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Happy pancake day to everyone in Torbay! As today is the first of a new month, it’s time to celebrate local business! Every month we feature a business man and woman of the month in the area.

This month’s business woman of the month is Laura Crowley.

Laura is the founder of the fantastic business The Gift of Sensory (Visit their Facebook page here)(Visit their website). They’ve just celebrated their first year in business so a massive congratulations for getting to that milestone!

The Gift of Sensory is a family-run business created to provide gifts and toys designed to enhance your little one’s develpoment, and encourage bonding between parent and child.

I recently asked Laura a few questions about her business – here’s what she had to say…

How did you get into starting the business?

Having a baby during lockdown meant I was unable to attend baby classes with my little one, so I created my own sensory box and it went from there.

Even after lockdown, parents tell me they are unable to attend classes due to availability, being able to provide sensory items to allow parents create classes in their own home makes me so happy.

What is the most rewarding part of running your own business?

I have to be honest, being my own boss is fantastic. But, on reflection, the most rewarding parts of running my own business are the skills that I’ve learned and the confidence I’ve gained from my success so far.

Balancing my books, dealing with the Royal Mail, stockists, web developers… I’ve picked up these skills “on the job” and have enjoyed doing so.


What has been the most difficult part of it?

Finding the time! I am also a part time lecturer (and mother of two young girls), it’s difficult finding the time to promote the business, work on the website, pack orders, post orders…

Luckily I have great support around me from family and friends, which is a massive help!

Any plans to expand in the future?

Oh yes, my mind is always ticking!

My longer term ambition would be to open a small play cafe for parents and kids to benefit from my product range. Watch this space!

Any advice to young people in the area looking to start a business?

If you have a passion or talent, and you see even the smallest gap in the market to be able to monetise it, go for it!

It will always be a risk, but If you don’t take that risk then you will never know.

What’s your favourite thing about Torquay?

Its a great place to raise my family. I’ll confess, I’m guilty of taking it for granted, but when your walking along Babbacombe downs (or down by Torre abbey sands) in the sun with the family, you just can’t beat it!

Thanks Laura for taking the time to answer our questions and congratulations with what you’ve achieved so far!

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