Reece, from Largs in North Ayshire, knew that self-employment was the right direction for him to take. But as the world went into lockdown as a result of COVID-19, his plans for the future were clouded with uncertainty.
With a goal to grow his indoor plants shop into a nationwide retail business, Reece’s long-term aspirations and support from The Prince’s Trust has allowed him to overcome the challenges he faced due to the Coronavirus pandemic to successfully open the doors of Pine Marten Plants.
After leaving his hometown of Largs, North Ayrshire, at the age of 16 to move to London and train as a hairdresser with Toni&Guy, Reece worked in Kensington for three years gaining his qualifications.
He then travelled to South America to volunteer at an orphanage, where he saw first-hand the ‘live and work for today’ mentality that many business people in Peru demonstrated. As a result, Reece instantly felt that self-employment was the right move for him.
Unsure of his next steps, he completed the Enterprise course when he returned home but was still undecided as to whether it was the right time for him to start a business. But then the pandemic and lockdown occurred and it was during this time that he was able to research his ideas and get excited about opening an indoor plant shop in his hometown.
Reece said: "I knew when I was in Peru I wanted to start my own business, but I wasn’t sure what to do and whether to focus on hairdressing or something else. Even after completing the Enterprise course I was still unsure. But being in lockdown, I began to think about what I could do.
"I realised I did want to open something in Largs, to help the town centre remain busy and vibrant and to hopefully create jobs in the town. I knew there was a gap in the market for a shop that specialises in indoor plants and I began to work towards setting it up.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise course had attracted Reece due to the focus on entrepreneurship and the wealth of knowledge he would receive from mentors.
Now, he is delighted to have opened the doors of Pine Marten Plants and is focusing on ensuring great customer service, building up his customer base and creating a brand that people can really trust.
He added: "The Prince’s Trust has been amazing at providing a ‘stress free’ approach to business.
"The pandemic and lockdown has been hard for us all, but I managed to keep my spirits up and with the support of The Trust I had the knowledge to make the necessary changes.
"I’m excited about the future of Pine Marten Plants and I have ambitions to grow and develop the business. I want to grow beyond this one store, have many throughout Scotland and then move into England also, being a trusted brand on the high street and in town centres across the country.