Risby hosts Good Story’s first festival

Stand at last weekend's Good Story Festival of Creativity
Stand at last weekend's Good Story Festival of Creativity

A charity festival aimed at inspiring budding entrepreneurs took place for the first time last weekend.

Good Story was set up by the family of Mimi Watts, a promising young fashion designer from Lavenham who died in a snowboarding accident in 2012, and is named after the fashion label she planned to launch.

It supports like-minded young people, aged 18 to 30, in running their own businesses by offering loans and mentoring.

Last weekend’s Good Story Festival of Creativity, held at the Highwaymans Gallery, in Risby, saw 250 guests attend a private view and charity auction on Friday, raising £2,750.

On Saturday, 40 young entrepreneurs benefited from a series of inspiring business seminars, while on Sunday more than 200 shoppers turned out to buy a range of creative goods.

Rory Watts, Good Story founder and Mimi’s brother, said: “We’re thrilled with how the festival went and it definitely surpassed our expectations.

“The entire weekend had a positive, upbeat feeling, showcasing some incredible talent. We gave our fledgling businesses some valuable, practical, advice about turning their passions into a profitable business, as well as the chance to sell to the public from their stalls too.

“I’d like to thank everyone who came along and donated so generously, and the Highwaymans Gallery for lending us their superb venue free of charge.

“Mimi would have been immensely proud of what has been achieved.”

Other highlights from the weekend included well-wishes on Twitter from the charity’s patron, Minnie Driver, and interior design entrepreneur Kelly Hoppen of Dragon’s Den fame, as well as a personal visit from Matthew Hancock, MP for West Suffolk and Minister for Enterprise and Skills.

Six new applications for support were made by aspiring young businesses and five business leaders expressed an interest in giving up their time for mentoring.

Good Story has supported 32 young businesses to date, but wants to extend its work. To find out more, or to donate, go to www.goodstory.org.uk

The charity is also continuing to look for business leaders to join its network of mentors. If you are a business owner and would like to help, email hi@goodstory.org.uk or call 01787 247265.