CIDO tenant, Michelle Crossey who owns Michelle’s Melts and More was recently selected by the ‘Go For It’ team to make a promotional video highlighting the benefits of the programme which Michelle undertook through CIDO. Kirsty Watson, who delivered the programme went along to support Michelle and find out what Michelle finds the most rewarding since becoming a new business owner.

What do you enjoy most about working for yourself?

“The freedom it gives me as a single parent with a young child; to be able to spend more time with him and work around him and other obligations more easily.  I also love the sense of accomplishment as you see your idea taking shape and beginning to grow.  I love when customers come in and give a nice complement about the products, or purchase something; inside you do a little happy dance. I am getting to do something every day that I love while meeting lots of new people.  Every day is different and you are constantly learning but so far there have been no Monday blues.”

That’s good to hear, have there been any challenges?

“Time pressures. You need to dedicate a lot of time to the business. There were long hours involved in setting up, getting products ready and advertising.  Because it is your business you really do need to put the hours into it. Initial outgoings are high so learning to budget quickly is essential.  When self-employed you tend to have many job roles at the beginning; it’s a little daunting. You take on the finance, marketing, merchandising, ordering and the day to day running. It can be hard work but it’s worth it.”

You’ve been going for 6 months now, how has the business evolved in that time?

“There are now a lot more products available compared to 6 months ago when I only had a small range on offer. The fragrances I offer have doubled along with the range of other products.  I started off with 6 different fragrances of wax melts, I now offer 30! There are now a number of other local people supplying the shop with their handmade items and amazing creations.  Recently, I have also been attending more fairs which have been great for meeting new people and getting my products to a wider audience.”

Where do you see your business going in the future?

“I hope the business will continue to have steady growth. I’d also like to continue  growing the range of products I offer, particularly the personalised, local, eco-friendly and vegan products in my gift and relaxation ranges.  I am also hoping to continue attending fairs and other events.”

Tell us how you got started.

After getting in touch with ‘Go For It’ they very quickly put me in contact with Kirsty from CIDO who delivered the ‘Go for It’ programme. Within a few weeks we had a number of meetings to talk about the ideas I had for the business and draft a business plan and financial forecast. ‘Go For It’ really helped me to clarify my ideas and bring the business plan together. Without that help it would have taken me much longer to get to the point where I am now. Kirsty was a great help, providing me with a lot of support and guidance throughout.”

Would you recommend the Go For It programme to others?

“I have already recommended the programme to others, one of whom is currently now in the process of setting up their own business.”

Michelle’s business, ‘Michelle’s Melt and More’ is located at Unit 1, CIDO Business Complex, Charles Street, Lurgan. It’s the perfect shopping destination for anyone looking to pick up some Christmas gifts.