A boost from the Northern Adelaide Entrepreneur Scholarship is giving a growing small business a kick along. #SmartLiving Five years ago, Kristal Spencer (pictured above) and her father, Peter Rusch, broke off some wood from an old wine barrel out the back of their Barossa property and created a surfboard-shaped cheese board.
The barrels were serving no purpose other than taking up space so they decided to transform the unique pieces of wine-stained wood into functional homewares and furniture.
“We made recipe stands, custom picture frames, ladders and fruit bowls…and we took them to a market, just a local market at Woodside, and got a great response,” Kristal said.
As interest in their unique products grew, Kristal decided to turn the hobby into a business and created Winestains.
However, even good ideas and clever business models can benefit from some financial assistance and industry know-how, so she and Peter entered the Northern Adelaide Entrepreneur Scholarship.
“This is the first scholarship to be offered to people from Adelaide’s north who’re aged between 18 and 35 and looking to start a new business or enhance and improve their existing one,” City of Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said.
“Valued at nearly $8000, the scholarship is a joint venture between the City of Playford, the Stretton Centre, SAYES (South Australian Young Entrepeneurs Scheme), Elizabeth Community Bank and web marketing company, Clientology.”
Kristal won the scholarship from a list of 12 finalists, which was short-listed to three businesses, and is delighted to have won.
“It’s mind blowing. To have people believe in our little business and to help us achieve that next level is so amazing,” Kristal said.
Over the next year, Kristal will access a team of experts at the Stretton Centre who will help her develop the Winestains website, grow her client list and, ultimately, the business.
She has already started to experience the benefits the scholarship will bring.
“Having a mentor is really beneficial – they’ve paired me up with someone who compliments me with my expertise,” Kristal said.
Along with Kristal, two other finalists, Megan Langhan, from automotive parts retailer ‘Yaruki Road’, and Ana Gozalo’s, who operates visual communication company ‘Inkbetween’, were also offered spots in the SAYES program.
The City of Playford wishes them well in their ventures and look forward to next year’s entrants for the Northern Adelaide Entrepreneur Scholarship.
*This article first appeared in North Is Up, which you can read in full here. * Photos featuring Kristal Spencer at work were provided by Zoe Campbell Photography and Design.