Entrepreneur Emma Schofield has experienced the ups and downs of running her own business during the coronavirus pandemic.
At just 21 years old, she completed a degree in advertising and decided to become self-employed as a photographer. Emma spent a year and a half pursuing photography, before branching her business out into events.
Seven years on and she owns Ex-Pose Events in Denton. Her business decorates venues for every occasion, from weddings to baby showers.
Clientele have included TV personalities such as Gaz Beadle from Geordie Shore and cast members from The Real Housewives of Cheshire.
However, the outbreak of the pandemic has dealt a huge financial hit to the events industry.
Emma (pictured) added: “I was very naïve at first. I thought the pandemic would last three months at most, but then more and more bookings were cancelled. I was heartbroken to see my diary go from the busiest summer in the business to practically nothing.
“I didn’t work for three to four months, before I decided to become a key worker. I became a pharmacist as I had the qualifications, but it was hard going back into a 9-5 job.
“I thought I’d be there for a couple of months, but a year later and I’m still there.”
Not to be deterred from her dream of running her own business, Emma set up another service called Graze. The service delivers bespoke graze boxes and afternoon tea sets to people’s doors.
She added: “We’ve always done food at events, from candy carts to doughnut stalls, but I wanted to push it a bit further, scaling it down to these graze boxes.
“Valentine’s Day was a sell-out and Mother’s Day sold out in 48 hours. The interest has just been incredible.
“You really have to do anything you can to keep your business going, and to people in a similar situation, I’d say, stick at it, stay positive and keep doing what you love.
“I know it’s hard, I work five days a week and then spend the weekend doing the business, but I know it’s so worth it.”