College beauty student is blending the barrier between gender-defined trades with the launch of her own roofing business

A 19-year-old beauty student from Caerphilly is bringing new meanings to ‘foundations’, ‘brushes’ and ‘extensions’ after launching her own roofing business.

Rose Williams, a second-year student at Coleg Gwent launched her roofing firm All You Need earlier this year with the support of the Welsh Government’s youth entrepreneurship service Big Ideas Wales and since has been providing homes across Caerphilly and beyond with their roofing requirements, offering services such as small tile repairs to complete replacements of fibreglass, rubber or slate roofs.

Rose found herself feeling unfulfilled in previous roles, having previously worked as a support worker, as well as a customer assistant in retail. Having studied construction at Cardiff and Vale College, Rose decided to use this knowledge of the industry to start her own roofing business, taking on a project management role.

She started her business with the help of Big Ideas Wales, part of the Business Wales and funded by Welsh Government to support entrepreneurships in Wales. The service is aimed at anyone between the age of 5 and 25 who wants to develop a business idea, including students and graduates, as part of it’s commitment to the Young Person’s Guarantee.

With her father’s 35 years’ experience in the industry, Rose has entered the trade that reminded her of her childhood, having taken trips to construction sites with her father to earn pocket money as a teenager. More recently, this has grown into a flying family business, as Rose has employed her father and brother, an electrician, to look after the hands-on work, while Rose manages the business on the ground.

She said, “I don’t think many people expect a 19-year-old woman who is studying beauty therapy in college to launch her own roofing company. But I feel very proud to not only be a young woman in an industry typically dominated by men, but to also be challenging the stereotypical idea of roofing and similar trades being restricted to men.

“It also makes the world of difference to my clients, especially those who might feel less comfortable having a group of men in their home. The feedback I’ve had is it’s a breath of fresh air for my customers when they see a woman enter their home to discuss their requests and plans. I hope this will set my business apart.”

Looking for advice on setting up a business, Rose found Big Ideas Wales online and contacted the service with a summary of her business proposal. Soon after, Rose received a call from Big Ideas Wales and was paired up with her own Business Adviser, Natalie Duckett, who provided one-on-one business support and guided her through every stage of building a business, from insurance and cash flow to growing a team.

Speaking about the benefits of launching a business alongside Big Ideas Wales, Rose said: “None of this would have been possible without Big Ideas Wales. As well as providing me with everything I needed to build a solid business and answering each of my questions with information and resources, Natalie was so supportive in encouraging me as a woman in taking the trade by storm. Natalie, as well as Big Ideas Wales, are incredible in inspiring young people – especially women – as they build their futures from small ideas, whatever industry that may be in.”

In the months to come, Rose is planning on hiring another intern to support her in building her roofing business, while offering her beauty services to clients as a side hustle.

Natalie Duckett, Business Adviser at Big Ideas Wales said: “It is so refreshing and empowering to see women like Rose, at just 19 years old, taking business into their own hands and moulding a future for themselves. It takes confidence to enter a trade that you’re unfamiliar with, but we know that with the support of Big Ideas Wales and the determination she has, Rose and All You Need Roofing are capable of unlimited success.”

Tim Monckton, the Enterprise Champion at Coleg Gwent said: “Rose is a perfect example of a young person who has taken their future into their own hands, balancing a full time career with a side hustle. She has remained dedicated and set on completing her studies in beauty therapy while developing her roofing business, and we look forward to watching both her and her business ventures grow.”


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