Kaytie Lilley has set up Make Do and Grow CIC in Govan, Glasgow. Make Do and Grow offers low cost, pre-loved clothing and toys for children aged 3-12 in a space where families can browse and children can play. They also provide both free and subsidised creative sessions in their workshop (from junk modelling and brick building to tote bags and board games), reusing scrap materials wherever possible. Kaytie also uses the creative workshop space to host information services and support activities aimed at local families.
By keeping good quality clothing and toys within the community, they will be helping to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill every year. Many unsaleable donations are reused in the creative workshops or upcycled into crafting aprons.
Growing up, Kaytie's parents encouraged her to make do and reuse what was available - something she continues to do with her own children. Kaytie was frustrated at the lack of affordable creative activity for children out with the home and the difficulty at finding reusable clothing for children aged 5+. After some research, she found she wasn't alone in her frustrations and so decided to set up a resource for growing families and provide access for all children to explore their creativity.
From legal status to funding, many of the challenges around setting up a social enterprise were completely new to Kaytie and she needed help to find her way through. Firstport was able to offer guidance, clarification, encouragement and the occasional push in the right direction! Kaytie valued the wealth of information, access to additional support and found the help invaluable in terms of clarifying her next steps.
Following business support, Kaytie was able to make clear, staged decisions about the set-up of the enterprise. From choosing the most suitable legal status to whether or not to host a pop up shop trial.
Kaytie was subsequently awarded Start It funding in 2017 and Build It funding in 2018, and has gone from chatting about an idea all the way through to opening the doors of her shop and creative workspace in Govan.
Kaytie said: “Firstport were literally that, my first stop on the journey and they have remained a key support as the adventure continues. It is not just the funding but the connections to business support and peer networking and the underlying belief in your project that helps to push you further. Earlier this year, we won ‘Best for Creative Fun, Glasgow in the 2018 HOOP Awards, our creative sessions are growing and we are providing more and more workshops externally. None of which would have been possible without Firstport”.
Looking to the future, Kaytie wants to become self-sustaining and continue to grow, allowing Make Do and Grow CIC to move into other areas of the city and reach even more families.