RYE Case Study - ARD

Stephen Aicken lives in Glarryford, Ballymena and is a part time bus driver for the NEELB. If he’s not behind a wheel you could well find him under the bonnet of a car as he is also a part time mechanic.

RYE Case Study - ARD

A fleet of commercial vehicles branded by Stephen.

You would have thought Stephen’s passion lay with all things mechanical and this would have been his chosen career, but from a young age Stephen enjoyed designing and creating things.  Saying no to family and friends was never an option; he always obliged and with little money available could craft spectacular creations by using recycled materials.  The successful projects he has completed includes making log cabins, props for Christmas activities, memorable gifts for brides & grooms, designing logos, branding and signs for commercial vehicles to name just a few.

As Stephen’s reputation grew for his quirky designs, making products functional and stylish and his professionalism he set up ARD Aicken Rapid Designs where he currently rents a shed from a local farmer. 

In May 2015 Stephen attended a RYE Information Evening held in Kells & Connor and found it useful.  As a young person living in a rural area with limited opportunities for full time work Stephen said;

“Kells & Connor Youth Committee were hosting an information evening and asked if I would be interested in attending, which I did.  The event was very relaxed and informal but very informative.  The discussions held among people who were present showed that we all had the same interest creating local jobs.  After the meeting I registered for the RYE workshops and I’m glad I did.  These lasted over three weeks and I enjoyed them immensely.  I took away invaluable information, made connections with people that I wouldn’t have known and feel I am better equipped and more confident within myself to explore other possibilities of diversifying the business and hopefully creating a full time position”.

Olga Gallagher, Director said

“Stephen is one of 400 young people who took the initiative to attend the RYE workshops since they first started. RYE gives support and guidance to young people interested in self employment and to those who have already taken the first steps but need assistance to help develop their business ideas further. I would like to thank Stephen for his participation and wish him well for the future”.

If you would like further information on Stephen you can follow him on facebook at ARD.

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