A Teesside businessman, who spends his working hours creating props that include giant deckchairs, a Love Hearts arch, a huge gingerbread man and a fairground, is seeing his new company grow at record speed.
Creative Imagineering, set up by Steven Goldswain just a few months ago at UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre on the Kirkleatham Business Park at Redcar, is helping to create magical weddings, parties and other events for a growing list of happy clients.
Business is going so well that he is already on the waiting list for one of the centre’s larger workshops in order to house his growing collection of props and sets.
“I always wanted my own business,” said Steven, who was a prison officer for 12 years before taking redundancy and starting Creative Imagineering.
“It is so satisfying having a business that is great fun and brings laughter and happiness to people. I was looking to combine creativity and imagination with the DIY and engineering skills I have and this is perfect.”
The company’s off-the- shelf props are currently being developed and sets include photo booths, illuminated signs and items for themes from the 1960s, Alice in Wonderland, circus, Hollywood and mini-golf to a casino, pirates, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, seaside, and secret agent. A popular Fairground theme includes candy floss, hook-a -duck and a coconut shy.
Increasingly though, the company is working with clients to interpret and create their own ideas and wish list.
“I’m delighted with the way we have grown,” said Steven.
“We have weddings booked in up to December 2018 and a £499 package, including a Love Heart arch and photo booth, that we offered on social media brought in nearly £4000 of orders almost immediately.
“I have a bank of people helping with the events but am so busy that I will be taking on extra office staff soon and hope to create apprenticeships to train people in prop-making techniques.
“I love the challenge of creating props like the giant gingerbread man where I drew the outline on an overhead projector then cut it from polystyrene with hot wire.
“People are increasingly looking for something different to entertain guests at weddings and parties and we want to create that unique day for them.
“Setting up your own business is a busy time and the support from UK Steel Enterprise has been invaluable.”
Currently, Creative Imagineering works mainly in the North-East and North Yorkshire but bookings and enquiries are now coming from further afield.
Sue Kirk of UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business support subsidiary, said: “We have more than 40 different companies based at our Innovation Centre in Redcar but Creative Imagineering is definitely unique and great fun.
“We will make sure that Steven gets the extra workshop space he needs and are delighted that he is doing so well.”