An Essex businesswoman has made a splash in the region’s biggest department store thanks to her unique nautical art business.
Sam Luxford, of NaviStitch, has spent the past two months trading as a pop-up shop in Fenwick Colchester with her maritime and coastal-themed artwork and greetings cards, after winning the money-can’t-buy-prize as part of a local business course.
Sam was the overall winner of ‘In the Market for Success’, a competition run by Fenwick and the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) to offer aspiring female entrepreneurs to trade in Colchester’s largest department store. Sam was picked from a group of 100 eligible aspiring female entrepreneurs, where the finalists had to make a Dragon’s Den style presentation, and the judges were unanimous in selecting Sam as the clear winner.
NaviStitch is a unique concept, devised by Sam, of hand-stitching original designs on old navigation charts to create distinctive works of art. Sam produces and receives commissions for original artwork that can be personalised with locations and designs that are special to the owner. Sam has also developed her concept to release an extensive range of NaviStitch greetings cards.
Having been afforded a prime location in the Colchester High Street store, Sam has also received support throughout her trading experience, from both Fenwick and Colbea, in both setting up, running and marketing her pop-up shop.
Speaking about her experience, Sam says, “The Fenwick team have been incredibly welcoming and supportive of having me in the store. They are so enthusiastic about my products and are extremely helpful in explaining the concept to customers when I am not there. I am tremendously grateful to both Fenwick and Colbea for giving me this fantastic opportunity.
Sam continues, “This springboard has already made such a difference to my business and is already helping me to take my business to the next level.”
Nancy Foster, Store Director at Fenwick, Colchester, says, “We were delighted to host Sam and her flourishing business in our store and are incredibly impressed by her and her business throughout. We are incredibly proud to continue support to the local community and along with Colbea, the businesses within it. We wish Sam and NaviStitch all the best in the future.”
Colbea has since won funding to run ‘In the Market for Success 2’ and support a further 100 aspiring businesswomen. IM4S 2 started in early 2019 and is due to run for 18 months. Places available on the Colbea website.
Find out more about Sam and NaviStitch at www.navistitch.com or call 07711751171.