Business growth is a badge of honour for sisters

By Lancashire Business View

16 Oct 2015

An eco-friendly business started by two sisters from Lancaster is flourishing, thanks to support from Boost Business Lancashire.

Louise and Victoria Lawson started Bough to Beauty Bespoke in February 2015 after spotting an opportunity to provide event and conference organisers with a sustainable wood alternative to plastic name badges.

A little over six months on and the business can already count Jameson Irish Whiskey, Greenpeace and Waitrose among its customers. And they're now diversifying to offer a wide range of bespoke wooden products, from personalised corporate gifts to events signage.

Boost Business Lancashire is the £7.2m Lancashire Business Growth Hub, offering free and part-funded business support to ambitious and growing businesses.

After taking part in the Lancashire LEAP Start-up Boot Camps, run by Winning Pitch as part of Boost, Lou and Vix as they’re known, are busy planning further growth.

Vix explained: "Customers like Jameson, Waitrose and Greenpeace are a perfect fit for us; people are impressed that companies like those believe in what we’re doing. I’m not sure we would have attracted them if we hadn’t been encouraged to focus on our growth plan for the business.”

Explaining their inspiration for the business, Lou, 43, said: “Me and Vix were volunteering on an organic farm in Portugal just living off the land. It gave us the time and space to think about what we wanted to do and we decided we’d start a business creating bespoke jewellery by upcycling wooden products.

“While we were promoting this business at networking events, we had the idea for wooden name badges. We were a bit uncomfortable with going to all these events where everybody was wearing plastic name-badges that would be used once and thrown away.”

After speaking with a number of event organisers Lou and Vix, who grew up in Brookhouse, near Lancaster, began making biodegradable wooden name badges from sustainable oak and walnut, so companies and event delegates could reuse them after the event to reduce waste.

A chance conversation at one of these events led to a commission from Jameson to make bespoke name badges for its graduate trainee scheme.

Vix and Lou suddenly had a new business, but needed advice and support to help them identify their product offering, develop a growth strategy and improve their financial management skills. This is when they heard about the Lancashire LEAP programme, a series of intensive, practical, hands-on workshops for new business owners.

“Lancashire LEAP made a huge difference,” added Vix, 35, who worked in marketing and research before going into business. “More important than anything else, it brought our thinking together and made the business idea clear in our minds. We became much more certain about what customers we wanted and why we wanted them."

Both Lou and Vix realised they still had to shape their own management abilities and go from two sisters sharing a dream to a properly structured business team.

Lou, a former operations manager for a London theatre company, added: “Lancashire LEAP showed us we didn’t both have to be involved in absolutely everything. We did lots of exercises that taught us how to prioritise our objectives and not get bogged down in doing a million different things. We were able to think about what other sectors we could target to grow the business more quickly, which led to orders for other products such as coasters and menu boards.”

Rona McFall, of Winning Pitch, which delivers the Lancashire LEAP programme on behalf of Boost, said: “The workshops are designed to be challenging and really test the entrepreneur and their conviction to make their business idea a success. The programme allowed Lou and Vix to create a growth action plan with achievable targets. We are so thrilled to see the business going from strength to strength.”

The business, which works with skilled crafts people to make all of its products in Lancashire, has big growth plans for the next 12-months.

It hopes to win more work in the wedding and hotels sector, after recently being commissioned to create products such as ‘save the date’ magnets, place savers, and a table plan carved from oak. Other recent work includes producing wooden beer mats for an independent brewery and oversized key fobs and name badges for a hotel. Ultimately, the sisters want to create their own workshop and work more closely with woodland and forestry managers in Lancashire to source more of their wood locally. The business hopes to create jobs as it grows.

Latest news

1

Pendle play centre wins national award FUNDA LAND Award Win

Pendle play centre wins national award

18 Jun 2024

2

Rossendale business expo celebrates successful debut Rossendale Business Expo

Rossendale business expo celebrates successful debut

18 Jun 2024

3

Lancashire leaders named on King's birthday honours list Simply Doughnuts Export Award

Lancashire leaders named on King's birthday honours list

17 Jun 2024

4

PM+M's new charity programme seeks organisations to support Tara Maynard, Claire Astley & Helen Clayton.jpg.jpg

PM+M's new charity programme seeks organisations to support

18 Jun 2024

5

Hyndburn's vibrant culture celebrated at record-breaking event The Connecting Cultures event was the busiest to be hosted at Haworth Art Gallery in its 100 year history.jpg.jpg

Hyndburn's vibrant culture celebrated at record-breaking event

18 Jun 2024

Lbv116 Ltb Strip980
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Reach 50,000 members of the Lancashire business community

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Company profile
Social reach
Magazine coverage
Sign-up
Events
RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers
WENDY BOWERS RISE Illustrstion copy.jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Seminars
11 Jun 2024 - 04 Dec 2024

RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Clayton le Moors, BB5 5JR

09:00 - 16:30

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
18 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
18 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond
EVENT LISTING BNI Diamond.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond

The Marriot Hotel, Garstang Road, Broughton, PR3 5JB

07:15 - 09:00

Exclusive Free Event - An inspiring morning with Professor Paul McGee, The SUMO Guy
Paul McGee Event
LBV Hub Seminars
19 Jun 2024

Exclusive Free Event - An inspiring morning with Professor Paul McGee, The SUMO Guy

Village Hotel Blackpool , Blackpool , FY3 8LL

08:30 - 13:00

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus
EVENT LISTING SIZING Zeus.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus

The Mill House, Corn Mill Yard, Accrington, BB5 5HX

06:45 - 08:30

Bold Moves Mastermind - Procrastination to Profitable Pricing
BV Online Course Title pages (1).jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Seminars
19 Jun 2024

Bold Moves Mastermind - Procrastination to Profitable Pricing

Oswaldtwistle Mills Business & Conference Centre, Oswaldtwistle, BB5 0EY

09:30 - 12:30

Free 4 Week Growth Ignition Coaching Programme
UCLan Primary logo RKE.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
19 Jun 2024 - 03 Jul 2024

Free 4 Week Growth Ignition Coaching Programme

Online, Preston, PR1 2HE

12:00 - 13:30

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle
EVENT LISTING BNI Castle.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
20 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - BNI Castle

Vale of Lune RUFC, Powder House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 2TT

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos
EVENT LISTING BNI Kudos.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
20 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos

Prairie Sports Village, Windemere Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2FU

06:45 - 08:30

THE ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS COMEDY DINNER SHOW
AbFab Social Post.jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Social
20 Jun 2024 - 20 Jun 2024

THE ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS COMEDY DINNER SHOW

Crow Wood Hotel & Spa Resort, Burnley, BB12 0RT

18:30 - 23:00

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch
EVENT LISTING SIZING Brunch .png.png
LBV Hub Networking
21 Jun 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Brunch

Samlesbury Preston Hotel, Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0UL

09:30 - 11:00

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more LBV116 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin