60 second start-up: Pins and Ribbons

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Pins and Ribbons sells soft furnishings and pretty and practical things for the home, handmade in England with love, care and attention to detail.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

I used to be a Police Sergeant in North Yorkshire Police but after a friend asked me to make her a memo board, Pins and Ribbons was born.

Pins and Ribbons is a quintessentially English company. We design, manufacture and sell beautiful soft furnishings to the consumer via our website and also to hundreds of well-known department stores and smaller independents in the UK and abroad.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

We have very few competitors as the few companies which make similar products outsource and manufacture abroad. We are quite unique in the fact that we still make everything in our small workshop in the North East.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Handmade in England - the quality of our work speaks for itself.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

The majority of the business has been self funded with some assistance for web design and trade show attendance by Business Link.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

Before I started Pins and Ribbons I was a Police Sergeant in North Yorkshire Police, managing a local neighbourhood support team.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

From a very early age I had always made things, I designed and made my own wedding dress and clothes and then turned my hand to soft furnishings. A close friend asked me to make her a memo board and Pins and Ribbons was born.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Setting up the website was a huge success from day one.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Allowing a friend to come into the business at the early stages. Business and friendships don't mix!

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A farmhouse oak biscuit - made with the finest ingredients, using traditional methods in the UK.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Jealous is the wrong word but I admire all the little independent shops that showcase products from British designers. I'd combine this with a little tea shop - my idea of heaven !

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

What I have realised since launching the business is steady growth is strong growth , so I don't want to rush things. That said, I'd love my own little shop in my local town, Yarm High Street, to showcase all our wares and promote other 'handmade in the UK' businesses.

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