Case Study: Studio 56 fused glass

Business Profile

STUDIO 56 fused glass make a fabulous collection of glass products, thoughtfully designed and lovingly handmade in Torbay. Most items can be personalised to make gorgeous gifts, available online and at The Gallery at Cockington Court Craft Centre, a regional centre for quality crafts and arts.


Handmade Crafts


Workshops and displays in Torbay and international sales online

TDA Business Support:

  • Business diagnostic to understand business plan and aims through New Enterprise Allowance programme
  • Marketing strategy support delivered as part of ERDF Growth Support Programme
  • Digital marketing support with business growth partner, Cosmic



Holly Head always wanted to set up her own creative business and started Studio 56 fused glass in 2014.

All items are individually handmade, creating a unique glass product fired in a kiln at over 800 degrees centigrade. Studio 56 fused glass focus on handmade home accessories, gifts and workshops.


The Challenge

Holly’s vision needed support to ensure that the business had the scope to reach her aims and dreams of being a successful business owner. To create Studio 56 fused glass there needed to be a sustainable business plan that reviewed the financial elements of starting up and running your own business. After taking redundancy in 2014, Holly decided to begin her business journey.


The Solution

Holly enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme where she received support from TDA business Advisor Nick Williams.

Holly said: “The programme gave me the support to create a business plan and cash flow forecast, while helping ease the financial pressure of starting a business. It helped me understand that I didn’t need to succeed right from the start of the business and that I could work part-time while I was developing and growing the business.”

As the business began to establish and grow, Holly was planning on running the business full-time. In May 2017, Holly joined the ERDF Growth Support Programme, delivered by TDA, which enabled her to focus on the direction of the business.

Holly continued: “I was in a position to give up my part-time job and focus solely on my business. With my advisor, Kim Thornton, we developed a support plan which focused on how I would increase the marketing of my business and this was complimented with a Digital Diagnostic from Cosmic.

“The support I have received from the TDA has helped me develop as a business and in particular the contacts and sign posting from my advisor has been invaluable. As has the constant advice to network!”



After focusing on her business full-time following the business advice and marketing support, Holly has seen her business grow. Holly has more time to dedicate to creating new, exciting products that are being ordered online and bought through local galleries and studios.

Holly added: “This Summer I approached the Gallery at Cockington Court Craft Centre to sell some products and I was delighted to be accepted. Cockington Court has a thriving creative community and to be a part of this is something very special.

“TDA has provided me with invaluable advice and support which would have taken me years to find out on my own.”

Kim Thornton, TDA Business Advisor said: “It has been fantastic to see Holly and her business grow from a new enterprise to a savvy online business. Her products are beautiful and unique and it’s clear to see why the business idea was a success. I’m so happy that Holly had the courage to take the steps to start the business and then focus on it full-time to reach its full potential. We look forward to continuing to work with Holly and offer advice when needed as the business develops further.”













To find out more about Studio 56 fused glass or to book a fused glass workshop visit

To see how the New Enterprise Allowance or ERDF Growth Support programme can help you and your business visit





The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme project is receiving up to £904,945 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for ERDF. Established by the European Union ERDF funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit The accountable body for this programme is Devon County Council, working with the following delivery partners: BIP, Cosmic, North Devon +, Somerset Business Agency, TDA and YTKO

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