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​Showcasing small business success stories

This Bank Holiday Monday 107 Meridian will be showcasing a number of small business interviews conducted by the elephant team in recent months.

107 Meridian FM is serious about backing local business. As the country comes out of a challenging economic period, small businesses play an essential part in rebuilding confidence and growing the UK economy. The radio station's commitment to supporting small business is shared by elephant communications, which runs free quarterly advise days to small business start-ups, sharing tips and advice on how these bright new enterprises can promote their ventures to target audiences.

This shared interest resulted in elephant team members conducting a series of interviews with local small business owners, which have featured on the Meridian business show. As an Easter special, 107 Meridian is airing highlights from a number of interviews from the last three months, to celebrate the innovation and diversity in the region's small business community.


Karen Bach, founder of KalliKids joined the show in February and talked about her journey in setting up a new business. She talked about taking a positive approach to learning through mistakes for any start up, balanced by a singular focus to stay focused on the goal. She said: “There are probably a thousand and one things that I would do differently but no one big thing …you have to be optimistic. Mistakes happen through trial and error but you have to go through the learning curve, you have to go through the process of learning from your mistakes.’

KalliKids today is a market leading parent-led accreditation company for children’s activities. They help parents to find recommended and favoured places to go, tutors to use and overall services for children from their base in Sussex.

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Charlotte Wright Photography

Charlotte, who started her own photography business five years ago, talked about the importance of understanding your target customer – and also having a ‘big picture’ view on what you want to achieve. She said: “You need to have a vision on where you are going and move beyond your usual boundaries. I’ve had to learn to be flexible.”

To make a career change that would work around her family, Charlotte left behind her TV career five years ago to specialise in family and child photography, creating Charlotte Wight Photography. Keeping her experience with TV in the mix it was a natural next step for her.

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The Mug Tree

Katherine, owner of traditional tearoom ‘The Mug Tree’ joined the 107 Meridian FM business show at the end of March and talked about the importance of not rushing into setting up a business, but to thoroughly research your business before taking the plunge.”

The Mug Tree first opened in December 2014, led by Katherine Hubbard-Little with her family, serving loose teas of several varieties and traditional sandwich cakes. The Mug Tree can be found at ‘Old Stone Link Ship Street, East Grinstead’

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Colchester Classics

Liz Leatherdale, Colchester Classics founder talked about her engagement with audiences through social media, building a strong customer base in Sussex. She stressed the importance of benchmarking success. During her interview with the business show, she talked about the importance of “building social foundations and getting involved with similar businesses to understand how they do things. Business schools are also a good start for courses and research.”

Liz founded Colchester Classics in 2006. She has built a business specialising in mail order classical music and offers a nationwide classical music service with the personal touch - as well as having associations with choirs and music groups.

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The Mac-Man

Matt Edbrooke, founder of Sussex-based business the Mac-Man offers an affordable and jargon free MAC service to people who need an IT problem fixed. Matt originally started his small business by offering guidance and training to people. Today, he and his team offer technical support to business users, providing hardware support, trying to help where they can.

Matt talked about the importance of self-belief when setting up a business and his advice to others was to “just do it.” Reflecting on the fulfilment he gets from the business today he said: ‘it’s rewarding to be able to fix peoples problems – and to be needed”.

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Sarah Wrigglesworth

Sarah set up Time to Talk, her own counselling practice. She talked to the 107 Meridian Business team about her journey to where she is today. She commented: “Working with people, helping them is immensely rewarding. I’m passionate about it.”

Time to Talk is an approachable and friendly business, offering advice and therapy for people who suffer from medical conditions such as stress, depression, phobias and anxiety. Taking the view that everyone is individual and has different needs; Sarah offers specialized counselling service with a trained specialist ready to help an individual through their psychological journey.

To get in touch with Sarah, contact the 107 Meridian office team.

Jeroen Markies

Jeroen is a specialist antiques expert and during his interviews advised other start-up entrepreneurs to focus on the quality of their product; ‘be honest with what you’re selling.’ Jerown Markies Art Deco specialises in selling original Art Deco antique furniture of all shapes and sizes from tables, chairs and bedside cabinets.

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Wiseman Industries

Harvey Wiseman, founder of Wiseman Industries has said that, “most small businesses are based on great ideas, however, many need financial support. Make sure you have this and remember to have enthusiasm and share that with others”.

Wiseman Industries Ltd, manufactures a range of high quality branded and speciality products for use in a broad cross-section of industries. Their products help to maintain water supplies and heating whilst trying to look for organic alternatives.

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