A mum of two has taken her first steps into entrepreneurship to launch her own party business during the months of lockdown.
Amy Speckman, 28, from Murton in County Durham has set up Sweetie Treats, which offers services to make your wedding, birthday party or christening extra special.
The business, which Amy runs from the home she shares with her husband Sean and children Amelia, six, and Marnie, three, provides magic mirrors, sweet treat boxes, chair covers and sashes, post box hire, balloons, buffets, and other touches that bring parties to life.
Amy decided to set the business up after speaking to East Durham Business Service, where she was referred to from a support organisation she was already engaging with.
Amy said: “I was out of work after having my youngest daughter and began thinking about starting my own business. East Durham Business Service was recommended to me so I contacted them to see what they could do to help me.
“I came in to see Hina Joshi who worked with me to write a business plan. She was great and made me believe that I could make my ideas work, despite being in a national lockdown.
“Party planning was something I really enjoyed and knew there were things I could do that helped bring those party elements to special occasions, even if parties weren’t possible because of the coronavirus restrictions.”
In the early months of the business, Amy has focussed on the sweetie boxes she prepares, which come in three sizes. The boxes are beautifully prepared and filled with all kinds of sweet treats, catering for children and adults alike.
Amy added: “Obviously because of the circumstances, people can’t have proper parties, so the sweetie boxes are a nice little touch to make birthdays, anniversaries and other celebratory events special. They are fun and who doesn’t love a box of sweets and chocolates.
“I am really enjoying running my own business. My husband is helping me spread the word and is also going to be taking some photography for me, and Hina also continues to support me as I work towards establishing the business. I would recommend self-employment to anyone with a business idea. I turned unemployment into an opportunity and wouldn’t change a thing.”
The support offered by East Durham Business Service is through the Enterprise Support in the North East programme through the European Regional Development Fund.
Adviser Hina Joshi said: “It’s fantastic to see people like Amy coming to us with an idea, and with our help turning that idea into a viable business opportunity. She’s managed to launch her business, Sweetie Treats, in the toughest economic conditions we’ve ever faced so fair play to her, she’s doing really well and I will continue to help her however I can.”