SYMCA - Levelling Up

Wool Den aims to nurture Doncaster’s crafting community

The Wool Den is a yarn and craft shop located within the Yorkshire Hive at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Owned by Lianne Hayes, the Wool Den opened its doors in 2021 when Lianne realised her dream and started her own crafting business. Today she actively encourages people to try something new, whilst promoting sustainably sourced yarns and craft materials with environmentally friendly pedigrees.

Following a career working for the police, Lianne decided that she wanted to turn her hobby into a business. During time she spent working in Guest Services at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP), Lianne discovered the Yorkshire Hive, a new shopping and entertainment venture at YWP. It seemed too good an opportunity to miss and the new entrepreneurs decided it would make the perfect location for her fledgling business.

Working with her Launchpad Business Adviser, Lianne benefitted in receiving funding for her business through the The Enterprise Chest Grant scheme. A scheme developed by Business Doncaster to encourage and assist local entrepreneurial activity and funded through the Community Renewal Fund.

Lianne used the grant she received to help grow her brand, using marketing to raise the profile of her shop. She also created new window displays that would appeal to a more diverse audience.

Leanne used funds received through the Enterprise Chest Grant to raise the profile of her business

Leanne said: “The Wool Den opened at a time when there was a lot of building work going on at the Hive and it was not clear to visitors that the shop was open. The Enterprise Chest Grant helped me draw in more customers and helped me to move from a start-up business to an established shop at the heart of a trendy retail destination.” Leanne is now developing her website and wants to focus on nurturing Doncaster’s blossoming crafting community.

“I am very grateful for Doncaster Launchpad’s support. The scheme helped me factor in marketing, planning and finance when I was just starting out. With multiple lockdowns followed by a cost-of-living crisis, Launchpad has provided invaluable advice as well providing a sounding board to run new projects past”.

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