Meet billboard winner number eight, artist Charlotte Pingriff

Whether your body is beach ready or not, Charlotte celebrates the feminine experience in a unique form of artistic expression. We sat down to talk about her business and a new billboard sponsored by us that will be appearing in Worcester.

What was the motivation for starting your business?

I’ve always been creative and enjoyed a creative start to my working life, working as a make-up artist and prop maker for film, TV and media. However circumstance eventually saw me in a string of office jobs, very much feeling like a square peg in a round hole.

In 2012 though I got a kick up the backside when I was made redundant. As an excellent opportunity to go it alone I decided to set up my own business Perfectly Cast, providing a thrilling way to fulfill my biggest passions. I’d always loved body casting, working with people, and helping women to feel beautiful and proud of their bodies, and through Perfectly Cast I could do all of this and more on a daily basis!

When did you first start your business?

I started in November 2012 but re-launched and rebranded in October 2014. Going back to the drawing board allowed me to develop a much more focused approach, with the emphasis of Perfectly Cast’s new philosophy centered on increasing women’s confidence.

How do you promote your business?

I market mainly through Facebook as I love how visual it is, and how it allows me to engage with my client base - a huge part of my brand.

How important a role do you feel small businesses like yours play in the local community?

I think small businesses are hugely important to the local community. There’s definitely more of a trend towards businesses that offer a more personal touch, and that offer a more tailored and personal service – the way businesses used to be run. Nowadays consumers seem more savvy and aware than they did in the past, and a lot seem disillusioned with bigger companies – at least from what I’ve heard. Small businesses offer an antidote and often help customers feel loved and valued, and because of this they keep the local economy ticking in face of bigger competition.

Why do you think Worcester is a good city to run a small business in?

Worcester is great because it’s in a very central location, with good connections to larger cities like Birmingham. It’s accessible for customers from all over the UK. Worcester is also a University City, so we have an influx of new people every year, which keeps things fresh!

What are your plans for your business over the next five years?

I want to steadily hone my brand towards helping ladies to embrace their quirks, and be proud of their body. I plan to establish a therapeutic element, casting ladies who’ve been through a life changing event, or trauma, such as scarring from an operation, cancer, or emotional trauma, the aim being to create a beautiful sculpture of their body and turn a negative into a positive.

Do you have any advice for those considering starting a business like yours?

Ensure you have a strong business plan in place, before you start! I made the mistake of starting with a loose plan, and very quickly realised that I needed to increase my focus on branding. Success rarely happens overnight - running a business is one of the toughest things you can do, and you have to work hard and make all number of sacrifices. You also have to develop a thick skin, and be prepared to roll with the punches, and continuously adapt, change and learn.

How will this billboard help your business?

My billboard is pretty unusual, so my hope is that it will create a buzz, and build my profile. I’m planning on having a little billboard party with friends and family to celebrate!

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