Firespiral Slings is an international manufacturer and retailer of woven wrap baby carriers, luxury blankets, throws and accessories. Owner and director, Tamsin Coxhill, shares her inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.
What does your business do?
We design, manufacture and retail woven wrap baby carriers, luxury blankets, throws and accessories. Our products are woven in Lancashire using ethical and sustainable materials and processes and are sold all over the world via our website. We are inspired by science, myth and our local landscape, producing designs in-house that feel connected to nature and the world around us. Our baby carriers are soft and easy to use, our blankets are luxuriously heavy and are made to last a lifetime.
Why did you start your own business?
We saw a gap in the woven wrap baby carrier market and thought it would be a bit of fun to make some of our own designs. We had no idea at that point that we could create a viable business that would still be running ten years later. We were excited by our product and the possibilities that we saw.
What has been your biggest business breakthrough?
To me, our biggest business breakthrough has been finding our identity as a business and creating a brand around that. The Firespiral brand is strong and is well known in the baby wrap world for our trustworthiness, ethics and for being the ‘good guys’. We have a strong Facebook community around the brand that are very loyal and promote us widely.
What has been your proudest achievement in your business?
I am proud of the global market that we have created. I am still excited by the international orders that come through each week to so many different parts of the globe. We have a strong US customer base but also sell to the odd customer in Japan, Singapore, Australia, Argentina (to name but a few) and I reckon we have sold at least one product to every country in Europe.
What is the most effective support or guidance you have received?
I have received such amazing support from the Growing Club. Initially attending their original course, and subsequently taking part in a variety of other activities and courses. I have also recently attended a fantastic Digital Marketing mentoring session that was funded by Embrace Digital. I think the course that I have benefited most from is the Growing Club’s Peer Listening course.
What keeps you going when things are tough?
Sheer bloody-mindedness! Also that as a business we have learned that to succeed we need to be able to change quickly. We are a lightweight business who are in charge of our own technology and we can quickly make big changes to our business model in response to market pressures and flashes of inspiration!
What are your best 4 tips for maintaining your wellbeing?
- Learn about boundaries, work out what your boundaries are and learn to maintain them.
- Learn how to manage your day to day workload to work towards your overarching goals and get the most important things done. Bullet journaling works really well for me.
- Attend a peer listening course and get a listening partner (this is actually #1 on my list of most effective way for maintaining my wellbeing). Being truly listened to by a peer who is not part of your everyday life is life changing.
- Eat lots of vegetables, get enough sleep and get out in the fresh air for some exercise that makes you happy (I walk).
What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur starting a business?
Find your local women in business network. It will help you to feel less alone and you will discover so many others who are experiencing the same challenges and successes that you are. Support other businesses that are local to you and they will support you back. Take advantage of the variety of subsidised courses that are on offer in your area.
Would you like to see your business grow? So would we.
To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.