Wild & Kind
Wild & Kind are a CIC based in Bridgeton, Glasgow and have been operating for four and a half years as an ethical print and embroidery company working with 100% organic, recycled materials and with ethical suppliers. Wild & Kind was originally set up to tackle isolation and loneliness for people with marginalised gender identities. They run free workshops and a safe space to meet up and socialise in physical spaces, which is often a massive barrier to those suffering from isolation and loneliness. Due to the pandemic these workshops have not been able to take place over the last couple of years, but they are keen to reinstate the workshops as soon as possible.
The Wild & Kind team is six soon to be 10 – two kick start and two further sales roles (FT & PT). Trudi Donahue leads the team, and discusses why she enrolled on Ambitions and the impact is has had on her.
What made you choose the SIS Ambitions Programme?
I knew Rachael Brown was facilitating the programme and that she has a passion for supporting people in the sector. I then looked into the programme detail which focussed on leadership skills, alongside developing your business. These were key development opportunities for me and the things I knew I wanted to work on – topics like delegation to give me the time to step back and problem solve, business development and growth. I now feel that my skills in these have improved.
Rachael stood out as she knew her teaching style. Also, as it was a female led programme, the delivery flowed well and held my attention due to the relevant content. I suffer from ADHD which meant I have short term concentration, so an engaging teaching style is key. The session delivery felt accessible in that there was no use of jargon and things were explained really well.
I also felt I benefitted from the peer-to-peer support, and the group just seemed to gel quickly which made it easier to trust and interact as part of the group from the start.
The weekly catch-up notes drafted by SIS were invaluable as they allowed me to relax and concentrate in the moment and on the session which I haven’t received from other programmes. Everyone is different with the way they learn but this made it more accessible and a better way for me to take things in. I can also refer back to the notes as a point of reference when needed.
How and why Ambitions had an impact on you and your business?
Wild & Kind has recently gone through a period of rapid growth, and I felt there was a holistic improvement in my learning, confidence and ability as a leader, managing a team and with my overall business skills as part of being on the programme at that time. Alongside this, there was the added bonus of the peer support a really important element, having other leaders in the room that have gone through the same experiences gave me the confidence to go and implement business decisions I had to make.
How has your business benefitted?
I had no previous business experience before founding Wild & Kind, and sales and marketing was something I was looking to focus on. After discussing this more as part of the programme content, I knew I needed to take our plan to another level which was way ahead of what I had previously been thinking. I realised the need to recruit for a specific sales role to ensure the future and ongoing growth of the business.
In addition, and after a session with Katy Air Marketing and with some research of her own, I realised Wild & Kind could make some passive income by offering and sharing skills content based on some of the work we do. There has also been some business benefit working with the cohort, for example providing uniforms, and I have also engaged the Apprentice Store for some IT support, who were also part of the Ambitions programme.
I was also very grateful to be profiled by SIS as part of the Friends of the Scotsman article and the invaluable business support from SIS. I have already got so much out of the first session and the plan is to work up the Wild & Kind future growth strategy.
Trudi Donahue, Founding Director, Wild & Kind
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