Young Business Person of the Year and Alumni Business Person of the Year entrant – Natalie Jenkinson
Sculptor Natalie Jenkinson created some ghost figurines for Halloween that proved such a success she launched The Little Ghost Company and now has more than 55,000 Instagram followers.
Natalie, who is Staffordshire University sculpture and creative technologies alumni, now sells her work as far afield as the US, Singapore and Australia.
Everything is made in small, limited edition batches by the 32-year-old from Park Hall, who previously worked at Madame Tussauds in London sculpting life-sized bodies.
“It’s all stemmed from my time at Staffordshire University,” said Natalie. “I already had a first degree in special effects but at Staffordshire University I moved into ceramics and was also able to join a business course which helped me to get started with my own business. I owe my business to Staffordshire University.”
Natalie’s ghosts sell all year round – she jokes that a ghost is for life and not just for Halloween. Every piece is sold online by Natalie rather than through stockists and distributors.
She said: “When I started the business I was making ceramic jewellery but when I made some ceramic ghosts I was inundated with messages. It evolved from there. The jewellery wasn’t selling well but the ghosts really were.”
She added: “Being from Stoke-on-Trent, I grew up surrounded by the pottery industry and I always had an interest in it but it wasn’t until I was older that I had my first experience in ceramics as I took a night class which really inspired me.
“I am so proud to be from such a creative city and to be a part of keeping the tradition of ceramics made in Stoke alive.”
Natalie has entered the Alumni Business Person of the Year and Young Business Person of the Year categories of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.