Animation Toolkit - A Real Example of How Mitchell Charlesworth Can Help You Grow Your Business


Manchester creative business Animation Toolkit is reporting a surge in overseas business after more than doubling sales in 2013, thanks to the help of Mitchell Charlesworth.

The firm run by 33-year-old Westley Wood (pictured, below left) supplies specialist products for stop-motion animation including armature kits and parts, animating clay and software.

Westley Wood Animation Toolkit

It has been supported by start up specialist business advice and accountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth.

Mr Wood, who started the venture two years ago, distributes his products to every continent and has manufacturing agreements with four factories in China and one in Germany.

The firm has more than doubled its sales in 2013 with overseas sales accounting for an ever increasing amount of the company’s turnover.

Animation Toolkit is now hatching plans to open the first stop-motion animation studio for hire in MediaCityUK containing the firm's complete assortment of products for use by professionals, enthusiasts and students.

“Animation is my passion and I have always been fascinated by the process of creating stop-motion films,” said Mr Wood. “I started designing my own pieces of kit and came up with the idea of Animation Toolkit. It began as a bedroom business and with advice and on-going support from Mitchell Charlesworth I have been able to develop a strategic business plan.

“We have made huge progress since 2011 shipping products across the globe. The rise of ecommerce has been crucial to our business, as many people order products from our website. To date we have calculated that our products have been used in more than 5000 films.”

Animation Toolkit has been crowned with a volley of awards this year including the “Next Big Thing” at the MEN's inaugural MPA Awards, celebrating the region's creative, digital and media companies.

Mr Wood, who also works as a Creative for Children's ITV, was nominated for a BAFTA for his work on the programme Compost Corner.

Most recently, in October, he was shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was shortlisted for Best Start Up at the EN Business Awards 2013.

Mitchell Charlesworth Manchester based audits and accounts specialist Paul Burton (pictured right) said: “It has been a terrific experience working alongside Westley helping his animation business grow. We have been able to support Animation Toolkit on its journey by providing solid commercial foundations and strong financial management to build the business.

“We always take a hands on approach. Key areas we can help start ups include book-keeping, corporation taxation planning, self-assessment income tax returns, VAT, PAYE and national insurance, pensions and business insurance, grant funding, raising finance and payroll services.  We also advised Westley on the approach to accounting for commissions, to help strike a partnership to make joint products with world famous animator Ray Harryhauser. This exclusive deal has greatly helped to drive company sales.”

Paul Burton

For more information about how Mitchell Charlesworth could help your business or to request a free consultation, simply complete an enquiry form here or contact your local Mitchell Charlesworth office.

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