A former headmistress who was driven by a passion for the outdoors has swapped the classroom for carpentry in a bid to inspire children with her range of handmade outdoor play products.
Having spent 20 years working in the education sector, Tamara decided she was ready to embrace a new challenge and combined her love of the outdoors with her knowledge of childhood development to pioneer a range of children’s outdoor play area equipment.
Drawing on inspiration from the nick names she had given to her daughter, Tamara launched Worksop-based Moo Angel which produces a wide range of environmentally friendly outdoor play equipment designed to stimulate creative play and aid child development.
Since launching MooAngel, Tamara has developed an extensive range of outdoor play products, including agility walls, magnetic boards and even a customisable mud kitchen – all of which are made using sustainably sourced timber and successfully sold to nurseries and parents throughout the UK via her website: www.mooangel.co.uk
Keen to ensure MooAngel would make the grade, after spending time testing and developing her ideas the new entrepreneur called upon the Sheffield City Region Launchpad programme to help her grow the fledgling business.
Working with an experienced business adviser Tamara accessed one-to-one support through the Launchpad programme as well as taking part in a range of workshops run by the programme which looked at innovation and problem solving as well as harnessing social media to build her customer base.
Having started the business from her home in Worksop, Tamara is now setting her sights on securing new premises to fulfil her growing numbers of orders from across the UK.
Tamara Hazlehurst, Managing Director, MooAngel said:
“I’ve spent most of my career working in the education sector and it’s always fascinated me just how much young children learn through play. I was keen to explore ways of developing play equipment which could stimulate and encourage children to interact with the outdoors. I knew the sector I was planning to enter was an incredibly competitive one, so I began scouring the internet to try and find ways of accessing local business support and reached out to the Launchpad programme.
“Through the Launchpad programme I’ve been able to access tailored support to help me overcome the challenges my business was facing, as well as taking part in a range of different courses which helped me to develop the skills needed to develop and grow my business. The courses are well run and have also provided me with an invaluable opportunity to network with other new business owners and share ideas.
“Since launching MooAngel my designs have been sold to customers throughout the UK, from parents looking for something special to keep their children entertained at home to schools and nurseries wanting something different to help with children’s development.”
Fiona Humpage, Business Advisor, Launchpad said:
“Tamara came to Launchpad with a business idea which was built around her passion for educational play. She was acutely aware that her business was about to enter a very competitive sector and keen to explore ways of building a customer base for her unique designs.
“The Launchpad programme was developed to help new entrepreneurs develop key business skills, as well as offering support and guidance during the all-important first three years of trading. Since joining the Launchpad programme, she has successfully managed to develop a national client base, as well as setting her sights on future growth, including securing new premises to grow her business further.”
Launchpad is the Sheffield City Region’s key business support programme for new business. Financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by local authorities within the Sheffield City Region and the Prince’s Trust, the programme provides free help and support to budding entrepreneurs in the City Region. Entrepreneurs who access Launchpad are those who are thinking of starting their own business, or have started trading within the last three years.
Further information can be found at www.scrlaunchpad.co.uk