Paint company has a splash of success at major event

Sarah Ashurst, of Everlong Paint, at the If We Can You Can Challenge 2015.
Sarah Ashurst, of Everlong Paint, at the If We Can You Can Challenge 2015.

A new Amble business will receive expert advice from a world-famous entrepreneur and his team after winning a major competition.

Everlong Paint, on Marks Bridge, beat others from across the region at the If We Can You Can Challenge 2015.

The event was staged at The Baltic, on Gateshead Quays last month, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, and showcased a carefully-selected set of the North East’s most innovative and unique startup businesses and ideas.

As part of the Challenge, Sarah Ashurst, who runs the firm, pitched the business in a five-minute presentation to a panel of prestigious judges, after being short-listed among dozens of businesses from the region.

Not only did her efforts secure her a first-place finish, but they also earned her the chance to meet Sir Richard Branson at the start of next year and receive advice from his Virgin StartUp – a not-for-profit company, which offers mentoring to thousands of young entrepreneurs across the UK.

Mum-of-four Sarah, 39, said: “It was absolutely brilliant to win at the event. To be a small business in Amble and to beat other businesses from across the North East was fantastic.

“Having the opportunity to meet Sir Richard and work with his Virgin StartUp team is something that money can’t buy. They will look at my business and identify areas where we need extra support and they will mentor us through next year.”

Everlong Superior Finish Paint is the ‘UK’s fastest-growing chalk-paint brand’, which doesn’t need a wax finish.

The firm operates from its headquarters in Amble, and the paint, which is made in Northumberland, was only launched in February. It is now stocked by more than 130 stockists in the UK alone and has distributors in Norway, the Netherlands and Spain.

The business currently employs eight members of staff and Sarah is expecting to take on more next year.

Reflecting on a hugely impressive 2015, Sarah said: “It has been a whirlwind of a year.

“I always hoped that the product would be successful, but to go from having an idea of bringing out your own product to then be stocking it around the world and to be receiving advice from Sir Richard and his team is the stuff that dreams are made of.”

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