Nestled in the beautiful surroundings of Roots Farm Shop, in Barkby Thorpe, is a truly rural business. This fledgling, but promising start-up has just been shortlisted for the prestigious Rural Business Awards ‘Best Rural Start Up Category’ Midlands Region.
The Dog House (www.thedoghouseleicester.co.uk), a luxury dog grooming salon, opened its doors in October 2017 and has been going from strength to strength ever since.
Run by co-directors Anna Pollard and Selina West, The Dog House has had to overcome a series of challenges – from undertaking a full refit of the inside of a barn to seeing off tough big brand competition – in their first few months.
It has been a true labour of love, but the pair of aspiring businesses women have taken it all in their stride.
“We found out on 21st June that we had been shortlisted” says Anna
“It’s been a pretty full on year to be honest and when we entered we did think that it might have been a bit premature. But, if the last year has taught us anything it is that you have to throw yourself in to opportunities when they present themselves. We had nothing to lose. Just to be shortlisted is amazing and gives us the confidence to know that we’re doing something right!”
The Rural Business Awards were set up to give recognition to rural businesses, small and large, across the United Kingdom, with thirteen award categories across 6 regions. Rural businesses face a myriad of challenges not faced by many bigger town or city organisations. Transport links and communications infrastructure alone can make it difficult to establish and grow a new business. The awards go a long way to recognising the commitment and resilience these rural businesses face and reward them for their hard work and dedication.
Selina says, “We’ve approached this business with all of the organisation and planning that you could imagine. But the reality is that it doesn’t always go according to plan. We’ve had a great support network and I think our flexibility and ability to adapt has been the reason we’ve done so well in our first year of trading. We’ve still got a way to go before we reach our goal, but we love what we do and work so well as a team and that’s what makes it all possible.”
So, it seems the hard work, dedication and commitment has really paid off for the dynamic duo.
The regional finals for The Rural Business Awards are on Thursday 11th October at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham. Here’s keeping fingers, paws and tails crossed that they bring home the award.