Here at Ruby Star Associates we’ve been doing something new…. and we’re so excited about it we wanted to share.
As many of you know we operate a pro bono scheme and give a significant amount of free support to start up social enterprises, community groups and charities. Now, we are taking that one step further with our first ever social investment. We’ve teamed up with awesome Ruby Star client and all round fashion hero Caz Moss of The Style Factory, and incredible NW-based retail entrepreneur Ruth Thomas of Room31 to expand and relaunch the work of The Style Factory as a Community Interest Company (CIC), with a new community-based initiative. Ruby Star founder Isla will be joining Ruth and Caz as a Director of the new Style Factory CIC.
The Style Factory unleashes the creative and entrepreneurial potential of people through a range of fashion, craft and upcycling activities. Our activities encourage people of all ages, abilities and social backgrounds to learn new skills, grow in confidence and design and manufacture their own products. Working in this way we re-engage with people who are otherwise overlooked, foster community spirit and inspire people to use their creativity to generate an income for themselves. The Style Factory equips people for employability or entrepreneurialism, creates cohesion, improves personal wellbeing and promotes responsible environmental practices. And we do it all with oodles of style.
And to kick this new era off with a bang, The Style Factory are launching a new shop and workshop space in Runcorn Old Town and they want local people to get involved from the start.
The new venture will see an empty shop in the town be transformed into a creative community hub offering training courses, workshops and affordable retail and studio space to aspiring fashion designers and craftspeople of all ages and abilities.
The space will consist of a studio space that will offer a range of fashion and craft workshops and training courses and be available to hire by local groups. There will also be a shop space selling affordable new and vintage clothing and handmade craft items produced and supplied by local people as well as haberdashery and craft supplies.
In order to help get the project off the ground organisers are looking for local people and businesses to donate their time, resources or services. Whether it’s a couple of hours to help decorate, a spare tin of paint, unwanted furniture or donations of equipment- everything is welcome.
A range of free sewing, up-cycling and craft workshops will take place for volunteers who are willing to help out renovating and decorating the new space.
In return for their support, anyone who gets involved and helps out with the project will be rewarded with an invite to the launch celebrations when the project opens this Spring.
“We want to bring something new and creative to Runcorn,” says Caz Moss, founder of The Style Factory, “This is a community venture so we are calling for the community to be a part of it from the off. It’s a great chance for people to get creative and a brilliant way for local businesses to get involved with the community.”
We couldn’t be more excited to be involved in this – it’s right up our street. If you fancy being involved too – let us know!Posted by Rachel Warhurst | 0 comments
Thought we’d share this blog with you for a Friday treat – it’s a guest blog we wrote for @ukfundraising:Posted by Rachel Warhurst | 0 comments
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your votes and support – you’ve made us the first company to win two Enterprise Vision Awards in one year!
Enterprise Vision Awards 2012, Ruby Star Associates- Professional Services Firm of the year AND Training and Coaching Co of the year. www.elbowroomphotograhy.co.ukPosted by islawils | 0 comments
Last month we were honoured to be asked to talk at the NADJ AGM in Wales. Whilst we had so many people from a single industry in the same room we took the opportunity to do a bit more surveying!
Regular blog readers will know that I think too many of us fail to properly differentiate our business from our competitors- we use words to describe our service which any of one of our competitors could (and do) use. To illustrate this, during our presentation we asked the attendees to write down 5 things which differentiate them from their competitors, the results are below.
Our experience across multiple industries suggest that this is not a DJ-specific issue, so whoever you are, and whatever you do, now is a great time to have a really big think about what sets you apart!
For many DJ’s who have been in touch since, and asked about the presentation- here is a lin here: http://prezi.com/wohyexzlwzhl/nadj-agm-ooom Remember to keep in touch with us!Posted by RubyStar | 0 comments
Multiple Outs is a term from magic. For some tricks there are multiple possible (and equally magical) endings, depending on what happens during the trick (the choices which other’s make, the context etc).
Planning for Multiple Outs in Business is a great habit. Look far into the future and assume that things which may change might affect your business, and then develop a beer mat strategy for what you would do in that case.
Keeping your options open is sensible, but knowing what the options are is even wiser.Posted by Rachel Warhurst | 0 comments
As many of you will know, we’ve been busy this week with the brilliantly bonkers women of Wire (Women in Rural Enterprise).
In one session we asked people to write down 5 things which made their business special and unique. We wanted to demonstrate how often we all use “differentiators” which just aren’t that different. The results are in and I wanted to share them here- we do this exercise regularly and this is usually what happens- quite a lot of convergence in what we say is different about out organsiations….. begging the question…. If everyone else is saying it, is it really differentiation if you can’t prove it?
Here are the top 20 from the WIRE conference:
So there we have it…. time for us all to keep thinking about what it is that truly makes us distinctive!
For those of you who were there you may also like these links to the presentations we used:
We’re also starting to collect some of the images from the day- we’ll be adding these to our facebook page at www.facebook.com/RubyStarAssociates.
As always…. let us know what you think!Posted by RubyStar | 0 comments
Clients who work with us soon learn that despite our apparently care-free exterior we are sticklers for data.
We don’t always think you need to follow what it tells you to do, but we definitely think you should have it to hand. Knowing what works, what doesn’t, what happened and what caused it gives real power to your decision making.
In the context of the previous couple of blogs about ambiguity, knowledge doesn’t have a direct relationship – in the main having data is a way to reduce uncertainty, but can’t protect you against the unforeseen. However, knowledge can be vital in helping you decide what the most effective response to something unforeseen should be when it arrives – especially if you need to make a fast decision.Posted by Rachel Warhurst | 0 comments
A lot has been written about how important trust is in relationships, and in business. And regular viewers of The Jeremy Kyle show (are there any among our readers?), will know that once the trust has gone, it is near impossible to rebuild. Whilst there are whole treatises on what build and destroys trust, there are some very simple rules, (And when we say simple, we mean simple to say or write, not simple to implement consistently every day).
- Say what you’ll do and do what you say
- Remember your manners
- Customers may not always be right, but they pay your wages and deserve your respect.
Following on from our last blog on ambiguity, building trust is great insurance. Customers, who trust you, will come with you, even when you need to leap.Posted by Rachel Warhurst | 0 comments