Driven by the need to fit creativity into her life, Tamasin Jarrett, was inspired to start up Creative Places because nowhere else offered what she was looking for.
‘I work full time, and have a husband, two children and two step children, so finding two or three hours of guilt free time is pretty impossible. I felt frustrated at never being able to find the time for creativity in my busy life.
‘I love sewing and upcycling but there were so many other things I wanted to try my hand at. I realised I would have to use the skills I have through my work to organise creative workshops myself and that’s how Creative Places began.’
Tamasin is the Community Development Officer for a local council and has been responsible for orgnanising many high profile events such as the Olympic Torch Relay ahead of the 2012 Olympics and more recently a WW1 Commemorative Event that attracted a Royal visit. She realised that her organisational skills, piecing events, projects and people together could transfer through to help her realise her dream of creating courses.
‘I realised that artists tend to love what they do and want to share their skills, but they often don’t enjoy all the work that it takes to get people to come to a workshop. Give me something to organise and I’m happy!’
Creative Places is a Community Interest Company and now offers a wide range of courses and workshops in Kent, taking arts and crafts to the communities, as well as supporting local artists by using them as tutors. Now the idea is becoming a business concept, something Tamasin had been thinking about for 3 years before she took the plunge with a 10-week programme in 2013 offering Sewing for Beginners, Knitting, Pottery, Soap & Candle Making. She had 120 seats to fill and very quickly they were full!
In 2014, Tamasin was successful with an application to the School for Creative Startups and was one of just 100 creative business start-ups in Kent to secure a place. After an intense 9 month course she looks back with fond memories of the experience.
‘I was nervous about what the course would entail but it was an incredible experience. The wealth of knowledge, sense of community and the support from the S4CS was invaluable. I was so excited to be part of the Makegood Festival at the Old Selfridges Hotel in central London with 199 other creative start-ups. We all launched and showcased our businesses together, putting everything in place that we have learnt.’
Since the Festival in May, Tamasin has been successful with a large grant to the Ministry of Defence’s Community Covenant Scheme which has enabled her to deliver courses and workshops in communities with military and civilian families.
She has also been working with the Up on the Downs Landscape Partnership Scheme in delivering creative workshops to raise the profile of heritage and landscape the Downs which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Programme.