Door 5: Student Shops!

Take a look at some small businesses owned by OU Students. You might find the perfect festive gift.

We know that Open University students across faculties and subjects have a variety of fantastic hobbies, interests and skills that some turn into businesses to share their products and knowledge. 

With the holidays closing in you might be looking for the perfect festive gift, so we’re sharing a handful of talented students who have shared their businesses as part of the Association Adent calendar!

Billy’s Books

Billy’s Books make unique art gifts from old and used books. they only use book that are going to be destroyed and create gifts for all occasions.

The company is run by Billy Docherty, a student who is currently studying an Open degree in Sports and Fitness Psychology after completing a degree in Psychology in 2021. 

Find out more and see what they have available here

Woodpine Leather

My boyfriend and I started a business of handmade leather-crafted goods, and there are more in the pipeline. I mainly do the social media and admin. He taught himself how to make leather goods to a high standard. We started selling the goods on Etsy about a year or so ago. We also do custom requests sometimes, such as for the local Scout Group.

Autumn McMahon studies English Literature and Creative Writing

Shop Woodpine Leather here

A.A. Barrett, Author

Since I was a child I have had a love of writing, my Grandmother often encouraged me to continue with my writing and release a book. At just six years old she was convinced I would be a writer one day!

With the help of my learning with the OU, I released my first book ‘Dear Maggie’. This book was named after and written in dedication to my Grandmother. This book has been read across the globe and even been read by my favourite childhood authors, Linda Chapman and Sophia Bennett.

I released my second book, Evie-Me and the seasons, to raise funds for the fantastic Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity UK. This charity has been a hige support after my daughter was diagnosed with ARPKD at just four months old.

My first release focused on my Grandfather. During the pandemic, at eighty nine years of age, my Grandfather discovered that he was an artist! He jokingly renamed himself ‘Van Barrett’, after the famous painter Vincent Van Gogh. ‘To Mr. Van Barrett’ features my writing alongside my Grandfather’s beautiful illustrations.

My most recent release was originally created to help my daughter to explain and discuss her illness with others. ‘Hazel Vs PKD’ is a children’s book, focusing on invisible illnesses and inclusiveness. This book was released in hopes of raising awareness for Polycystic Kidney Disease.

Three of my books have hit the top bookstores (online) of the UK, USA and Australia. One is available through my counties library system.

Shop books by A.A. Barrett here

Wick an’ Things

I make moulded candles as well as crystal infused candles and room fresheners. It came about after a severe allergy in march where I started with resin. I was left with lung damage and a lot of moulds so turned to wax instead.

Alison Paddison studies English Literature.

Shop Wick An’ Things here

Pink Spaghetti PA Services, Kent

I’m an award-winning Virtual Assistant providing admin, marketing and business support to sole traders and micro businesses across the East Kent area and beyond.

Pink Spaghetti is a National, award-winning franchise. I purchased my territory in September 2019 and then launched in February 2020. I wanted to be my own boss and enjoy the flexibility that this brings. I’ll be celebrating my third business anniversary in February 2023!

Although I’m part of a wider franchise group, my business is owned and run independently, as are all of the franchises. I am able to understand many of the challenges that small business owners face, as I face them myself, including customer acquisition and retention, cash flow and evolving my marketing and business plans.

Vikkie Richmond studies B329 and W340 and is in the last year of their BA (Hons) Open Degree.

Find out more on Pink Spaghetti here

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