Hi, I’m Sue Prisk, the founder of Promise in Store.
Why did I set up this company? Let me tell you a bit about my life story. I was raised by an incredible mum, who handled everything thrown her way with initiative, resilience and good humour. As well as being a full-time teacher, she looked after me and my twin brother, cared for my grandmother who lived with us, and provided us all with a loving home and positive outlook.
My husband Graham and I were married 33 years ago, and we have three wonderful children, Olivia, Tom and Amy. Tom, who was born in 1996, has Down Syndrome. People ask if I was surprised when I found out, and I can honestly say that I didn’t have a moment of concern. We were just so delighted and thankful to have our little boy. I vividly remember getting home from hospital and taking a moment to hold him close and welcome him to the incredible world we live in. I made a promise that we’d do everything we could to protect him and ensure that he and his sisters grew up with equal life opportunities.
Fast forward 19 years, Tom went off to Derwen residential college and I started to research the pathways to employment for Tom and his friends. Naïvely, I had assumed that by the time Tom finished college the job opportunities would be plentiful! Sadly, the opposite was true.
My grandfather always said, ‘problems are just solutions in disguise’. I was determined to find a solution.
At college Tom and his fellow students learned how to produce and sell a range of beautiful products. Every time we visited Tom, we were struck by the dedication and potential of the students, and by the quality of the products themselves. The seed of an idea was sown! What if I could create a company that sold beautiful gifts, designed, produced or packaged by people with learning difficulties, disabilities and/or life challenges?
Over the course of three years I set out to find fellow-minded producers across the UK and build relationships with them. Our product range started to come together and, in September 2018, Promise in Store was launched.
Since launching I have been humbled by the reaction of my fantastic makers and the response from customers who love our products and our story.
But this is just the beginning. We are thrilled to announce news that from1 January 2023, Promise In Store will be joining Nickel Support– a Community Interest Company creating life and employment opportunities for people with learning difficulties. Nickel Support currently supports more than 100 adults with learning disabilities and/or autism by helping to run their range of enterprises; their pop-up cafe; or to simply make new friends and have fun. When people come to Nickel they become part of the Nickel Support family – and we’re excited that Promise in Store is joining the family!
Nickel Support is launching a new multi-channel retail offer including a physical and online store through their social enterprise Interestingly Different, which means the Promise in Store ethos and range will get to reach an even wider audience thanks to their incredible team.