Wellies and Waders Gets Off the Ground
Andre Crawford is the owner of Wellies and Waders. Spurred on by attending the 5-week Start Up programme run by TDA Business at Torbay Business Centre, he set up his gardening, landscaping and waterscaping company. Specialising in ponds and aquatics, Wellies and Waders is working with clients in Torbay and the surrounding areas, and now looking to build a customer base throughout the South West.
Ever since completing an Apprenticeship in Ponds at Bicton College, Andre had ambitions to start his own business in Torbay. The knowledge and experience he picked up during his training, complemented time spent wading through canals and ponds with his grandfather growing up in the Midlands!
With his sights set on being self-employed, he was looking for direction on getting the business up and running, and finding out about funding opportunities available to help.
Andre signed up to Start Up Torbay. A programme fully funded by European Regional Development Fund and Torbay Council, designed to harness local entrepreneurial talent. Delivered over 5-weekly morning sessions for groups of up to twelve. The programme guides attendees step-by-step through key business topics including; business planning, finance, and marketing in order to help take an idea, and turn it into a business reality.
Andre also benefited from 1:1 sessions to finalise his business plan and cash flow in preparation for his Start Up Loan application.
Following the Summer course, Andre formed a solid idea of what his business could be, how to get it off the ground and the confidence to get started. Talking about the support Andre said:
“From the first session, Kim from TDA was the confidence builder I needed. She has been amazing. I can’t describe just how much she has helped! I had an idea of what I thought could be a good business and I knew what I wanted to represent. The programme has meant I have done this much quicker than I ever would have dreamt of.”
With the help of TDA Business Advisor Kim Thornton, Andre successfully applied and secured a £10,000 Government backed Start Up Loan.
“Kim guided me through the application process. The loan meant I was able to secure a van for the business, invest in essential specialist equipment like my Pondovac sludge vacuum that protects wildlife during the cleaning process, insurance, branding and signwriting. It has been the reason I have been able to begin trading, and deliver the full range of services customers expect from a Pond and Garden specialist.”
Talking about Andre and Start Up Torbay, Kim commented:
“Andre is an absolute pleasure to work with. His knowledge and enthusiasm has given him a great start on his entrepreneurial journey. The Start Up programme helps with the business practicalities, and what is also so great to see is the fantastic supportive network the Start Up group also develops. I am incredibly proud of what Andre has achieved so far. His infectious vision and determination will go a long way in the future and as he builds his business.”
Wellies and Waders have secured a number of projects in the local area. Along with garden maintenance and renovations a number of pond projects have already been completed.
Andre was keen from the start that his business would reflect his passion for what he does. “I get to do what I love on a day to day basis, helping customers enjoy their gardens, care for their gardens and share knowledge with customers.
“With the help from the Start Up Loan I am able to offer a range of services for both big and small projects. Long term I’m looking for Wellies and Waders to become a business that delivers a friendly service right across the South West. I am also looking to support community initiatives and projects that support water wildlife and their ecosystems. It is an exciting time!”
TDA have been able to support Wellies and Waders through the ERDF funded Enterprise Coaching programme, Start Up Torbay, and will continue to support him as his business develops.
To find out more about Wellies and Waders visit: