needed.”

Combining the core content from Outset’s Introduction to Enterprise and Business Start-Up sessions with interactive exercises, quizzes and videos, Outset Online is an e-learning suite that guides users through a step-by-step process of starting a business. It is particularly helpful for individuals who, for whatever reason, are unable to access traditional face-to-face support.

Gemma says:

“I’m a planner and like to have all the steps planned out so I can see I’m working towards achieving something I want, which made Outset Online perfect for me. I’d also never written a business plan before and wanted one that would be taken seriously by potential lenders, and that’s exactly what Outset Online gave me.”

Having completed the programme and developed her business plan, Gemma has gone on to launch Box and Cox Vintage Hire, offering a variety of vintage and vintage-inspired games, props and décor available to hire for weddings and events in Cornwall.

Gemma now plans to reinvest any profits into purchasing more stocks, especially of the more popular items, allowing her to attend more events and subsequently grow the business.

“I wanted to feel I had completed all the necessary steps in laying the groundwork to start my business,” says Gemma. “Thanks to Outset Cornwall, I’ve got the confidence and knowledge behind me, plus additional support from them if I need it, to give my new business the best possible chance of success.”