Swindon & Wiltshire SME Growth Programme helps glassware business sparkle in US

January 4, 2018

A scheme to encourage growth among Swindon and Wiltshire small and medium-sized businesses has helped glassware designer Phaedra Politis exhibit her colourful creations in a US art gallery.

Phaedra, founder of Phaedra Glass, specialises in making kiln fired glassware and gifts.

Phaedra’s striking designs include beautiful butterfly wings and other decorative wall art, eye-catching glass tiles and luxury dinner sets.

The Steidel Fine Art gallery, near Austin, Texas, has now agreed to represent Phaedra, who is expanding her business with help from business coach Roger Wilkins of consultancy Cool Ventures, which delivers the Swindon and Wiltshire SME Growth Programme.

The programme provides free intensive support to small and medium-sized businesses, who benefit from one-to-one coaching from specialist advisers and access to workshops on key topics including business planning, finance, marketing and management.

Phaedra, who makes her glassware and gifts at her art studio in Wingfield, near Trowbridge, said: “Roger helped me to visualise my plans for the business, set specific goals to focus on and a time limit for achieving them.

“One of the main changes has been to concentrate on smaller gifts and split my craft and gift work into two separate businesses, as well as marketing my glassware nationally and globally.

“Roger also helped me look more closely at the volume of products that I need to sell in order to achieve a certain level of profit, which has been crucial to growing the business.”

Phaedra is also now exhibiting at The Rostra Gallery in Bath and the Fisherton Gallery, Salisbury, and

since being on the growth programme, has also expanded the number of local outlets stocking her gifts to include Prior Park Garden Centre in Bath and the Coldharbour Gallery in Westbury Park, Bristol.

She added: “It has made me realise that retail is the direction I need to go in. Galleries are now paying up-front for my products, rather than stocking them on a sale-or-return basis as before.

“The support I have received from Roger and Cool Ventures has been absolutely brilliant and I always come out of our meetings feeling energised and full of ideas. It has given me the focus and clarity that I need to take my business to the next level.”

Roger Wilkins, who is a director of Cool Ventures, added: “We’re really pleased to have helped Phaedra develop her glassware business both here and overseas. We wish her every success with her exciting plans for the business.

“Whether it’s reviewing your business plan, helping you market your business effectively or developing robust financial plans, the growth programme gives people like Phaedra the direction, support and skills they need to succeed.”

Pictured: Roger Wilkins of Cool Ventures with Phaedra Politis from Phaedra Glass

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