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STEVENS press release: A sharper focus

By giving free rein to young talent, a Cornish business is now enjoying the benefits of a much clearer focus and direction for its development.

STEVENS, The Cornish Slate Company, recently took up an offer from Unlocking Potential to engage two graduates on short-term projects: one to write a marketing plan and the other to produce promotional videos.

Unlocking Potential (UP) helps people to develop and businesses to grow in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and the South West. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), and is managed by Plymouth University and Cornwall College.

Through UP’s Gateway programme, which enables graduates who are lacking in relevant work experience to take on short projects for early stage businesses and helps them with core professional and personal development, STEVENS secured the services of 24-year-old Max Bridges from Truro and 27-year-old Carl Wafker from Penzance.

“We had never even seen a marketing plan before, so Max’s remit was to produce one from a blank piece of paper,” says Pat Scully, who runs STEVENS with his partner Anne Marlow.

“We wanted a plan that would allow us to achieve results on a wafer-thin budget, operating with just two people – so Max had to be very inventive. As a result of his work, we have gone from weaving all over the place to having some clear direction and targets.”

Carl’s challenge was to produce two videos showcasing different elements of the business, which specialises in bespoke tableware and giftware. The videos can be viewed on the company’s website,

Pat says: “In the first, entitled The Chef’s Canvas, Carl does a great job of capturing the way that slate complements and harmonises with food and Cornish products in general. The second, Made in Cornwall, is aimed at gift buyers and gift shop owners looking for quality Cornish items. The importance of high-quality video in today’s market cannot be overstated, and we’re very pleased with what Carl has created.”

Having completed his project, Max Bridges is looking to work with other progressive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), on a self-employed basis, to gain further commercial experience in website design, marketing and small business consultancy.

Carl Wafker wants to expand his client list and add to his video, photography, sound and graphic design portfolio, with the ultimate aim of securing a permanent job as a creative consultant.

“We wish them the best of luck in their careers,” says Pat. “They are both very capable young people who deserve to succeed. We are very grateful for the impact that their short stay with us has had on our business.”