14 April 2024
  • 14 April 2024

InCube Creative programme

on 4 May 2023 0

Step inside InCube Creative, a programme which helps local people turn their unique skills into thriving businesses

It’s one thing to be immensely gifted or to build up a skillset over time, but knowing how to transfer that into the business world is something else entirely. Overseen by Cindy Robb since 2015, InCube’s Creative programme seeks to do exactly that. Focusing on any product-based businesses where ingenuity resides at their heart, the part-time six month course appeals to both graduates and more mature individuals alike. 

“It’s really about providing creative people who have a particular skill or have done something as a hobby with the opportunity to translate that into a commercial enterprise,” Cindy said of the course’s primary functions. “It also enhances the creative sector in Renfrewshire, as there’s a huge amount of talent here.

“So, it’s about providing a hub for that creative energy and attracting people into the town centre as well. We work closely with the council’s event teams to organise creative craft trails which run alongside the town centre events. This supplies creative outlets and commercial income for the businesses as well. It’s a really nice tie-in.” 

InCube Creative

Susie Rodgers

Led by a model which is in no way pre-prescribed, Cindy believes that the programme can be tailored to the needs of each individual creative and their medium. 

“We take a very holistic approach,” she said. “We take the view that there’s a lot of really talented people out there with fabulous ideas, but no-one is born knowing how to run a business and that’s the aspect we can help them with.

“You have to be a jack of all trades, so the programme will cover the whole gamut of skills, including branding, social media, marketing, finance and working with retail. We aim to help them translate those skills into a viable business which will keep them financially secure.

“They’ll come to attend masterclasses: I run workshops that are subject-specific and do a lot of one-on-one mentoring as well as planning. We’ll basically sit down once a month and devise a map, which will highlight what the objectives will be for their business and what actions they need to do to meet them.”

Karen Hanvidge

Delivering a course which has helped textile designers, milliners, jewellers, stained glass artists, book binders and weavers alike, Cindy has witnessed the reflective nature of the pandemic enable “a lot of people re-evaluate their priorities and passion, as well as how they want to live”.

“Primed to begin recruiting for their next course, the veteran businesswoman believes the success of the InCube Creative programme lies in helping local people to uncover what makes their work special and, in turn, monetisible. 

“A lot of people will come in and say that they just like to make whatever comes into their heads. So, what we’ll do is help them to pinpoint a core range or collection,” she revealed. “This really helps them focus on what steps they need to take and it’s really very practical. Not only does it talk to them about what they need to do, but helps them find the skills to achieve those steps.

“We’ve all come out of a lot of workshops where it’s like, ‘ok that was great, but what do I do now?’ Our focus is very much on giving them tools. Beyond that, the peer support they receive in working alongside creatives is invaluable,” she revealed. “Sharing that knowledge and keeping each other going when they’re discouraged is something they all say is so important.” 

Incube Creative graduates

Laura Provan

An immensely successful jeweller, Laura Provan’s Paisley Pins are sold far and wide. In addition to providing this emblematic homage to her hometown, Laura also set up The Workshop, a creative space which plays host to not only her creative endeavours, but that of three other makers. 

Susie Rodgers

On account of her lifelong love affair with hats, Susie Rodgers decided to uproot from her successful career as a health and safety professional in order to become a milliner. Since then, her range of hats and fascinators have received widespread acclaim.

InCube Creative

Kris Mutter

Kris Mutter

Based at a studio in Renfrew, Kris oversees Low Recycled, a sustainable enterprise which utilises waste wood in order to make beautiful and bespoke furniture including bird boxes, record storage, tables, drawers and more. Having recently appeared on BBC’s Money For Nothing, his work is making a huge splash in both Scotland and further afield. 

Geraldine McScporran 

After completing an HNC, Bishopton-based Geraldine joined InCube’s course to pursue her stained glass business. Today, she’s racking up a whole host of awards and also teaches at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art. 

Karen Hanvidge 

A multi-talented ceramicist and potter, Karen’s decorative yet functional work has become very popular in recent years.

For more information on the InCube Creative programme, visit Renfrewshire Council’s website.

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