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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Fair favourite adds to flavour of fun-packed Carlisle pageant

As businesses lined up to draw in the crowds at Carlisle’s Pageant celebrations, one young entrepreneur was proving to be a cut above the rest.

Maisie Wise photo
Maisie Wise

Maisie Wise, from Wetheral, already has more experience than most aspiring business owners at the age of just 14.

The teenager runs a successful business selling her freshly-made candy floss at markets and shows across the region, determined to earn her own pocket money.

The idea to run the business came from her dad Richard, 51, who did a young enterprise masterclass at Maisie’s school, Penrith’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar, last year.

Pupils were split into teams to set up their own businesses and trade at a local fair. Maisie and her friends decided to make and sell fairground favourites such as candy floss, toffee apples and popcorn, with the venture proving a success.

The QEGS pupil decided to continue the idea and her parents came up with a novel way to support her.

Richard said: “We were looking at candy floss machines and they were either cheap ones for play or professional machines for about £1,000.

“We decided we would buy the new machine instead of her having pocket money from now on. So we told her she would have to raise her own money and she thought that was a good idea.”

One year after the launch of Maisie Sunshine, the teenager has already made enough money to pay for the candy floss machine and to start putting some away in her savings.

Maisie said: “I quite like going to shows and meeting people. I just enjoy it. I enjoy getting the skills but I like making money too. At the moment I’m saving up for something, but I don’t know what I’m going to buy.

“It isn’t really hard to motivate myself as I really do enjoy doing it. Mum and Dad keep me motivated too.”

Despite aspirations to one day become a dentist or a chemistry teacher, she said that she would like to continue the candy floss business on the side.

Richard, a semi-retired businessman, added: “When you start going down this route of your child having a business, the learning experiences they get are amazing.

“They learn to deal with customers, getting themselves organised and how to liaise with different organisations. When it comes to her career she will benefit from this experience.”

He added: “It has turned from something that was a bit of a risk [to something] that has worked out incredibly well. We have seen her grow significantly as a person while she has been doing it.”

Maisie joined fellow entrepreneurs at the Best of Carlisle Market as the city held its popular pageant last weekend.

The event kicked off with a family fun day, market and parade in the city centre on Saturday, before a week of activities for locals and visitors to Carlisle.

This weekend the festivities will continue with an international market and the Great Fair Proclamation tomorrow at 10am.

The leader of Carlisle City Council, Colin Glover, urged people to turn out.

“We’ve had a great start to the pageant this year with the puppet parade and lots of people turned out to see it. There has been lots of enthusiasm to see this event grow each year,” he said.

“For a number of years nothing happened but we resurrected it last year. There will be also a civic reception led by the mayor.”

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