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Recruitment

Neil Simmons

TN Recruits

“I left school with very few qualifications and initially coached Football and Gymnastics but fancied doing something a little bit different, so I worked in entertainment. I was a Blue Coat for Pontins and then became an Entertainments Manager for Airtours overseas. Towards my late 20’s, my wife and I decided we wanted to move back to the UK and settle down. I was originally from North West London, my wife and her family were from Tunbridge Wells and the surroundings. Having visited a number of times, we fell in love with Kent and Tunbridge Wells quite quickly and realised it was the right place for us.

When we arrived here I didn’t really know what I was going to do. I sold advertising for the Courier for three years, which gave me a grounding in sales whilst finding my way around Kent and Sussex. I then discovered recruitment and quickly realised it was something I really enjoyed as it combined all the people skills gained during my ‘university of life’ along with the opportunity to be directly rewarded for working hard. After eight years in recruitment, my Dad passed away, he was only 66 and at the time I was 38, based upon those ages I had 28 years left. This experience gave me the kick up the backside I needed to start my own business. I believed I had some good ideas that I could put into practice and wanted to put my own spin on things and so TN Recruits was born. Because of my love of Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas, I was motivated to help local companies and candidates fulfil their potential. Along the way I joined BNI, Tunbridge Wells which helped me to meet a number of local suppliers who are now my support network. TN Recruits now has ten members of staff to date and will continue to expand in the coming years.”

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Charity & Social

Olga Johnson

Nourish Community Foodbank

“When my husband retired from the BBC, he always wanted to live in an oast house, so we bought one, which was in an interesting position, as it was in the middle of a huge council estate. Some people considered it to be a disadvantage, but we loved it! We could really see the life around us and I became very much aware of the large families passing our gate that we would also see and talk to in the local shops. Sadly they were buying cheap very unhealthy fast food. The headmaster of the local primary school was a friend of ours and I learnt from him, that they had some serious issues with the kids going out at lunch time and queuing up at the chip shop – their diets were not good.

At the same time, Jamie Oliver was doing his ‘grow your own school dinner’ programme so I suggested to the headmaster that we should look at doing that. He thought it was a great idea, so did the kids! Most of them had never seen a potato before, they thought they came chipped in bags! It was a real eye opener to them. Through all this, I got to know some of the families, and they were having a really hard time making ends meet. Fortunately, I also knew a senior manager in the local housing association responsible for all the property in the area so asked her if they were going to set up a foodbank. She said they might and then suggested I might like to do it and we called it Nourish Foodbank. They donated £10,000 to start it up! They funded us for a few years and we also did a deal with the local big yellow storage space and Nourish grew from there. We started off with a lot of volunteers, mainly neighbours and people that we knew who had never done anything like it before. We distributed about 100 food bags in our first few months. It then quadrupled very quickly, so we really had to start running it as a business. We hired an operations director, who lives locally, on the housing estate and knew a lot of the people that were in trouble, so she was able to build really good relationships with them. She was also well connected and knew all the charities in the area who would refer people to us. This was really important because you can’t just rock up to a foodbank and ask for a bag, you have to be genuinely in need so, people from Citizens Advice, Gateway and DAVVS who work with people suffering domestic violence and were known to our operations director offered support. She is a real asset to us, and also has a good business sense. If you want to do something, she’s the person to make it happen! We now have five storage areas in the big yellow storage space. We also decided that we would not have a central area for collection so we have volunteer drivers who use their own cars to take food to those who need it. We just pay their petrol. We didn’t want a central area for collection because some people are embarrassed to be seen in a queue for food bags. Because of my experience at Sherwood Park School with the dietary issues, we also felt that it was really important to help people to eat a balanced diet with fresh food so, we enclose vouchers for £5 so that people can exchange them with a local butcher for fresh meat and a local fruit and vegetable shop for fresh fruit and vegetables. Five years ago a local legal practice who chose Nourish to be heir charity of the year worked with us for 12 months and a small group of their senior advisors suggested that they did recipe cards for our food bags using the contents of a food bag. It was great and they were really, really successful. I think it’s really important to eat a balanced diet, and no other foodbanks do this. It’s what sets apart and we are really proud of it! It’s a really rewarding role, we have an excellent board with senior professional people to do marketing, fundraising and finance and have expertise in social services. It’s run as a values led business.”

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Floristry

Sharon and Charlie

Colonnade Florist

“About ten years ago, I realised that perhaps I should be changing how my business operates, lots of other businesses were coming off the high street and I knew it was something that I needed to be doing, but for a very long time, I was reluctant to take the plunge. It was a scary thought- and I loved the shop, the customers, my lovely team of girls that I had around me- I thrived off that! However, I could see how much our high street was changing and how much other businesses in my industry were benefitting from similar changes.

My lease was coming to an end and It was a good time to seriously think about doing it, so I started researching as to what it would involve, where I could go, see the costings and try to figure out how it would all work. We made the decision to begin putting our plans into motion about two years ago, the girls – my staff at the shop, knew two years ago too. It was a difficult decision to have to make as I would need to downsize the team to just me, Charlie and our driver Nick. But we are all great friends and they have all been so supportive of the need to keep up with the times and evolve the business. Luckily, they have all found other jobs now and are all happy bunnies- so I feel like a contended mother chicken! So, after Mother’s Day this year, we decided to finally go for it, and we moved to our lovely studio here in Broadwater. It’s absolutely perfect, the scenery is beautiful and we’re right in amongst the nature which is very inspiring and motivational. We do still miss the buzz of the shop and our customers coming in, but this private space now means that we have time to get on with the essentials - basically the money-making things! Our main business now, is phone business and website orders with the majority being via funeral directors, weddings, functions etc. Obviously when we moved, our turnover dropped, as we no longer had the walk-in customers or plant sales, but without the huge costs that come with running a shop, the bottom line is looking much better. The pressure has been taken off somewhat now, and we are really enjoying having the time to put 110% into each arrangement, instead of having to put our bouquet down every 5 minutes. However, we don’t have the high street presence, so we do have to actively get out there and market ourselves more effectively. Social media is a massive part of our marketing, Charlie does a fantastic job on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and because of that we get a lot of wedding work – our industry is very pictorial, so we’ve got to use that opportunity. We’re starting to move and shake in the wedding industry a lot more now. Charlie is passionate about weddings and has worked hard to grow that side of the business. We have lots of plans in the pipeline that we are really excited about- our next move is to start doing our own deliveries across the whole of the country, in our own packaging with next day delivery, as an alternative to using a relay service. We also have a few more plans in the works that we haven’t announced yet- so watch this space!”

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Recruitment

Robert Dutton

Recruitment Solutions

"Having worked within Recruitment for the whole of my career, both locally and within in London, I formed Recruitment Solutions in July of 1999 with one simple objective - to deliver to both candidates and clients alike, the service that I would wish to receive. The name was a simple choice, Recruitment Solutions, because it does what it says on the tin!

Built on my passion, the business has grown with a team of like-minded consultants sharing the passion for changing peoples’ lives and we now have 2 offices, one in Tunbridge Wells and one in Sevenoaks – all working with shared aims to 'build teams that build businesses and careers that reward' Understanding the needs of a company is of pivotal importance when shortlisting a selection of candidates for them to meet - people buy people and people want to work with people aligned to both the skills requirement and culture. Consequently, we place great store upon our in-depth interviewing to really build a picture of the candidates skills, experience, wants and motivations – after all changing jobs, starting a career, career back-shifting or returning to work, are amongst the biggest decisions somebody will make. It’s our role to understand and through that understanding, get clients to see candidates and candidates to see clients through our eyes. People are our passion, everyone has an interesting story and the more that you understand about somebody the more you can help them find their passion! We found ours and love helping people find theirs."

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Mediation

Jane Kerr

Wells Family Mediation

“My first job on leaving school was in investment banking at Coutts bank. I was there long enough to realise it wasn’t for me and I decided to obtain a degree in psychology. I found this hugely interesting and decided early on that working with people was where my passion lay. I gained experience after my degree by working in the voluntary and charitable sector, and then transferred to law and trained as a barrister. Rather than pursue a legal practice in court, I chose instead to work in-house for a large London local authority.

I spent over ten years managing a front-line service, working with a range of relationship breakdown issues, particularly around divorce and homelessness. I became aware of the world of family mediation during this time and then experienced it personally when I divorced myself and we had mediation to resolve our issues. I recognised the positive value it brought. I undertook further advanced training in family law whilst still working in London and then trained to be a Family Mediator around four years ago. In early 2016, I set up my own business, Kerr Family Mediation, which was an amazing learning experience. I was then delighted to be invited to join Wells Family Mediation, a long-established mediation service, as a partner in April last year. Although often challenging work, family mediation is greatly enriching and I feel privileged to be part of a process which helps couples and children move forward in a positive way from the difficulties of separation.”

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Photography

Emily Brown

Emily Brown Photography

When I was in year 10 my Dad got sick - he had Oesophageal cancer. He was ill for almost two years and sadly passed away in the September when I started year 12, at the beginning of my A Levels. I had chosen to study History, Drama, Psychology and English, but near the end things went downhill rather quickly and I missed quite a bit of school around the time that Dad passed. When I went back I struggled to catch up with History, as I had missed too many names and dates, so I decided to change to Photography to add some creativity to my week.

Having always been a lover of the visual arts, this ended up being my best A Level subject and enabled me to go to my first choice university, King’s College London, to study Film. Originally the plan was to get my degree under my belt and then do something Film related, but because King’s is an academic university I really missed the hands on, creative side of holding the camera, so I started coming home at weekends to photograph friends in the beautiful Kentish countryside. I continued to do this the whole way through my degree, but meanwhile was increasingly asked if I photographed weddings, how much I would charge for a family photoshoot and more. I realised that people really wanted to pay me for the thing I loved doing the most, so on the day I handed in my dissertation I booked my first paying client and the rest is history. It seems that the universe thrust me down a path that I didn’t expect to go down, but I really feel that it’s the path I was meant to be on. Now I get to spend my time capturing life’s special moments, witnessing so much love and happiness, and I couldn’t ask for a more fulfilling job.

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Health & Lifestyle

Jo Minihane

Holistic Wellness For Life

I am a beauty therapist with over 20 years experience and in that time I’ve set up and owned award winning salons in and around the area. The aspect of my job I love most is helping people and making them feel better about themselves. I started working with Arbonne UK 2 years ago as I was looking to find a range that would suit me as well as my family, I am always conscious that I am using earth friendly and never tested on animals products.

What I love about Arbonne is the holistic approach, helping people from the inside as well as the outside with nutrition, skin care, hair care, makeup and body care. The company is carbon neutral and obtains ingredients globally in a sustainable source to create products of “green science” so you actually get results using these pure and safe ingredients. Arbonne allows me to run my own business around my current job, I’m my own boss and I love that you can work from anywhere! My passion is to show everyone to look at their product ingredients and create a happy healthy version of themselves. I’ve created Holistic Wellness for Life, an amazing community for advice, chats and accountability as within a group it’s proven we gain greater results!

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Garden Design

Ali Dempster

Sandstone Design Solutions Ltd

“We started Sandstone in 1998. I was in the film business prior to that for about 15 years: a fantastically interesting business to be in, based in London and travelling abroad, including the US, but I always said I wouldn’t work in London if I had children. After 4 years of marriage I suddenly had a two year old daughter and my wife and I were thinking about having another and I realised that if I didn’t do something different now I’d end up working in London all my life.

So pretty much overnight I decided to resign. My parents ran an aquatics business, so from the age of 14 or so I had built ponds. I’ve always loved the outdoors and pond planting is still one of my passions so it was a natural industry for me to go back into. Having gone to art college and done design work there, I had always known my design skills were strong, but I also appreciated I knew nothing about horticulture or the way to draw garden designs, so I went back to college – Hadlow College - and studied for 3 years in the evenings doing horticulture and garden design and we launched the business from there. That was 20 years ago! Since then we’ve joined the British Association of Landscaping Industries and won several awards and for the last 5 years we’ve worked with the Royal Horticulture Society building their special feature gardens at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and also building for private clients at the Chelsea Flower Show. People have the confidence in me to do something individual as they’ve seen our work and really appreciate that.”

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Creative & Marketing

Paul Woodger

Mivvy Creative Ltd

I left school at 16, wanting to be a graphic designer. I’d always been interested in art; my earliest childhood memories are of sitting at the dining room table with the crayons out. To this day I still love to draw and most of the work I do begins life as some sort of sketch before I take it to the graphic design stage – it gives me the opportunity to make tiny detail changes before committing it to digital. After 20 years as a graphic designer, 10 of which as a studio manager, the time was right for me to step out and go solo – and so in August 2017, I launched Mivvy Creative Ltd. My previous job saw me work with clients of all sizes and scopes, from local businesses to national and international businesses too, creating branding for marketing campaigns across the globe.

At Mivvy Creative, I create branding and both digital (online) and printed marketing collateral for clients. For me, it’s all about finding out about what drives the business and putting their personality and values across in the design. We’re able to create a wide spectrum of items that a client may require under the branding banner, including marketing literature, event materials, exhibition displays, and visual identity design, which includes logo design as part of your overall branding. We are not limited by industry sector and work with clients who are happy with their existing branding and are seeking continuity in their materials, or, with those who would like us to create something fresh and new for them. Any design is subjective, with many designers out there to choose from. What we strive to offer is unrivaled customer service and attention to detail. We rationalise our decision-making when we present our ideas and work closely with our clients to understand their requirements. By developing close relationships we’re able to look ahead and future-proof the designs we create as well. Currently we have 70 clients on our books, ranging from local to national businesses and for the past 9 months, we’ve been partnering with a PR consultant providing professionally written copy to complement the design work we create. It enables us both the opportunity to offer clients a more complete service with the benefit of being offered ideas outside of our core skillsets to maximise their marketing budget. We’re located at Churchill Square in Kings Hill, the kettle is always hot here so pop in, we’d love to hear how we can help you and your business.

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Health & Lifestyle

Scott ‘Skip’ Innes

The Surrey Hills Adventure Company

“We started The Surrey Hills Adventure company about 5 years ago, I was in a business that I didn’t particularly enjoy doing and did as a means to an end for about 15 years and It got to a point with that, particularly when the financial crisis hit, that I needed a change and that gave me the opportunity to change what I did.

That business wouldn’t have worked well in that climate and at the same time my son was 7/8 years old and I watched him get drawn into the word of computers and gaming. I’m a big fan of the Scouts, I’d been a Scout leader and I knew that my passions would benefit kids that were being sucked into that world. The way I figured it would work, would be to get them out into the woods doing bush craft style stuff, but try to avoid structure and people telling them what to do all the time, the big reason they enjoy what we do, is because they have the freedom to choose and have what I call ‘mind space’ to allow their minds to develop and pull them away from always being in front of the screens. So the combination of my original business, not being happy and in a difficult place and seeing my son being dragged into this world and knowing I could potentially do something about that for him and other kids, is what inspired us to start the business. We’re now 5 years in, offering more elements including paddle boarding, mountain biking and open water swimming, reconnecting children and adults with the great outdoors!”

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Automotive

Jordan Clarke

Slammed UK

"I’ve been into cars for as long as I can remember so when I took the plunge quitting my job to go full time with my automotive clothing company SlammedUK I was very excited. This was back in 2013 and I have since expanded into Automotive Events where I am in my third year with my own car show, Gravity. Taking this all on with no previous business experience was certainly a challenge but I love what I do and enjoy teaching my self something new every day.

It’s great being able to do what I love and having my whole life revolve around cars from all areas of life is amazing. I’ve met many of my closest friends through the car community and now have friends all over the world because of our shared love and passion for cars. I take great pride in what I do and travelling around the world doing it is a great privilege, it’s great talking to people every day about what I do and teaching people about the car world. You’ll probably see me about in Tunbridge Wells in my very loud R8, stop to say hi if you do!"

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Insurance

Pierre Roche

Aardvark Automotive Solutions

I left University with an HND in rural estate management, it was in the 80’s when the first property crash occurred. I wrote to about 50 estate agents and property management companies and got 50 thanks, but no thanks. So, I ended up in insurance, a friend of mine asked for help with some part time work, and 25 years later, I found myself still in the Insurance Industry. I worked for several blue chip companies, Direct Line, Churchill, RBS and AXA, I’ve learnt my trade through motor claims and I’ve seen some very good, but also not so good practices, some excellent customer service and also some very bad. I eventually found myself on the non-fault side of motor claims, there are two sides, the claimant side and the defendant side, one is at fault and one is not. After a period of time I wanted to learn more about the accident management side - credit hire side.

It’s potentially looked on quite dimly by some of the insurers, but ironically they actually use those companies as a revenue stream, it’s a bit of a strange situation. In 2017, a fellow employee and myself, felt we could inhance the customer journey even further. All insurers and accident management companies deal with their own niches, some deal with prestige vehicles, some with taxis, or buses or lorries, whatever it might be, but no one deals with all of them. I wanted to provide that, as well as a bespoke customer service and a customer journey, so that’s what we’ve done in setting up Aardvark Automotive Solutions. We’re a one stop shop for all non-fault claims, whatever your vehicle, providing like for like replacement vehicles, a repairer of your choice, with legal cover and all the trimmings an insurer would give, however you’ll be speaking to either myself or my business partner, not a number behind an insurance policy. Our unique selling point and the difference in what we provide within our service promise, compared to other claims providers, is that every claimant receives an inconvenience payment of £150 per claim when we deal with a claim for them. I’m really passionate about providing a first class service, we like to support people in any way we can, my son plays cricket at his University, Canterbury Christchurch, which we proudly sponsor and my daughter has just turned two so I’m looking to build a legacy for my children. Looking back on things, my father unfortunately passed away last year, he was an inspiration to me and he taught me a lot about family values. I promised him I would create my own business one day, it’s weird because I can still feel him around me, certain things happen that make me aware that he’s watching over and looking out for me.

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Retail

Janet Fullalove-Jones

FullaBeanies

"I started to crochet as a hobby 5 years ago, while on maternity leave and giving up smoking. I soon found I had a bit of a flare for making up my own patterns and designs and with a little encouragement, I started to sell at craft fairs and local markets and got such a great response. I then joined up with Louise and was able to move into wholesale.

We moved into wholesale three years ago with are first store, Notcutts in Pembury, not really knowing what, or if the hats would sell. With a few tweaks, we now sell pompom hats and fingerless gloves and are stocked in national trust properties in Kent and Surrey as well as Hever Castle and independent shops. We also recently won a twitter competition to have the support of Theo Paphitis with a yearly conference to meet and quiz business experts. FullaBeanies is growing from strength to strength and we are looking forward to doing some trade fairs in London and Birmingham next year as well as increasing our wholesale into other garden centres and tourist shops."

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Creative & Marketing

Nicholas Bryant

Social Media First

“I started the business in 2012, it was such a good time for me, social media was really taking off and every business wanted to be part of it, it’s grown considerably since then and I’m really pleased with where the business is right now and feel so very excited for what we can offer in the future.

Starting a business is tough and I take my hat off to anyone that starts one, whether it succeeds or not, it’s about getting an idea and running with it, it doesn’t matter if it fails as you’ll learn a massive amount from just trying. The business community in Tunbridge Wells is great! I have made so many great friends who also own businesses in the area and we all look out for each other, it’s a really positive town to work in”

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Health & Lifestyle

Amber Parker

Mojove Introductions

“I am a true believer in love and that there’s someone out there for everyone, I’ve now made it my business to do my best to prove this theory. I didn’t want other local people to endure the same challenges, disasters, dramas and disillusions that I had with dating sites and apps so I set up Mojove Introductions to help other professionals find that someone special.

Finding someone special can literally transform your life, those butterflies you get, those shared memories, the laughter and intimacy, there is nothing like it and it is one of the biggest decisions anyone could ever make, yet many people may leave it to chance, or hope that by playing the numbers game on numerous dating sites, that eventually they will find ‘the one’! In a world of social media, winks, swipes and likes, I want to bring things back to basics by helping real people make real and meaningful connections face to face. My discreet, friendly and professional matchmaking service will not only provide you with matches, we will obtain feedback after your date to see how it went and will work together to ensure we find the perfect match for you.”

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Retail

Mandy Johns

Cuckoo Corner - Shere

"I come from a family of artists. I went to college after school and there I learnt how to dress shop windows. After that, I went straight to Bally shoes, at the age of 18, and I worked for them for 15 years, ending up as a Display Manager. I travelled all over the country, doing their shop window displays.

I then had my children and although I went back to Bally, I could no longer do the travelling, so I started to work in Retail. I worked at Gatwick and Heathrow, but I always retained my passion for the theatrical and display side of the business. After Bally, I worked in a gift shop in Guildford for 7 years, and also had an opportunity to open a gift shop business jointly. I have been at Cuckoo Corner for 5 years now and I adore it! I love doing the window design; I love it when new stock and deliveries come in; I get so excited putting it out on the shelves and I always think, ‘that’s so lovely, people can’t not like this!” There is a risk being self-employed but it’s worth it. I am lucky with the location of the shop as it’s always busy and in the summer, there are plenty of tourists. That’s the beauty of Shere."

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Fencing

Barry Chapman

The Fence Guru

Having worked for large fencing companies for over 20 years I often thought of starting my own fencing company but, like a lot of people, thought it was a pipe dream until a series of events lead me to start up The Fence Guru. My wife was nearing the end of her maternity leave and my son, Freddy, was due to go to nursery. At that time the company I was working for started having financial difficulties and, after not getting paid for three months and with the prospect of having to pay £1000 a month for nursery looming, we took the decision that I would resign and look after our son.

The plan was that once my Dad retired he and my Mum would look after Freddy and I could return to work. Sadly, before my Dad even got to enjoy his retirement, he passed away suddenly and we thought it was too much for my Mum to look after Freddy on her own. So my wife continued to work in London and I became a stay at home husband. Having worked since I was 16 this was a big culture shock but I loved being able to spend time with my son and it worked really well for us as a family. We carried on this way until my son was 6 and my wife was offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy. It seemed the perfect opportunity to change our lives and so The Fence Guru was born. That was nearly four years ago and the company is going from strength to strength, I am meticulous and a perfectionist and my clients can really see the pride I take in my work and I believe this has led to the strong growth in word of mouth business I receive. My wife and son are often taken on detours on days out so I can show them my latest fencing project and I think my passion for fencing really shines through in my work. So remember - any fencing to do call The Fence Guru.

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Interiors

Katie Andrews

The Drapery Tunbridge Wells

"I’ve always been passionate about design. After leaving college when I was 17, I was lucky enough to train as a graphic designer in an architectural/planning/urban design practice in Central London. But after 13 years of my career in London, and then having my second child a little over 3 years ago, I decided a change was necessary.

I wanted to find something I could do that would work around my children's routines locally, but also to do something that I was passionate about and enjoyed doing. I have always had such a huge interest in interior design, so taking on one aspect of this made total sense. Starting with soft furnishings. My sister Carly and I researched the relevant training courses and off we went. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our training. There was no doubt about it, we were absolutely certain that this was the way forward for us and decided to start up a business. We absolutely love working with different fabrics, how patterns work well together, trims and borders, different textures, and using all this to design bespoke, handmade, curtains, Roman blinds and other soft furnishings. Our business has taken off hugely from the very first day of starting up. We are so amazed and grateful by the support we’ve had locally. We have even been commissioned by local commercial businesses as well as residential clients. We have also had opportunities to collaborate with other amazing interior design businesses in and around the area. We both feel such a sense of achievement every time a project is completed and we see our work finished and fitted in the room it was made and designed for. We have also been very lucky to work with the most amazing clients. We love seeing the excitement in their faces when we present our ideas to them, not to mention when the finished product is fitted in their homes. The last three years since setting up The Drapery Tunbridge Wells have been amazing and we both couldn't be happier!"

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Creative & Marketing

Nat Sharp

Sharp Thinking Marketing

"I set up Sharp Thinking Marketing after having my girls and taking a career break. I had always loved my job and had spent all my career in marketing having worked in advertising agencies in London, as well as in house marketing roles for the likes of Vodafone and not for profit organisations. Like many mums, I wanted to get back into work and pursue my passion, whilst ensuring it fitted around the family and I could still do the school run.

I thought I was well placed to launch a local marketing consultancy service having been the client myself and worked in advertising agencies. I decided to take the plunge and I've never looked back. My clients range massively from business to business clients in the digital printing industry and corporate gifting sector, to local care homes and personal trainers. I love the fact my work is so varied from brand launches and websites, to creating product marketing plans and prospect databases. I enjoy working with clients that are driven, passionate about what they do and risk takers. I find it extremely rewarding knowing you are helping them achieve new things with their business and of course seeing your work live!"

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Fashion

Donna Marshall

Stampede Fashion & Footwear For Kids

"I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago, I was working with a big corporation as a director of operations. I realised, that because of the deterioration of the Parkinson’s I would need something which would work with my five year old daughter, with the flexibility of picking her up from school and having the work life balance, to be able to have the staff around me if I became ill and I can’t do every single day and still have an income coming in.

Having something which would be familiar to my environment, which was anatomy and physiology, I was a personal trainer many years ago, so looking at feet, gaits and posture with fitted shoes went hand in hand with this. Working with children is also another tick box as it was something I always wanted to do, but never qualified in a children’s industry. So when I saw Stampede up for sale, I just thought, ok, I’ve never worked for myself, just do it! So I took the opportunity and I bought Stampede on the 4th of May 2017. It’s hard work but still very fulfilling and I love it!”

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IT & Technology

Simon Luck

Host My Office Tunbridge Wells

"I have always worked in the IT industry, but wanted to do something a little different and so Host My Office was born. With cyber crime on the increase, and the way many businesses are changing the way they operate, I wanted to move away from simple IT support and provide services to make working with technology more efficient and less daunting.

We specialise in reducing IT costs, but as a company we have many skills and services to offer. We have 3 offices in Kent and Sussex, and have a strong team of experts that can support businesses of all sizes and cater for all budgets. I’m fanatical about customer service, whether I am the customer or the provider, hence this is a high priority and the foundation of our business. We are able to provide a personal service, with rapid response times, and our prices are fair and fixed so that customers know exactly what bills to expect and what they are being charged for. Oh, and we never use geek speak or jargon!"

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