The Big Interview
King’s School pupil Rory Koper, 16, is an award-winning entrepreneur who has set up an on-line party retail site called Ultimate Celebrations, following in the footsteps of his parents who had a shop of the same name in Grantham.
King’s School pupil Rory Koper, 16, is an award-winning entrepreneur who has set up an on-line party retail site called Ultimate Celebrations, following in the footsteps of his parents who had a shop of the same name in Grantham. Rory has set up the on-line store with his 22-y ear-old brother Grant, who lives in London and is a part-time actor. The site caters for hen and stag parties and sells fancy dress, balloons, party and table wear and other party items.
Rory won the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2013 Grantham Journal Business Awards and also won Youth Achiever at last year’s Grantham is Great Awards.
Rory and Grant’s party site is at www.ultimatecelebrations.co.uk
What gave you the idea to set up the on-line store?
The idea came from the store my parents ran, but my dad passed away and we were inspired to carry it on. We rekindled the business and set up a new on-line site which we call Ultimate Celebrations.
We set it up a year ago and on April 6 we relaunched it. We got a web designer in to look at the site and this year it has kicked off really.
How is the on-line store doing now?
It’s going quite well. The site looks really professional now and we are really pleased with it. Similar to Richard Branson, we wanted to branch out into different sectors like party planning, weddings, and want to explore as many different areas as we can.
I entered the Casio Bright Minds competition and got the final four. The judges were from Alan Sugar’s Apprentice and they gave us some advice which we used to relaunch the site. Nick Holzherr, from the Apprentice, gave us some hints as to how we should progress. The whole weekend was spent at London Docks presenting our ideas in front of the panel in a national competition.
Was it difficult developing the website business?
It was different doing it on-line as opposed to the shop. But together we found out how to do different parts of the business and used different skills to develop the business and eventually we found our way.
How do you see the business progressing?
It’s just starting off really and we are trying to get people to know about it. We are doing promotions like the one we did recently at Lincoln Waterside shopping centre. We were giving out balloons, leaflets, popcorn etc just to promote it.
What would your advice be to others your age who want to be enterpreneurs?
I would say if you have got an idea, research it and find out if it’s worth doing. If it is, just go for it because there is lots of help out there to get you started and develop your business.