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February 14, 2018
One of the north east’s brightest young entrepreneurs has raised a cup of tea to the organisations that have helped her get to where she is today.
Jules Quinn set up The *TeaShed, a design-led tea, teaware and homeware company based at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead, after completing her fashion marketing degree at Northumbria University in 2011.
As well as being available via the firm’s own www.the-teashed.co.uk website, *TeaShed products are already stocked by a growing range of online and High Street retailers, including Fenwick, John Lewis, Moonpig and the V&A, and the company has also run pop-up tea tents at some of the UK’s biggest music events, such as V Festival and T In The Park.
The *TeaShed will open its first ever in-store concession, in the Newcastle branch of Fenwick on 20th April, and 24 year-old Jules, (who was one of the winners of the Journal-backed Local Business Accelerators contest earlier this year), has ambitions to make her firm the UK’s leading speciality tea company within five years plus launch a series of TeaShed pop-ups.
The *TeaShed concept was developed with the help of Northumbria University’s Graduate Enterprise Scheme, through which links were established with Stephen Slater, a director at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, who has acted as an advisor to the company ever since.
Jules Quinn, who was named Young Businessperson Of The Year at the 2012 North East Business Executive of the Year awards, says: “I always knew I wanted to run my own business but although you work for yourself, you never really work by yourself. The *TeaShed is surrounded by so many supportive businesses and people, who have been key in getting us where we are today.
“We’ve grown very quickly taking on staff and outsourcing other aspects of the business such as accountancy. I think one of the best things any business can do is take on an accountant, and with RMT, we’ve had tremendous support right from the start – they make invaluable help and advice available on tap, and have been key in helping us pull our Fenwick proposal together.
“Northumbria University have also been a huge contributing factor, both from the quality of education they gave me and the support that helped me get the business going, and having all these people and organisations that really care about the business from such an early stage has made a huge difference.
“Taking The *TeaShed into Fenwick is an important landmark as they were our first ever stockist, and we will in fact be celebrating our second birthday there on the 16th May. It is fantastic that we have stayed listed with such a reputable retailer for all this time and that now we are taking things further with our first ever pop up, serving teas, cakes and afternoon teas. Fenwick have put a great deal of effort into supporting us and this pop up will celebrate the importance of local support.”
Stephen Slater adds: “The quality of what Jules wanted to do stood out from our very first meeting – she’d already envisioned what her products were going to look like on the shelves of the retailers that she wanted to sell them, and she thrived on the ideas and advice we were able to give to her.
“Jules’ original use of design is the key to the company’s success, and her drive and ambition set a fantastic example for the next generation of young north east entrepreneurs to follow.
“The regional business community has a duty to encourage and support talented young business people like Jules, especially in an economic climate where it’s tough for even ambitious people with great ideas to get things going, and Northumbria University should be applauded for everything they do to help their graduates take those crucial first few steps into business.”
Graham Baty, Enterprise Support manager at Northumbria University, says: “Jules is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by any student or graduate who has the courage and conviction to take forward their business idea.
“The support the university is able to provide graduate entrepreneurs such as Jules is enhanced by our network of business mentors, such as RMT Accountants who provide valuable real-world knowledge and advice on business issues.”
RMT provides the full range of financial and business advisory services through its Specialist Tax, Recovery & Insolvency, Corporate Finance and Medical divisions. For more information, please visit www.r-m-t.co.uk