Meet Claire and Andy, the Founders of The Poured Project

When we ask our members why they started their business, one of the most common answers is: “being my own boss!” This is at the centre of our latest campaign – the joy of being able to organise your days and having all the decision-making power!

As part of our mission to celebrate those who work for themselves, we love nothing more than to put our members centre-stage. And what better way to do this than on national television with our latest TV advert, ‘Get More Joy Out Of Your Business’? 

Our new ad campaign features real-life Tide members – we are thrilled to be introducing to you the stars of our latest campaign! In this feature, meet Claire and Andy. They’re the couple behind The Poured Project, the shared passion of a small team of experts in concrete production.

Hi Claire, tell us about The Poured Project!

We are a family-run business, and we make exceptional concrete pieces in our Yorkshire-based studio, for residential and commercial interiors.

How did you start the business?

Andy is a furniture maker with years of training in restoration and bespoke design, and we’ve been creating bespoke items for many years. One day, a client asked us if we could make him concrete basins. We said yes and from there, we realised how versatile concrete material is! We then focused on bringing out new products which we all design in-house – it’s all hand-made. 2018 is the year we became The Poured Project.

You run The Poured Project together, what does a typical day look like at the? Who does what in the business?

I start with picking up on the enquiries that have come through in the evening, whether they’re from social media, retailers, directly from architects or interior designers. Throughout the day, I deal with our clients and retailers to make sure the orders are moving through. Andy is the one in the workshops who deals with the concept and fabrication of the mould, prepping it for being processed and finished.

Can you tell us a bit more about the creation process and about the craft itself? 

The concrete we use differs from the general construction concrete which is a lot denser. Ours has many different chemicals and components which make it more versatile. It’s a better, harder wearing material.

The beauty of concrete is that it’s such a versatile product. You can create so many different finishes and appearances; you can have something that looks smooth or something that’s textured. You might think concrete is rough but when you come to touch it, it’s smooth and silky. It’s a very tactile material.

What do you love the most about running your company?

Having control and flexibility! We choose how we spend our time which is really important to us. We’ve got two young children, and we work from home, so we always have to incorporate work hours alongside childcare, keeping it family-focused. 

In summer in particular, we lighten the load a little bit so that we’ve got that free time to have days out as a family, for a quick breakaway camping for instance. No nine to fives here!

Speaking about balance, what’s the biggest challenge for your business?

Running the business with children! Our youngest was born after we started The Poured Project. It’s challenging trying to juggle everything with the kids but while it’s the hardest thing, it’s also the best.

We take our little girl into a showroom and she’ll be like; “Oh, that’s one of our basins!”.

Our children know our products, they are part of the business. They’ll always have good ideas for daddy to make new colours and new shapes. That’s actually where the green basin came from!

We recently shared a Women in Business survey that revealed 19% of our female members cited gender as a barrier to successfully launching their business.* Claire do you have any thoughts on this?

Due to the nature of our business people can sometimes assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about in relation to concrete and other materials we use in our products.

What does growing your business look like for you?

We have a number of UK retailers but we also deal with a lot of international enquiries. We’ve got quite a large following in America and we get orders regularly – it’s always a great surprise when people reach out from different corners of the world, wanting to buy our products.
That’s what we’re the most proud of I think; it’s when people seek us out. It’s great to see the brand awareness when people go; “Oh yeah, we know The Poured Project!”

Why did you decide to choose Tide as your business account?

We initially had a standard high street bank business account but we felt like we weren’t getting a great offer from them and the support we needed wasn’t there. We started looking into other options, which is when we came across Tide.

We spoke with the people in the same line of business who were using Tide and we felt that it was a better match for us, since they offered more services.  The account was active within about an hour, it was so quick and easy!

What Tide feature do you use the most?

As the person who does the banking and accounting side of the business, I needed something that’s quick, smooth and friendly to use. Easy is the word!

With Tide, I can link up our invoicing with each particular transaction. If I’m authorising payroll, I can mark it on there straight away and tag which member of staff it is for, or if it’s purchases for materials. I also get updates any time a client has made an invoice payment, so I can keep my accounting clear.

Also, we take a deposit for bespoke jobs where they have to pay a certain percentage. Once I get the Tide notification that it’s been paid, we know we are good to go. Tide frees up our time – I can’t stress how easy it is.

As we’ve grown, Tide’s grown with us, which has been really useful.

That’s so great to hear!  Is there anything you wish you knew before starting the business? 

I wish I knew how easy it was to get help on the bookkeeping and financial side of the business. Don’t be so worried and apprehensive about starting. Everyone has that fear at the beginning of a business but there’s all the help you need out there!

What are you most excited to see The Poured Project do this year?

We are most excited about launching our eco-friendly stone composite radiators this year! They are low-wattage and cost-effective to run, and made from a high percentage of recycled materials. We strongly believe they are a viable alternative to gas and oil for heating commercial and residential homes.

And before you go… what’s one piece of advice you would give to anyone wanting to start their own business? 

Ask for advice, ask for support. Make your connections, whether that’s through networking or speaking to the people in the same industry. Everybody goes through the same experience and I’m sure people would be more than happy to help where they can.

*The Tide member survey was conducted between 3 and 7 February 2023, with 1,961 total respondents.

Valentine Hutchings

Valentine Hutchings

Head of Community and small business enthusiast

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