Hartpury graduate Eloise Caisley is one step closer to her dream career after being awarded a prestigious scholarship to help fund her new business.
The Equine Business Management graduate, who currently works at Colne Saddlery, will open the doors of her new business, Eloise Leather Design, in June after beating hundreds of applicants to the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship (QEST).
Since 1991, the trust has awarded £2.3 million to 319 craftspeople aged between 17 and 50 plus for study, training and work experience. Eloise will take advantage of it by using the money towards classes to further improve her craftsmanship.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was awarded the scholarship; it’s going to be such a massive help moving forward as I launch my new business,” she said.
“I had to attend an interview at Buckingham Palace after being shortlisted and then presented my case in front of a big group of trustees, which was really daunting.”
Eloise, 25, will be leaving Gloucestershire-based Colne Saddlery, where she has worked as an apprentice sadler for the past four years, to start up her new business. Her new company will create high-end bespoke leather goods.
While studying at Hartpury, Eloise used her experience at the saddlers as a basis for her third year dissertation, which focused on updating a business. Following this, she was offered a full-time position within the company.
She added: “Working at the saddlers drew a lot more on the equine knowledge I had gained from that side of my course at Hartpury. Having now started up this new business, everything I studied four years ago on the business management side has come flooding back.
“Without the course and everything that I learnt during my time at Hartpury, I wouldn’t be where I am now. It gave me my break with Colne and, in turn, everything I learnt during my time there has pushed me to open my new business.”
Eloise will now be able to receive funding for courses, get help with her business plan and will remain a QEST scholarship member for life, which she described as a “really helpful network of people”.