School leaver shuns university in favour of founding her own local business
Last year, Louise Preston was doing her A-level economics at Lucton School. This year, she is opening her own business premises in Tenbury Wells. And we think it’s a story worth sharing.
As a conscientious student, Louise had a lot of teachers very keen for her to go to university. “You could go to Oxford”, she heard them say. “You could do anything”. So, she decided to take them up on the last one. But not at Oxford.
University has many advantages but Louise knew it would never suit her, and wanted to stay in her home town to fulfil her dream. In order to find out what that dream was, she completed work experience – everything from estate agency to bathroom design – and volunteering – but nothing quite ‘fit’. That is, until she one day exclaimed “I may as well just open a pottery studio and have done with!” From there, Pitter Potter was born.
Pottery painting has long been a family-favourite activity of Louise’s, and featured in her GCSE art submission. However, she had no formal training, and no idea how to set up a business. With guidance from the Prince’s Trust, Worcestershire County Council Business Training and assorted local business owners; she wrote a plan, did some training and began looking for premises.
In many respects, Louise was lucky: the perfect property came up for rent at the perfect time, and thanks to the generosity of her late Grandfather, she had finances in place. Less lucky in other respects: the ‘perfect’ building had no plumbing, a leaky roof and faulty electrics!
After taking over the lease in May 2023, she has worked to get the studio up and running: a steep learning curve, involving a 500-mile journey to get some tables, and a very near miss with a flood. Through this Louise has risen to the challenge of believing that she has what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Louise’s hard work is now paying off and the studio has opened it’s doors, bringing tourism to Tenbury, and thus supporting the existing local businesses. Pitter Potter’s ethos is to be as sustainable as possible, and strives to help those who have helped them on their journey so far.
Pitter Potter is a pottery-painting studio, also offering baby prints, group bookings, studio hire and commission pieces. It is now open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10:00am-4:00pm. More information can be found by following the link below and on the social media channels @pitterpottertenburywells (Instagram) and Pitter Potter (Facebook).Pitter Potter