The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire Edition 21: Oct/Nov 2015 - Page 16

WILTSHIRE WOMEN MEAN BUSINESS Samantha Whittingham Sandy Evans Founder of PA to Go PA To Go is a Trowbridge based personal and virtual PA agency working across the county and the UK. They work with a number of businesses, charities, organisations and individuals, offering executive support, travel and diary management, online services and conference and event co-ordination. Founder Sandy Evans set up the business after taking voluntary redundancy at a local charity in 2013. Not ready to hang up her hat, Sandy got thinking about what she wanted to do. After spotting an article in an executive PA magazine for a virtual assistant, Sandy decided to launch her own business. PA To Go’s first contract was with charity Bio Science for Farming in Africa, supporting two doctors and a professor from Cambridge University with their work that helps to improve African villagers’ knowledge about crops. Sandy has continued to build her client base through networking events, prior business relationships and website investment. PA To Go now works closely with the Local Enterprise Partnership for Swindon & Wiltshire (SWLEP) and fulfils the role of project co-ordinator for events. As PA To Go has grown over the last few years Sandy has taken on her first 16 THE BUSINESS EXCHANGE 2015 employee Jane Wright. Sandy knew Jane from the past when they both worked at West Wiltshire District Council together. Jane runs the social media for the company and acts as a business support specialist. She now also has two family working parttime for the business. Sandy said: “I believe PA To Go’s success is down to our flexible service offering. We offer our time from as little as 30 minutes (to take minutes for an important tele-co for example), to working on a longer term contract basis acting as an extension of an organisation’s team. I am delighted with how PA To Go has grown in the last few months and can’t wait to enjoy its continued growth in the coming years.” To find out more visit: www.pa-togo.com and follow them on Twitter @PatogoSandy Little Miss Cake Maker started as an experimental baking blog. Founder Samantha Whittingham has always been a baking enthusiast and used the blog as a place to share her passion before the blog evolved into an online cake shop in 2014. Before setting up the business Sam worked for Future Publishing in Bath, selling advertising space for craft magazines. A lot of her clients were small businesses and this inspired Sam to set up one of her own. To get the business idea started Sam contacted Outset Swindon, the business start-up service that was set up by Swindon Borough Council. Samantha worked with the Outset team to create her business plan and then got to work. Samantha’s partner Kris is a software specialist and runs Bit Forge Systems Ltd. He helped her with launching Little Miss Cake Maker online and investigated the best way to do this. Sam said: “I see Little Miss Cake Maker as the cake shop of the future. Using a traditional craft and breaking the mould. My style isn’t traditional; I don’t bake flowery cakes like you see in the books. I create edible advertising.” Sam has a degree in advertising design and although she has always worked in the creative industries, due to the recession she was pushed into sales roles. Setting up Little Miss Cake Maker has allowed her to maximise her skill set and offer something new to the market place. Corporate cakes are her speciality and she makes cakes to celebrate business birthdays, cupcakes for business shows and celebratory treats. Little Miss Cake Maker is currently celebrating growth and is increasing its capacity by moving into a commercial kitchen, sharing space with successful Swindon firm Hospitality Services 24:7. Sam said: “This is a great opportunity for the business to expand and for me to learn from the Hospitality Services team and how they work.” Visit the online shop: www.littlemisscakemaker.com