Mentoring helps Sparkle “light up” new opportunities

Thalia Shaw, the founder of online boutique Sparkle Lighting, was prompted to access additional support from Buckinghamshire Business First during helpful mentoring sessions.

Thalia launched Sparkle Lighting after she undertook her own home renovation and struggled to source modern and unusual decorative lighting. She saw an opportunity to create a boutique online store that was easy to use and that brought to life the way that lighting could be used to change a space and create warmth and ambience in homes and gardens.

The business really started to flourish during lockdown when customers were investing in updating their homes and had accelerated their use of online shopping.

Sparkle Lighting finds mentoring guidance a help to access additional support

Thalia was encouraged to join the Buckinghamshire Business First Mentoring Programme after learning about it while completing an SEO course delivered by another BBF member, and was soon introduced to her mentor, Teresa Stroud, the Executive Director of manufacturing company 3 Way Designs.

"One of the helpful sides of the mentoring programme," says Thalia, "was the ability to have someone external prompt me to think strategically about scaling my business and work out where I might need additional resources to be able to do that."

Teresa quickly spotted that Sparkle Lighting would benefit from the additional support available through BBF’s Growth Programme, and introduced Thalia to the Growth Team, helping her access the support which included financial planning, process and business strategies.

“The mentoring support I received helped me take a more strategic view, so that I can continue to grow my business,” said Thalia.

As a result of the mentoring support, Thalia has freed up some time by bringing additional resources into the team, instead of running every element of the business herself. This ‘new’ free time meant that she was able to make a decision to focus on the core elements of her business and to write a new business plan for growing into new channels.

“Our mentors support our mentees with accountability and practical advice so they can benefit from the input of an experienced professional.” – The Buckinghamshire Business First Growth Team

The present and the future are bright for Sparkle Lighting

Sparkle Lighting has now doubled in size and Thalia hopes to lean on Buckinghamshire Business First and the mentoring programme to help her continue to develop the business skills needed to sustain this growth and scale.

Looking to the future, Sparkle Lighting continues to add more lines and collections, and is developing business-to-business options. Thalia hopes to expand the lines further and take on a digital marketing apprentice to support this expansion.

Maximise your potential with our Mentoring Programme

Our Mentoring Programme connects businesses with experienced mentors that can help them develop their skills and performance.

The mentors are experienced in sectors ranging from technology and space to retail and manufacturing.

Apply now for proactive support with your business challenges and to help your business reach the next level.