Case Studies

Kent Start Up is taking the Messie out of make-up

by Christie Bristow-Diamond | Category | Aug 19, 2015

Entrepreneur Emma Smisson and start-up Messie Mats at the Birmingham NEC

A Faversham-based bridal make-up artist has created a new product inspired by her fear of spillages on customer’s expensive furniture.

Emma Smisson has designed and created a pretty range of waterproof make-up mats that protect surfaces and carpets from spills.

After a year of design and sourcing fabric, and with the help of a Start Up Loan (SUL) from the Let’s Do Business Group, Messie Mats was born.

Emma started trading in May 2015 and launched Messie Mats at the Beauty UK Trade Show at the NEC in Birmingham. Not only has she received fantastic feedback from the industry, but has also secured consistent sales through trade shows and via Facebook.

Emma said: “The process has been daunting and hard work. But from the start with the help of the Let’s Do Business Group and the Start Up Loan I have felt confident about launching the business. It is hard work and long hours but when you receive positive feedback it makes it all worth it.

“The Start Up Loans scheme has helped me not only financially, but with producing a business plan. It has boosted my confidence to be able to succeed as a new business. My mentor, Rob Knight, has been fantastic, he is always at the end of an email, phone or text message, despite having his own million pound company.”

Starting a new business

The SUL scheme is a government initiative dedicated to kick-starting new businesses through low-cost loans and mentoring.  The Let’s Do Business Group deliver the scheme throughout the South of England.

After selling Messie Mats to a number of high profile TV shows such as Hollyoaks, The Voice and Strictly Come Dancing, Emma is now ready to grow the business and start approaching retail and high street stores.

To find out more about Messie Mats visit their website, follow them @messiemats or like them on Facebook

If you are interested in starting your own business, find out about applying for a Start Up Loan at, call 0844 943 2988 or email Follow @ldbstartup.



  • Address: Let's Do Business Group
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    87-89 London Road,
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    East Sussex. TN37 6LW
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  • Telephone: 0844 943 2988 (Calls cost 5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. If your mobile tariff allows free calls to landlines, you can call 01424 205 500.)

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