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South Yorkshire businesswomen turns passion into business with personalised crafts

A Mexborough entrepreneur has turned her passion for crafting into a successful business, securing contracts with Yorkshire-based reality TV show ‘Simply Ken’ and the ‘Cup of Hope’ campaign, which is helping to promote mental health awareness in the region.

Based in Mexborough Studio 84, founded by Donna Bennet in November 2021, supplies journals, diaries, t-shirts, travel mugs and more to businesses, consumers and community groups alike.

Working to the mantra of ‘if you can buy it, we can personalise it’, Donna left her job at Maltby Trust as an Administration/Pastoral Officer in October 2021 to pursue her passion project.

While Studio 84 was only established in November of last year, thanks to the interest in her products to date Donna is already looking to expand her product range and invest in new equipment, including engraving heads and book binding machines.

Having secured a kickstart grant from UKSE – a local investment company that provides finance of up to £1m to growing companies, but which also provides support to start-ups such as Donna’s – she has also invested in a website to accommodate demand.

Speaking of the success of the business so far Donna said: “It is a delight to be involved in the ‘Cup of Hope’ campaign raising awareness of such an important topic, I’m also thrilled to be involved in the show ‘Simply Ken’.

“Running a business involving my passion for arts and crafts has really been a dream come true for me, securing this latest string of contracts has given me a huge confidence boost.

“I am incredibly grateful for the grant from UKSE as it really allowed me to get that initial boost I needed in terms of equipment, marketing and studio space; this will ultimately allow me to expand much faster than I initially anticipated.”

Steve Lyon, Area Manager at UKSE, said: “We’re so glad to see Donna’s passion turn into a successful business, the growth is a true testament to her hard work and dedication.

“We wish her all the best moving forward and can’t wait to see what direction she takes the business moving forward.”

UKSE provides loan and equity finance of up to £1.5m to existing companies which are growing, particularly those creating jobs.

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(L-R) Steve Lyon & Donna Bennet

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