Lincolnshire business 'top dog' in Grow with the Show competition

Market Rasen-based luxury dog product company Designed for Dogs has been announced as this year’s winner of the Lincolnshire Showground’s annual ‘Grow with the Show’ competition.

The competition is open to young entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 years old, with the aim of helping Lincolnshire start-ups by giving them the platform and tools required to excel in the early stages of becoming a new business owner.

Designed for Dogs owner Holly Bryant initially set up the business in 2017, specialising in producing handmade luxury dog beds and accessories using high quality materials that are easy to care for, but that don’t break the bank, and was last year’s runner-up of Grow with the Show.

Holly said: “The whole concept for the business came out of the fact that, as a dog owner, I found the choice of products for dogs was limited to low-price, low-quality items, or those luxury-ticket items that many people are priced out of. With nine million dogs in the UK, I embarked on a lot of research, testing and planning and opened the business to provide a range of practical, quality products – and now our range is continuing to expand with some exciting new launches.

“We also provide bespoke products, so you can have products made-to-measure to suit your dog and your home. Our products are all handmade in Lincolnshire and we’re incredibly proud of that!”

Grow with the Show is open to businesses under three years old and offers the winners the opportunity to host their own stand at the Lincolnshire Show – which this year celebrates the 150th birthday of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society.

Holly continued: “The Grow with the Show programme is just a brilliant opportunity. As many people know, setting up and running a business is phenomenally hard and the support and training from business experts that I’ve received as a result of being runner-up last year has not only resulted in visible growth for the company, but it’s also vastly improved my business knowledge, acumen and confidence. 

“The chance to get my business in front of tens of thousands of people was one not to be missed either and I’m looking forward to being at the Lincolnshire Show for another year!”

Designed for Dogs will also receive a £250 cash prize, expert mentoring from Sparkhouse and a discount on design services from Root Studio.

The 2019 runner up of Grow with the Show was Boston-based commercial photographer Sophie Hayward. The business will receive £100 and two society guest badges giving free entry to both days of this year’s Lincolnshire Show complete with access to the exclusive members’ only areas.

Sophie Hayward set up her photography business after graduating from university and this month marks one year in business. She now has two arms to the company offering commercial photography and videography to the business sector, and wedding and family services.

Sophie added: “The main reason I set up my business is because I wanted to put all of my efforts into something that I was completely passionate about, and something that provided flexibility career-wise. This all pushed me to make it work, and the next steps are to grow the commercial photography section of the business and getting a studio space.

“The Grow with the Show initiative is absolutely fantastic. It’s great that a local establishment like the Showground is offering people like me the opportunity to network with people they wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to meet. It offers a great experience and really provides young business owners just starting out the support they need, as well as giving them a real boost of confidence and belief in themselves too!”

The 135th Lincolnshire Show takes place on 19 and 20 June and will host a varied mix of entertainment, food, shopping, music, horticulture, agriculture and more.

This year’s event will feature special celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society. The two-day programme is packed full of events including a Dakota flypast, air displays from the RAF Falcons and exciting acrobatic stunts from the UK’s top ranked freestyle motocross riders Broke FMX. Visitors will also have the chance to quiz the UK’s Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis and also watch performances from the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue band and the Shetland Pony Grand National in the Main Ring.

Advanced tickets are £21 for adults, £17 for 17 to 22-year-olds, children are £6 and under-fives go free. Family tickets, admitting two adults and up to three children are priced at £44. Car parking is free on both days.

For more information on Grow with the Show, or tickets, exhibiting, sponsorship opportunities, membership or hospitality packages for the 2019 Lincolnshire Show, please visit www.lincolnshireshow.co.uk

For more information about Designed for Dogs, please visit www.designedfordogs.com

For more information on Sophie Hayward Photography, please visit www.sophiehaywardphotography.com