Business & IP Centre Devon

Category: Blog

July’s Spotlight On Bike Form Fitting

Introducing Ronan Descy, Founder of Bike Form Fitting Ronan Descy’s passion for all things cycling initially lead him into a fourteen career as a bike fitter. Using the same products day in and day out, Ronan became frustrated with the quality of fitting products on the market. The entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and in 2016 Ronan began to prototype his own versions, aiming to offer better products to the industry as well as his own clients. BIPC Devon spoke to Ronan about his snowballing small business success story… For someone who doesn’t know about your business, what is that you do? “FORM Bikefitting services a niche area of the cycling industry called bike fitting. I design, manufacture and sell products that are used to optimise the biomechanics (movement and function) of riders on a bicycle.  The products are used to adjust a rider’s contact points with the bike, primarily between the foot and pedal. With the smallest of modifications it is possible to have a significant impact on comfort and/or the potential performance that a rider can achieve on their bike. Considering a rider’s legs are the “engine”, a compromised interface can cause issues, from inefficiency to injury. These products

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June’s Spotlight On: DownStage Write

Down Stage Write is a theatre company dedicated to creating development and production opportunities for playwrights in Devon and Cornwall. Founded by playwrights Jon Nash and Sam Parker in 2018, in response to the scaling back of literary departments in theatres across the South West. In just five short years the organisation has gone from hosting it’s evening of short plays, to receiving over fifty thousand pounds in Arts Council support to create a series of new writing projects across the region.  They have supported the emerging careers of dozens of new writers, with many of their alumni writing and touring work which began at a Down Stage Write workshop. Just a few of these examples include Exeter based playwright Hattie Collins, who brought her most recent play to London’s Vaults festival and has now received ACE funding to tour regionally, as well as Fringe First award winning playwright and Plymouth Laureate of words Laura Horton, whose most recent play Breathless is now touring internationally.  BIPC Devon speaks to their co-artistic director Sam Parker, about the realities of building a new writing company in today’s current funding climate, exploring the highs, the lows and everything in between. For those that

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June Highstreet Hero: Queer Out Loud

Mimi Jones is the founder of Queer Out Loud performance hub based in Plymouth. Mimi is Plymouth’s Young City Laureate for 2023, a freelance poet, events co-ordinator and playwright living in the city. When they started attending performance poetry evenings at age nineteen, they soon realised that the audiences they were performing for struggled to relate to the topics of queer identity explored in their poetry. In an effort to create a space in which they could share their experiences with other members of the queer community, ‘Queer Out Loud’ was born. After selling out their very first gig in a tiny venue in October 2022, ‘Queer Out Loud’ events only continue to grow. BIPC Devon talks to Mimi about combining their creative passion with entrepreneurship and their journey so far…. For those that don’t know how would you describe what you do? Queer Out Loud is a Queer events group. We predominantly run performance nights, but we’re also looking into running writing workshops which will develop into staged performances. We’re aiming to create a space where they can talk about their experiences with people who understand, or just at least have knowledge of the queer experience – walking to

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May’s High Street Hero : Space Property Staging

Space Property Staging Founder, Dani Trow, has been involved in property for over 17 years, buying and renovating properties to a high standard ready for sale. Dani has also been working a corporate role within the investment industry for a number of years, but in 2022 took the leap to transform her love for property and interior styling to launch her own venture. BIPC Devon talks to Dani about her small business journey.. To those that don’t know what Space Property Staging, what is that you do? “Home staging is a service, it’s a marketing tool that helps people sell their homes faster and for more money, that’s the crux of it. So what we do is we provide furniture and furnishings to help present homes beautifully, so when people are looking at property listings on the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla, there are beautiful photos of a really aspirational home that people will stop and look at. The Instagram and Pinterest generation expect homes to be presented at their best. It’s a bit like if you were going to a job interview where you want to look your best, it’s exactly the same concept for a home. We work

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May’s Spotlight On: North Devon Soap

Helen Cross had always been concerned about the amount of single use plastic in her kitchen and bathroom, but like many busy Mum’s she was understandably, too preoccupied to find alternatives. It wasn’t until she sat down to watch Blue Planet on a Sunday afternoon in 2017 that she found herself  horrified by the effect oil-based plastic was having on our natural world.   Driven by her passion to help consumers find plastic free alternatives, Helen launched her very own plastic free, chemical free hand made soap brand, North Devon Soap’s in 2019. Just four years later Helen left her teaching career and is working at the business full time, with multiple new ranges added as well as launching her own soap making courses, the business is stronger than ever. BIPC Devon talks to Helen about her sustainable small business success story…   For someone who doesn’t know what you do, how would you describe North Devon Soap? “We hand-make organic, plastic free, palm oil free and vegan friendly body wash and shampoo bars. My husband and I started North Devon Soaps in 2019, we already had a business which was focused on compostable food packaging, which aimed to take plastic out of

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Introducing our April High Street Hero: Edge Watersports!

Eric and Steph Bridge first began their water sports business in Exmouth with ‘Spinnakers’. This was an evolving dinghy sailing school which was a huge part of their growing family’s life. The site was taken over for development at the same time as kitesurfing was starting to get popular, so it became apparent that teaching kitesurfing would be a great lifestyle choice for their family. They never had to repair a dinghy again!  Twenty years and multiple world championships later, Edge Watersports is a testament to both Steph and Eric’s hard work. In addition to this, Exmouth has become a worldwide destination for water sports of all kinds. We talk to Steph about their small business journey… Building a Business Around Your Passion Steph says; “Edge Watersports was born at the ‘Edge’ of the duck pond in 2003 where we ran the shop and centre before getting evicted once more to make way for a Pub. We re-established the business at Exmouth Harbour while always looking for a site closer to Exmouth Seafront. This dream came true in 2020! The new centre is an extension of what we are passionate about. The wind, the water, the ever changing weather, the ebb and

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April Spotlight On: Moor Imagination

When award winning theatre and comedy writer Perdita Stott, moved back to her home town of Okehampton, she looked for a local writing workshop, aiming to re-immerse herself in Dartmoor’s creative community. Upon realising that there were none in her local community, Perdita solved this gap in the market by launching her own creative writing hub Moor Imagination in November 2022.  Just five months later she has sold out numerous workshops at Okehampton Library, is teaching on our very own Women in Business programme and has truly integrated herself and Moor Imagination into the local creative and small business community. BIPC Devon talks to Perdita about the power of networking, the importance of libraries as hubs for local business support, and the story behind the ongoing success of Moor Imagination… For someone that doesn’t know what you do how would you describe Moor Imagination? Moor Imagination is a creative writing courses hub, based in Okehampton. I offer workshops on creative writing, how to be a writer, how to get through writers block, how to get started and writers resources in general.  We started our first workshop in November 2022, so we’re still quite new. And we started really really small,

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SEO for your Small Business!

As a small business owner, you know that having a website is essential for reaching customers and growing your brand. But just having a website isn’t enough – you also need to make sure your site is optimized for search engines so that potential customers can find you online.

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March Spotlight On! – Your Zen Life

A Spotlight On Summer Bradshaw: Founder of Your Zen Life This month we’re shining our Spotlight On, television producer turned positive psychology practitioner and founder of  ‘Your Zen Life’ Summer Bradshaw!  After a highly successful but demanding career in TV production, creating hit programmes for the BBC, Channel 4, and Sky; Summer knew that she needed to take control of her own schedule, in order to spend more time with the people and in the place that she loves. Today ‘Your Zen Life’ offers one-to-one coaching, workshops and courses all aimed at enabling clients to focus on the change they want to make in their lives, and providing the support, time and space needed to turn your goals into action! Summer tells her small business story… “I founded Your Zen Life 3 years ago on the back of finishing a coaching diploma.  I knew I wanted to create a business and well-being platform that could grow as I did but, in all honesty, I was not entirely sure what that would look like or what it could become!  I just knew I had a passion for people and helping them to move to another level in their life, I wanted

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March High Street Hero: The Tribe

Stacey Sheppard is founder of The Tribe in Totnes. Stacey is a freelance writer, journalist and professional blogger. In 2019, she started to work from home, alone, and quickly realised just how isolating and lonely that can be. She went in search of a local coworking space but couldn’t find one that made her want to leave the comfort of her own home and start commuting to work again. Having watched the emergence of design-led and women-only coworking spaces popping up in cities around the world, Stacey had hoped for something similar in rural Devon. Knowing full well that this was unlikely to happen, she decided to take matters into her own hands and open her own work hub. She knew that with her background in interior design she could easily create a beautiful and welcoming coworking space and open it up to other women in a similar situation. In January 2020, after just four months of preparation and planning, she opened The Tribe, a small boutique coworking space in central Totnes, designed to offer a sense of community, connection and collaboration to local women in business. BIPC Devon talks to Stacey about her small business journey… The beautiful space

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