A YOUNG entrepreneur is attracting top-level interest in his plans to further develop his online sticker company.
Luke Robertson, 20, started Wallchimp as a teenager and his Hartlepool-based company already sells a huge range of wall stickers to more than 600 customers for their homes and offices.
Now UK Steel Enterprise, the subsidiary of Tata Steel which acts as a support to businesses, is providing the £3,500 Luke needs to re-develop his website.
The investment comes hot on the heels of Wallchimp attracting the attention of Dragon’s Den Theo Paphitis.
“My link to Theo Paphitis has been a huge boost to business and it also gave me the opportunity to have an agency work on my website,” said Luke, “but I wouldn’t have been able to go ahead without the money from UK Steel Enterprise’s Regeneration Fund.
“I was delighted as this is an important stage in Wallchimp’s development and the whole application process has been quick and easy.
My original website was put together right at the beginning of my business so it really needs re-developing and I’m hoping to have it up-and-running in the next few months.”
Wallchimp’s sticker designs range from animals, children’s names, silhouettes, sports, inspirational quotes and works by Banksy and other urban artists to bespoke products including logos and branding, chalkboards and working wall clocks.
Luke added: “Hopefully, I will be creating jobs and expanding in the not-too-distant future and beyond that I have great plans to grow Wallchimp and develop other businesses too.
“We sell a lot on-line but being based in my home town and having a lot of local customers is very important to me so I hope that I will develop a long-standing relationship with UK Steel Enterprise.”
A number of business tenants at UK Steel Enterprise’s Innovation Centre at Hartlepool, including Reactive Design and Adept Recruitment, are already Wallchimp customers.
Luke chose to start his own business after leaving sixth form college with A* grades in graphic design, photography and product design.
Simon Hamilton of UK Steel Enterprise, said: “Luke is doing a great job with Wallchimp and we’re sure the company will continue to be a Hartlepool success story.”