Kim Wolverson tells unLTD how support and courses from Launchpad helped her in the ‘massive task’ of turning an idea for a sensory equipment rental firm into a reality.
Tell us about your company?
Sensory Wonder provides high quality and unique sensory equipment for hire, from day hire, up to a week, primarily within the Bassetlaw area, to help young people explore their sensory world and meet their sensory needs.
The equipment is from two long-established UK providers which might be too expensive for some families to afford to buy outright. It is also ideal for young children learning ‘cause and effect’, so is perfect for babies first or second birthday parties.
The equipment consists of, but is not limited to, Dark Dens, Interactive Bubble Tubes and Fibre Optics.
When did you first decide to start up on your own and what inspired you?
In 2016 my son James was born, and it soon became apparent he had special needs, with Sensory Processing Disorder diagnosed during the pandemic. Due to the pressures in my current job as a paramedic, and having a child with special needs, I needed a better work/life balance. The local knowledge, support, and services for children with sensory needs was somewhat lacking – so I embarked on the journey of creating Sensory Wonder.
How has Launchpad helped you?
Coming from a healthcare background and having never studied business in any capacity, I had a massive task to turn my idea into reality. This is where Launchpad came in. I completed some of the Launchpad courses – online due to the pandemic – which gave me the knowledge and confidence to create a business plan and successfully obtain an Enterprise Business Grant from Bassetlaw District Council.
Launchpad gave me the information I needed to be confident on what social media platforms would best reach my target customers and awareness of ones I would not otherwise have considered.
During the courses, I discussed ideas and concerns with other people in business, who gave me lots of good advice. It has helped me reach the point I’m at today – officially launching the business in November.
What are your hopes and aims for the business?
I hope we can become an established, well-respected, local business over the next year and local families can feel the benefits the equipment may bring to their child.
If successful over the next couple of years, my aim would be to obtain premises to provide equipment that is not logistically feasible on a hire basis.
Launchpad advisor Fiona Humpage said: “Kim identified a gap in the marketplace and has started to create a business that will bring her personal experiences to fruition.
“She came to seek advice and support and has embraced workshops that were on offer as well as one-to-one support. The Bassetlaw District Council panel were impressed by Kim’s enthusiasm and awarded her funding to assist in purchasing some of the equipment to get started. I wish her every success for the future.
“Starting and growing a business is not easy and that’s why the Launchpad programme was created. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and our partners means there is no cost to the entrepreneur, so we can get straight to work on turning those dreams into reality.
“Stop dreaming and do it. Contact us for information now on 03330 00 00 39 or email email@example.com.”