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Art students share charity vision with entrepreneurs

July 19 2013

Students who transformed a charity shop into an art gallery and turned a profit for the cause gave an insightful presentation to entrepreneurs.

Kirsty Gaughan and Heather Wilson spoke to the North East Wales Youth Entrepreneurship Hub at Glyndŵr University. 

The pair, currently studying for MAs in Applied Art at the Wrexham University, revamped the Save the Family outlet in Mold’s Daniel Owen Square into an exhibition crammed with miniature rooms, illustrations, photographs and even an indoor garden.

In just two months, Kirsty and Heather made more than £2,000 for the charity, despite being open just two days a week. 

They told the 30-strong group at Glyndŵr University’s £5million Creative Industries Building how a similar venture could be turned into a successful retail business. 

Heather said: “We wanted to create a space that still operated as a charity shop but looked like a gallery, joining the two together to create a positive message.

“The project was challenging but it was also very important for us to generate revenue and raise the profile of the charity.”

Kirsty added: “We had some fantastic partners and volunteers who helped us also, and even managed to get more than £10,000 worth of web design work done for Save the Family. There was a lot of goodwill towards the initiative. 

“There is scope for this to prosper as a business and for other charity stores to follow suit. We made £2,000 in two months, the shop was run by volunteers and everything was done on a shoestring budget.

“We were only open for two months and for two days a week during that period so it was very successful and every penny went to Save the Family.” 

There were lots of fringe benefits as well, according to the duo. 

Among them “cultural capital” and an accessible art exhibition.

“Not everyone goes to art galleries or wants to but here there was an accessible gallery right in the town centre where they could just pop in,” said Heather. 

“There was a very friendly environment and everyone loved it.” 

The third entrepreneurship hub meeting was attended by business people from across the region, graduates, stake holders from further education colleges and industry. 

For information on how Glyndŵr University interacts with business click here.



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