FSB Champions: Sam Burlton, Make An Entrance

FSB Member Story 28 Mar 2023

Visit the award-winning Make An Entrance workshop in Lincolnshire, where Sam and Stuart Burlton are keeping the traditional skill of mat making alive.

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Sam and Stuart Burlton are the duo behind the family-run business Make An Entrance, traditional mat makers in Lincolnshire. The small business is following in the footsteps of Stuart’s father Allen, who managed a Royal School for the Blind in the 1990s where visually impaired people were employed to make handmade mats. Make An Entrance has kept this traditional skill alive with a new generation of mat makers. They supply a range of personalised mats directly to consumers online, as well as to National Trust houses and high-profile corporate clients across the UK.

Winning a business award is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved, but even more so when you’re a small family-run business. “We were thrilled to be named Family Business of the Year in the East Midlands region at the FSB Awards. It was an amazing pat on the back for the whole team for the hard work that they all put in,” says Sam.

Running your own business can sometimes be challenging, but Sam says she enjoys the work-life balance it provides and the freedom to make ideas happen. “It gives us a feeling of being completely in control of our own destiny. One of the challenges I faced when I was early on in my career when I worked a corporate job is that I was very frustrated with having lots of ideas, but not being able to implement them.”

From attending networking events to getting to know the local FSB team, Sam explains the benefit of having support from people at FSB who are passionate about the needs of small businesses. “Being a business owner can be quite isolating. Your friends and family don’t necessarily understand the challenges you face, so it’s important to have a network of like-minded individuals around you.”

Want support for your business like Sam and Stuart? Join the Federation of Small Businesses today.

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