Meet small business grant winner, Jo Griffiths from Topstitch.
At Topstitch Jo Griffiths creates quality leisure upholstery and soft furnishings for motorhomes, campervans, caravans and boats. This includes box cushions for sofa beds and bench seats, and recovering front drivers and passenger seats as well as creating curtains and other soft furnishing accessories. All the work she does is bespoke, made to measure for each vehicle. Jo has a wide range of fabrics, vinyls and leathers to choose from and works closely with each customer to understand their requirements. Jo Griffiths can also do other upholstery work including home and garden soft furnishings.
How did the idea for your business come about? And why is it important to you?
Jo Griffiths: I had been doing upholstery for my partner's van conversion business for a few years in my spare time, whilst employed full time in an office, however, I was made redundant so I decided to change to do upholstery full time at the beginning of this year. I have identified a need for made-to-measure box cushions for outdoor garden furniture, campervan sofa beds, indoor window seats and benches and have been really busy making these to order. This is really important to me as it allows me to be my own boss.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Jo: Managing my time and finding the balance between making the cushions versus running the business.
How the BIPC helped you?
Jo: The BIPC has helped a lot, the webinars have been really informative, and creating my business plan when I applied for the grant really helped me consider all aspects of the business.
What are your plans for the grant?
Jo: To have my website professionally designed and built, and to create some marketing materials.
Most likely to be found in/at (what do you like to do in your spare time)?
Jo: A mountain bike trail centre.
What's the best piece of business advice you've been given?
Jo: Don't undercharge for your work, have confidence in what you create and charge accordingly.
Has there been a book that impacted you?
Jo: Not a specific book but I love listening to all sorts of audio books whilst I'm working.
Describe your life as an entrepreneur in one word.
After a wave of enquiries and over 150 applications, the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire team shortlisted 34 aspiring entrepreneurs, who were invited to give a presentation on their new start-up to a panel of judges in a Dragon’s Den style elevator pitch as part of the Reset. Restart Small Business Grants programme. Topstitch was one of our 19 winners.
Visit Topstitch: https://topstitch.uk
To learn more about our small business grant winners, click here!