Local artist expands his business thanks to SWEF Enterprise Grant

Artist Nathan Slate shares how we helped him open a concept store and café on Bridgwater High Street thanks to £2,000 of funding from our SWEF Enterprise Grants programme.

Nathan is already making a splash across Somerset with press in BBC Somerset Radio, Bridgwater Mercury, and getting a follow on his Instagram account from Mary Portas.

“I started my career as a local fashion designer with a degree in Fashion. I make and sell clothing, embroidery and am a self-taught ceramicist, creating one-off pieces. My website also has fragrances, jewellery and homeware, so there’s a lot to explore.

After spending time living and working between Somerset and Madeira, in September 2023 I started conceptualising my store in Bridgwater. The idea is to create a space that acts as my studio, a café, and a retail space to sell my artwork. I also sell artwork from other international artists, creating a curated space that aligns with my ethos of sustainability. The store, ‘SL-ATE’,  is now open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm. 

I spent the £2,000 of grant money on 3 sewing machines, including one that does embroidery, and a tailor’s dummy, to continue making clothes. I also hope to offer workshops to teach my skills to others.

The grant has given me the opportunity to expand my business and offer more to customers. Before the grant I was having to fund everything myself and it was becoming stressful. The money gave me the flexibility to get those important things sorted. It’s also given me the option to offer workshops in the future, which I am grateful for.

I want to let the store evolve naturally and organically. In Madeira I learned to slow down, and my plan is to see how local people respond to the store and use those learnings to grow my business.”

Find out more about our SWEF Enterprise Grants programme, which provides business grants of up £2,000 to young people aged between 18 – 30 in Somerset, North Somerset and BANES.


Impact Story details

Date awarded:March 2024
Grant size:£2,000

Funding Programme:SWEF Enterprise Grants programme

What was the grant for?A concept store and café