Breakthrough Stories: Bettina Holland

Bettina needed to seek guidance and advice about her business as she wasn’t sure where to take it next.  She felt nervous and had a rather wobbly self-belief in launching her own business. The workshops gave her reassurance by having like-minded people around her who were on the same journey. Bettina attended some inspiring sessions which gave her lots of things to think about which she hadn’t previously considered…

Breakthrough Stories: Bettina Holland

Tell us about your business:
My name is Bettina Holland, I am a felt-maker and artist. My current body of work is focused around textiles and mark making with a particular emphasis on fleeces, wool, and natural dyeing.

Tell us about your Breakthrough journey so far?
I needed to seek guidance and advice about my business as I wasn’t sure where to take it next.  I felt nervous and had a rather wobbly self-belief in launching my own business. The workshops gave me reassurance by having like-minded people around me who were on the same journey.

I attended some inspiring sessions which gave me lots of things to think about which I hadn’t previously considered.  It gave me the courage to carry on and trust that people like what I do enough for me to turn it into a profitable business.

What was the reason you decided to bite the bullet and get in touch with Breakthrough?
Breakthrough came to me via Krowji (a creative workspace for creative businesses, based in Redruth) when the administrative staff sent out an email informing all the tenants that representatives from Unlocking Potential would be giving a presentation about the Breakthrough Programme, so I went along.  I was at a stage where I didn’t really know what I was going to do and the guidance and support seemed just the thing I needed at that time. This was in the Autumn of 2016.

What is the best bit about the support you’ve received?
The best bit has definitely been the positive encouragement and support from the coaches and my Business Development Manager, Becky.  She questioned what I was doing, how I was going to approach different areas within my business and what I hoped to achieve.  She addressed the need to pivot and change if things didn’t work out in one direction and look for another avenue.

What did you do or change as a result of our support?
I recognised that I needed to plan my time wisely, how to develop a product using my chosen textile materials, to regularly review what I have done, monitor how well it went and how I can develop my ideas further.

Do you have any specific examples of how Breakthrough has made a positive impact on you and your business?
Following discussions with Becky, I decided to do a two-day workshop with a Russian Textile Artist/Felt Maker.  It was just amazing, so inspiring and it really cemented my desire to run a business as a felt-maker.  Returning from this, I organised my first felt-making workshops in my local village hall and these were very well received by people returning to do other workshops.  I have now developed my business further and have designed my own felt handbags.

How has your business evolved in the past 12 months?
It now feels like I have the humble beginnings of a business which can grow now, especially over 2018.  I have reduced my employed working hours from 25 to 15 (over two days) and this has given me the time (and energy) I need to develop my ideas and body of work.

What are your plans for 2018?

  • I already have 10 workshops organised and a list of over 60 people who have expressed an interest – I intend to run 20 workshops over the course of the year and then I can begin to deliver these to other areas in 2019.
  • I have made a regular booking to attend the monthly market at Devoran and also to attend fortnightly at the Wylde Wednesday market at the Guildhall in St Ives.
  • I have had an expression of interest from a gallery owner in St Ives that my work would fit well and this will be followed up by taking along some of my new work when the gallery re-opens in the Spring.
  • I am doing the Krowji Open Studios and have my own entry in the catalogue.
  • I will be setting up an Etsy shop and developing my social media presence.
  • Finally, I am proud to be one of the only businesses in Cornwall to be a member of the International Felt Makers body where I am studying towards a certificate of felting techniques.


Looking back on 2017, it was a challenging year but I am now in a good position for the start of 2018 to develop my practice, my social media presence and my workshops and I feel confident in letting people know what I do.

If you’ve been trading for less than 12 months and would like to find out more about our start-up support, please tell us about your business by completing this short form and we’ll be in touch.  Read more about our Breakthrough Programme or by giving us a call on 0845 600 3660

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